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Farm Dad: 1939

Farm Dad: 1939

October 1939. "George Cleaver, new farmer on 177 acres, has five boys. The three older boys, ages 12, 16 and 18, are needed at home to develop the farm and do not go to school. Malheur County, Oregon." Photo by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Body language doesn't lie

And theirs, along with their relaxed and happy facial expressions, bespeaks a close relationship. Maybe money was tight, but they were successful in ways that we could use more of today.

School Days

I never forget back when I was in grammer school back in the 50s students who lived on a farm were excused from school during the fall to help with the crops which were an all hand evolution before all the big mechanical harvesters. Don't try that now.

["Grammer" school! - Dave]

With 7 you get eggroll

Per the 1940 Census, the family was a bit larger. There was also a first born daughter, Georgia Ruth Cleaver Elliot (born 1917), who evidently didn't move west with the family, remaining in Missouri.

Large families were popular with the Cleavers. The eldest son, Lester (1918-1998), also farmed. As of 2016 when his widow Virginia died, there was a family left behind of 10 children, 38 grandchildren, 100 great grandchildren and 18 great great grandchildren.

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