Jonas Victor Swenson Family Photos

Saturday, September 10, 2011

36. February 5 1894 Part 2

The second part of the letter from Jonas Victor Swenson.    He writes more about what must have been a recession, with many people out of work.  He tells about the water system he has set up on his farm.  I have translated sizes so I hope they are correct.

Jonas Victor Swenson
Cleburne Co, KS
February 5 1894 Part 2

The people quit spending money because of the recession.  The mines and large factories closed and several hundred thousand workers were and are without work.  Those who got a job did not get paid much. The reason for this situation is that the Democrats wanted to sell goods duty free.  If it is duty free, the people will have to do their jobs for the same price as in other countries.  Because of this, the times were bad.  The cattle are very cheap.  Oxen cost a fourth of what they were before.  It is much different, but the farmers are not in danger.  Only the income will be less.  It is the workers in the towns who have a difficult situation.

Now I will reply to your questions about the photo  (which regretfully,we don't have).  Our two youngest sons are sitting in the front seat.  Otto is holding the reins. My wife and I are sitting in the back seat.  I sat so I could be seen between.  Therefore, it looks a little strange.  My wife has her winter hat on her head, so perhaps you cannot recognize her.  Pictures are not so good when taken from a long distance and outside.  Then there is the maid and the farm hand, but he stood by the side of the wagon, although it seems he is behind.  The maid stood closer to the building, although she seems to stand in front of the horses.  The animals you ask about are two dogs.  One is a little pup and he likes to jump at the bigger dog and bite him.

The tower you mention by the building is a windmill, which is for pumping water.  The windmill is right over a well that is drilled not more than 6 feet wide and is 75 feet deep and done with a machine.  Then the pump pipe goes down to the bottom.  It is about a foot wide.  At the side we have a water container, which we have dug 6 feet into the ground.  The water container is paved and plastered with cement and is watertight.  It will hold 200 barrels of water.  From the container, pipes go down about 5 feet deep in the ground so it will not freeze.  At the kitchen door we have a tap.  We can put a cup under the tap, turn the tap on and water comes out.  We also have water in the stable and cow barn, where we have a larger trough so the cattle can drink from four sides.  We never need to pump or carry water.  We have only to look in the container to see how much water is there.  We let the windmill run.  Even a ten year old child can turn it on.  The windmill is turned by the wind and pumps enough water in a half a day to last for 2  or 3 days.  The windmill is small and is a nice decoration for the place.

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