By Jan Lee Buxengard
Special to the Argus
The Howard and Janice Staggemeyer family farm, located in Winnebago Township, Houston County, received Sesquicentennial Farm recognition for year 2020 at the 2021 Houston County Fair on August 19.
Minnesota Farm Bureau honors Minnesota families that have owned their farms for at least 150 years, are at least 50 acres in size and are currently involved in agricultural production. A commemorative certificate signed by the Governor of Minnesota, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and president of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation is awarded to qualifying families, along with an outdoor sign signifying Sesquicentennial Farm recognition. There have been nearly 450 sesquicentennial farms recognized since 2008.
History of the Staggemeyer farm began on June 2, 1868, with the purchase of 160 acres by Henrick Meyer, who came to America from Germany. Thereafter, the succession of ownership was as follows: Alvina Meyer owned the farm from January 30, 1896 to November 9, 1945. Next was Henry Staggemeyer to November 16, 1967, and then Louis Staggemeyer to March 7, 1973.
Louis’ son, Howard, was raised on the farm. Howard married Janice in 1964 and they first rented and then took over the farm in 1973.
Howard and Janice worked side by side. Janice liked to run the small baler, and Howard talked about how hard hard would work. When they were done with the chores, her day with work inside was just beginning. Janice passed away and Howard still lives on the farm. They have two children, Randy and Lisa.
The farm is currently 160 acres, and its major crops and products include corn, oats, hay, hogs, dairy and beef.
One amazing fact is that the main part of the house is original, with the main part a log cabin. This was discovered while remodeling and the need to run pipes for the furnace. When the walls were opened, they found the original straw and mud packed between the logs. An extension was built on one part with the kitchen on one end and a second story over the old part. Part of the main floor is original.
The barn, built in 1906, is also still standing, and other buildings include a granary and machine sheds.
Also noteworthy is the spelling of the family name. Howard’s two brothers went on a trip to Germany with their church group and found the cemetery where their relatives were buried. On the stones, Staggemeyer was spelled Staggemeier. They are unsure of where the spelling got changed, but his distant relatives, Robert and Mary Staggemeier, still use the original spelling found on the stones in Germany.