The Jones Farm

Quote by Edward Jones



Edward Jones was a successful farmer living in Richmond, Vermont. When he wrote this letter to his son in Wisconsin, he was alone. His wife had died and his other children had moved west. He gave this account of the farm’s inventory with the prospect that he might sell out and follow his children. But he didn’t sell because he couldn’t get the price he wanted. In order to run the farm he had to hire help. This help included:


 -A couple who was paid $9.00 a month for the year to help make cheese. They were paid extra for milking the cows through October, until the cheesemaking was done for the season. The wife had to wash the couple’s clothing herself.

 -A woman who took care of the house, washed everyone else’s clothes, and was paid seventy-five cents per week plus the boarding of her five-year-old son.

 -Lewis Nelson, the only hired help that Jones mentioned by name, who had worked for him before. Nelson was paid $11.00 a month for seven months.

 -An eighteen-year-old Irish boy who drove and milked the cows, as well as doing other miscellaneous work, fozr $6.00 a month.


When Jones wrote to his son in November, he reported that it had been a good year. The crops of wheat, corn, and potatoes were good, but it was dairying that made the money. The farm produced 8,609 pounds of cheese, which Jones shipped to New York. He estimated that by the season’s end his twenty-seven cows would have given enough milk to make 10,000 pounds of cheese.

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