Jeff and Sue Stangler of rural Waterville have a safe full of interesting paperwork which go back more than 150 years.
The papers include the original deeds of their current farm, which was recently recognized as a Century Farm and a Sesquicentennial Farm by Farm Bureau and the Minnesota State Fair.
Among the items is the original deed of the farm which was owned by Edward and Rosa Stangler in 1871 through 1890. The property may have been owned even earlier by the Stangler family, according to Jeff, who said it was sold a couple of times during the 1800s between Stanglers and others with it finally remaining a Stangler farm starting in 1871.
“I have all the original deeds going back to the 1870s,” Jeff said. “Those papers are old!”
The history of the Stangler farm, which Jeff and Sue have owned since 1984, shows five different owners in the past 152 years.
The 80 acre property located at 50906 175th Avenue was originally purchased for $1,700 from William Thorow. A portion of the original home built at this site is still standing.
Jeff’s grandparents, Leslie and Theresa Stangler, built an addition on this home and two more additions were made by Jeff and Sue. But a portion of the home is still the same as 150+ years ago.
The farm transitioned from horses for fieldwork to gas powered tractors in 1936 (dust bowl years) when the horses came down with sleeping sickness. That period was right in the middle of the Great Depression. Also the farm did not have electricity put in until the mid to late 1940s.
During World War II time the farm...
To see more on this story pick up the August 24, 2023 print edition of the LifeEnterprise paper.