Thursday, April 28, 2011

Little House Farmer Boy Revue!

This book is about Almanzo Wilder growing up. He was born on Feburaury 13,1857 and he passed away on October 23, 1949 at the age of 92. He was raised in Malone, New York. He lived there with his Ma, Pa, brother Royal, sisters Eliza Jane and Alice.

His Ma and Pa had a big farm they had horses, cows, lambs, ox's and pigs. They also grew hay, oats, potatoes, corn, carrots, pumpkins, peas and beans.

Growing up they only had one pair of shoes to wear all year long. In the summer time Almanzo would walk around barefoot to save on his shoes. He also liked the feel of the grass under his feet.

Then at Christmas some of the family would come to the house on Christmas Day. You could here the bells on the horses coming down the driveway. Everyone was in there best clothes for the Holiday. They would all sit down to eat dinner and the adults would get there food first then the kids could get  there food. At the dinner table the kids are not to say a word unless an adult is talking to them. Then after dinner they opened there presents. After opening there presents the boys went outside to play and the girls had to stay inside.

In the winter time the only way they had to heat the house was a  wood burning stove downstairs. When the kids went to bed it was very cold upstairs in the bedrooms. It was so cold some days that the kids could see there breath in the air. They would hurry up and wrap up under there covers. In the morning they would hurry up and go downstairs by the wood stove to warm up.

On his 9th birthday Almanzo was able to stay home from school. But he still had to do his chores and he helped his Ma clean the house. For his birthday he got a yoke for the young ox and he also got a sled his Pa made both of them for him.

Then Spring came and it was time to plow the fields and plant them. All the kids had to help with the planting. Almanzo asked his Pa if he could plant a special pumpkin for the County Fair. While it was growing his Pa had an idea to help it grow bigger. He took a candle wick and make a slit in the stem put the wick in the slit and the other and of the wick was put in a bowl of milk. Also in the Spring his Pa had sold two of the young horses. When Pa had made the sale it was to late to go to town to put the money in the bank. Then they heard something by the door and they went to look there was a dog there. The dog would not leave the house and it was a good thing. Because during the night they heard the dog growling and in the morning Pa went outside and seen footprints the dog had chased someone away from the house. After that the dog never came back.

It was Independence Day and everyone put on there best clothes and went to town. The girls wore hoop skirts under there dresses. This made it hard for all the kids to get in the back of the buggy. When they got to town Pa dropped off Ma, Royal, Eliza Jane and Alice. Almanzo would go to the barn with Pa to help him unhitch the horses and feed them. There was a lot of booths with drinks and games. There was also a big cannon in the middle of town that would be shot off. Almanzo had asked his Pa for money to buy some lemonade and his Pa gave him a half dollar and said he could buy some lemonade or he could spend it wisely and buy a pig to raise.  So he bought himself a pig. 

During the summer all the kids would have to help keep the fields weeded. Almanzo had his pig he had to take care of besides all of his chores. Almanzo helped his Ma churn butter.

Then it was harvest time and all the kids had to help. They had all the hay, corn, oats and the vegetables. With the potatoes they would have wagon fulls to take to the house and put down a shoot. The hay and corn was taken to the barn. The vegetables were put in the basement. Everything had its place to be put at harvest time and each place was real full with the harvest.

Then it was County Fair time. This was a week long event. The day before the fair Pa took Almanzo with his pumpkin to get it registered. The day of the fair everyone put on there best clothes and went to town. On the third day of the fair the pumpkins were judged and Almanzo got 1st place for his pumpkin. On the way home that night Pa said the Wilder family did real good at the fair. Alice had gotten 1st place on her wool work, Eliza Jane had gotten a red ribbon for her jellies and Alice had gotten a blue ribbon for her jellies.

Then after the fair the older kids had to go away to a different school. This left Almanzo home alone with Ma and Pa. Also he had to do more chores because Royal was not there to help him anymore. Almanzo really missed the other kids because at lunch time it was just Ma, Pa and Almanzo. He was really close to Alice and he really missed her.

Almanzo had a job offer to make buggies and wagon with Mr. Paddock. Mr. Paddock had talked to Pa about Almanzo working for him because he had no children to take over his business. This was a real good offer for Almanzo but Ma did not like the idea of Almanzo working for other people. His brother Royal wants to have his own store some day. Pa asked Almanzo if he wanted to work for Mr. Paddock and Almanzo said he wanted to be like his Pa and work the farm. Almanzo loves to work with the animals and doing the planting.

This book really tells you a lot of Almanzo growing up. I really like this book. I hope everyone enjoys my revue on this book. I am sorry it has taken me awhile to write about his book. I was told that the Wilder's house and barn are still there and they still have the County Fair every year.


  1. Some links that may interest you:

    Almanzo Wilder Homestead
    The Franklin County Fair
    Facebook page for the First Congregational Church (where the Wilder Family went to church)

    Other notable info about Malone:
    Orville Gibson, founder of the Gibson Guitar Co. was born in nearby Chateaugay and is buried in Morningside Cemetery in Malone.
    Home of former US VP William Almon Wheeler (Wheeler served under Rutherford B. Hayes)
    Mobster Dutch Schultz moved to Malone and ingratiated himself with the local community to ensure that when arrested he would be put on trial there (instead of NYC). It worked. Schultz went on trial in Malone and was acquitted of all charges due to a very sympathetic jury.

  2. That is really interesting thank you so much for letting me know. I am also going to have to check those links out. I have started the next book so hopefully I will have that one on here very soon. Then I will have to go and buy the next one.

    I never knew that so many famous people lived in that town. Thank you for letting me know about that.

  3. One thing I noticed about Farmer Boy, I don't recall Almanzo's eldest sister, Laura, ever being mentioned. I do believe she was considerably older and had already moved out by the time Almanzo was a young boy which would explain her absence to some extent but I don't recall her even being mentioned. Was she estranged from the rest of the family? Or did Laura purposely leave her out of the book to avoid confusion (people confusing Almanzo's sister Laura Wilder with her-- Laura INGALLS Wilder). Considering her books were geared towards young adults I can see that being a legitimate concern.

  4. Perplexio- Almanzo's sister Laura was 13 yrs older than him. But while looking that up I also found out that his younger brother Perley Day was never mentioned in that book and he is 12 yrs younger then Almanzo. Why these two are never mentioned I don't know yet. I will let you know after I have read about it on Wikipedia. That is were I have found this all out for you.

    You have given me another idea to write a revue about Almanzo. I never knew he had an older sister until you told me. His sister Laura was 55 yrs old when she died.

  5. Well Eliza Jane was older as well but she was featured rather prominently in the book.

    I remember hearing about Perley growing up. One of Almanzo's cousins, Dorothy Smith, wrote a short book on the Wilders and was very actively campaigning to have his boyhood home restored to how it was when he lived there and opened as a museum. I met Ms. Smith once or twice. She came to speak at my school when I was in the 4th grade. Sadly she died a few years later. But she was a really nice lady and a wealth of information about her Wilder cousins. I believe her short book (actually I should probably refer to it as a pamphlet... it was really short, only about 25-30 pages or so) was where I first heard/read about Perley and Laura Wilder.

  6. Thank you for letting me know about that. I will have to look it up and see if I can find that. I may be able to see if Barnes and Noble have that. If I find that I will let you know.

    I bet it was really great to know someone like that.