- Associated Press - Sunday, April 23, 2017

IDAVILLE, Ind. (AP) - Covering roughly 80 acres near the town of Idaville, there sits a tiny piece of heaven for Perry Godlove.

The rural White County farm has been in the Godlove family for over 150 years, and it’ll be in the family 150 more if Perry has anything to say about it.

It all began in 1863, when his great-grandfather, also named Perry, left his home in Delaware County, Indiana, to homestead in rural White County. The elder Perry bought 640 acres and eventually raised seven children and 90 head of cattle on the land. Through the years, the farmland began to shrink, divided up among his seven children until each child owned 70 to 80 acres.

“Somehow this stayed in the Godlove name,” the younger Perry said, referring to his farmland that he shares with his wife, Louise.

And just like a precious heirloom passed down through the generations, the Godlove farm has been a constant now for 154 years. From great-grandfather to great uncle, from great uncle to father, from father to son.

Just recently, the Godlove family received a Hoosier Homestead award from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. The award honors Indiana farms that have stayed in one particular family for 100, 150 or 200 years. A few years ago, the Godlove farm was recognized as a centennial Hoosier Homestead. Earlier this year, they were awarded for their sesquicentennial. Family members all went down to Indianapolis to receive the honor.

“That was a terrific day,” Perry said, smiling at the memory.

Perry was in his late 20s when his father, Charles, took ownership of the farm in 1959, but he said he did have fond memories of visiting the farm when he was a boy. Perry’s children - Deb, Steve and Sue - have their own fond childhood memories too.

“That’s all I really knew was the farming game,” Steve, 54, said. “When I got old enough, well up into my teens, that’s all we did. Come planting time, we’d all gather together and go get the crop in. Come harvest, the family would all work together and get that all in. That’s just all I knew at the time.”

Deb, 60, is Perry and Louise’s oldest daughter, and she said that while life on a farm can be an exciting adventure, it can also come with some drawbacks.

“As a teenager, it wasn’t fun because we lived too far from town, but my experiences were about like Steve’s,” she said. “We picked up rocks and took the weed hook out in the fields. We even used to haul dinner to the fields and eat supper with Dad. That’s how we saw Dad in the spring and in the fall was we took supper to the field.”

Those memories are just a little piece of Americana that’s often lost these days in the hustle and bustle of large farming operations.

“It’s sort of sad, isn’t it?” Steve said, referring to the change from small family farms to bigger conglomerations. “It changed from real families to corporations, and that kind of loses the personal touch in my opinion. We were called a small family farm, and for many years that started going by the wayside. It’s almost non-existent anymore, and that to me is sort of sad.”

Perry agreed, saying it’s the little things that he misses.

“We used to work with our neighbors,” he said. “We had a thresher, and 10 to 12 farmers all worked together from farm to farm. Now, we don’t even know our neighbors.”

In the mid-1980s, Perry Godlove got out of full-time farming, mostly, he says, because it made more sense financially. But just like it was in the farming days, it’s still all about family for him.

“We bought an old gasoline truck and started hauling septic tanks. Steve is the general manager. Deb is the office manager. Our granddaughter is the receptionist. Steve’s son is the technician,” he said, smiling.

But the 85-year-old still misses those farming days, saying that that part of his life will always be with him. And so will the farm itself.

“It’s home,” he said. “I guess that covers it. It’s just where I belong.”


Source: (Logansport) Pharos-Tribune, https://bit.ly/2pxVGKt


Information from: Pharos-Tribune, https://www.pharostribune.com

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