The Farm – William Rice and Bridget Connolly

Bridget was bringing wood in for the stove and her daughters were in the garden weeding.  Earlier they milked the cows, collected the eggs, and fed the farm animals. William and his sons were out in the fields. The farm William and Bridget own have 150 acres that spans over both Ozaukee and Washington Counties. They had 12 children to help them with the farm. To get an idea of what the farm was like, a look at the 3 agricultural schedules, 1860, 1870, and 1880 can help. Excerpts of the schedules were taken and put into 4 charts comparing them. I am only including the items from the schedule that were answered for William and Bridget’s farm.

This table shows the land and value of the Rice farm. As can be seen, the value increased moderately between 1860 and 1870. The difference between 1870 and 1880 is amazing.

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This next table shows the livestock they kept. It appears he gave up on the oxen. He raised cattle and swine for meat, poultry for eggs and meat, sheep for wool and meat and milk cows for butter.

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The next table shows the crops he grew. There was a flouring mill and a grist mill in town for the grains. There was also a brewery that may have purchased the barley.

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The last table shows other products that they sold. The butter production increased as did the amount of hay that was grown to feed the animals. It appears they weren’t cheesemakers because there was a question about the amount of cheese made and it was always left blank. They raised sheep both for the wool and some of the spring lambs would be sold. There was a large woolen mill in Cedarburg to process the wool. It appears they stopped making sugar and molasses at least for sale. In the 1870 census they harvested timber to be sold to the local furniture factory.

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The barn is still standing and the photo I found is grainy and taken from the roadside. It is of the Dutch gambrel style and at left is an example of this type of barn. Other out buildings they would have had include a silo, 120px-LightningVolt_Barngrainary, chicken coop, wagon shed, corn crib, smokehouse, and summer kitchen. There was also a pond for fishing on the farm and a kitchen garden. As described for a farmer in the area, when a barn was raised there was a party with a fiddler and dancing.

References

History of Washington and Ozaukee Counties, Wisconsin: Containing an Account of Its Settlement, Growth, Development and Resources … Biographical Sketches, Portraits of Prominent Men and Early Settlers; the Whole Preceded by a History of Wisconsin … and an Abstract of Its Laws and Constitution. Western historical Company, 1881.

1860 U.S. census, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, Cedarburg, agriculture schedule, p.23-24, Cedarburg Post Office, photographed in-house book; Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison.

1870 U.S. census, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, Cedarburg, agriculture schedule, p. 3-4, Cedarburg Post Office, photographed in-house book; Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison.

1880 U.S. census, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, Cedarburg, agriculture schedule, p. 28, Cedarburg Post Office, photographed in-house book; Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison.

Town of Cedarburg Landmarks Commission Barn Survey, town.cedarburg.wi .us, accessed 4, May 2016.

Lars Lentz photographer Barn with Gambrel Roof, Public Domain, in Wikipedia accessed 4 May 2016.

 


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