Visit to Isaac’s Farm in 1984

During a visit to Isaac’s farm in 1984,  Keith Dorrance Rowe (1924-2010), the owner at the time, gave me a tour of the farmhouse.  After the tour, Mr. Rowe stated that his father purchased the farm from Isaac.  When I remarked about the two stairways, he told me that Isaac decided who would use which stairway.  It was done “to maintain decorum” in the home.

Side View of the Farmhouse
Side View of the Farmhouse in 1984


Isaac had a new farmhouse built in 1879. [1]  It had three bedrooms on the second floor.  There was a stairway leading from the back bedroom down to the kitchen.  The girls used this stairway.  Isaac, Margaret, and the boys used the front stairway.   Note that there was no bathroom in the home.  They had an outhouse.

[1] Letter from Duane Tadlock, Mayor of Wellman, Iowa, dated March 17, 1984

Inside Isaac's Farmhouse
Inside Isaac’s Farmhouse (original design)
Isaac Newton Carr's Farmhouse
Isaac Newton Carr’s Farmhouse in 1984


January 13, 1879

Monday, January 13th     A sad sad day    We buried little Ezra in the grave yard by fathers [1]   Mr Thomas preached the funeral sermon & many of our neighbors came to pay a last tribute of respect to our little dead boy We started from here about 11 am & got back between 2 & 3   Clara Hicks & Mag Carris & Wm Carris took dinner with us & then they went home   Father will stay with us a few days  Our hired girl came back before daylight   A warm & pleasant day & the sledding is good

The diphtheria epidemic continued from 1878 to 1880 in the Midwest.  There was no known remedy at the time.

[1] The cemetery is located on Harvey Taylor’s farm land.

January 12, 1879

Sunday, Jan 12th, 1879    A sad lonely day   Our little boy lay dead in the house & our thoughts were on him all the time    Amanda took a little waist[1] home & washed & done it up & Roy went after it   Vic brought the coffin toward night   Mr & Mrs Kindle came & stayed all day   Also Stephen Leighton & at night Wm Carris & Hicks   Holden & Laura & Stephen Leighton came to stay all night with us   A pleasant warm day

[1] Possibly a shorter term for waistcoat