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August 06, 2014
Pack Family Century Farm
Lloyd and Grace Pack first purchased 120 acres of land in North Hero Township in 1914
WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Lloyd L. Pack was born in Sip, KY in 1888. Three months later Grace E. Wessling was born in Paton, IA. They were married in Paton, IA on Feb. 8, 1910. After farming in Iowa they moved to Walnut Grove, MN. In February, 1914 Lloyd bought 120 acres of land northeast of Walnut Grove in North Hero Township from John and Mary Lamm for $12,000.
Lloyd later purchased 80 acres of adjoining land to the east of the house. He was a hard working, diversified farmer with exemplary ethics. He raised Shorthorn and Hereford cattle, hogs, sheep, and chickens. He grew corn, oats, hay, flax and wheat. Lloyd served on many boards, including the Rural Electric Association. As a result the Packs were one of the first to have electricity at their farm. Lloyd and Grace were the parents of six children: Wendelena Sanderson, Genevieve DeCourcy, Lolita Gremmert, Violet Koehler, Warren Pack, and Clifford Pack.
The present farm house was built in 1939. While the new house was being built the family lived in the garage. Original outbuildings on the farm included a barn, wooden silo, two machine sheds, cattle shed, and chicken house. The large brick cattle shed was blown down in a wind storm in 1997. Several other aging buildings were taken down through the years. For many years there was a large apple orchard on the north section of the farm, but gradually the trees grew old and were not replaced.
In 1949 Lloyd and Grace purchased 80 acres of land on the western edge of Walnut Grove and moved into town. Clifford and Melba (Brass) Pack married in 1948 and then moved to the family farm in 1949. Clifford and Warren farmed together several years until they began farming independently. After his father's death, Clifford purchased the family farm from his mother and siblings. Clifford continued to be a diversified farmer, growing corn, beans, oats, flax and hay. He also took pride in feeding cattle and hogs while Melba raised chickens. In addition to farming, Clifford drove school bus and the North Hero snowplow, as well as being a driver for Anderson Trucking and Tate Trucking.
Clifford and Melba are parents of four children who were raised on the family farm: Cheryl (James) Jacobson of Pipestone, Candyce (Robert) Sowers of Benson, Bryce (Deb) Pack of Lamberton, and Todd (Debi) Pack of St. Cloud. The Clifford Pack family includes 14 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren.
Clifford and Melba purchased and moved to a home in Walnut Grove in 1973. Daughter Cheryl and husband James Jacobson lived in the farm house from 1973-1976. James Anderson has farmed the land since 1980 and the house continues to have renters.
Redwood County Courthouse documents show century ownership of the Pack family farm as follows: Lloyd L. Pack from Feb. 1914 to Aug. 1951 (died Aug 17, 1951);
Grace E. Pack and their six children from Aug. 1951 to May 1952 (includes ownership overlap with Clifford while in probate);
Clifford L. Pack from April 1952 to Sept. 1990 (Grace died Jan 31, 1963);
Clifford L. Pack, Melba F. Pack, and their four children from Sept. 1990-May 2002;
Melba F. Pack and children since Cliff's death on May 9, 2002.
“I was a city girl from Worthington and said I was never going to marry a farmer. How wonderfully lucky it didn't turn out that way” said Melba. “What an honor it is to represent the entire Pack family on this 100-year milestone.”
Melba and most of her family were at the Redwood County Fair on July 26 as the Lloyd L. Pack and Clifford L. Pack Farm was one of five Redwood County farms honored as a Minnesota Century Farm. Melba Pack was presented with a commemorative plaque and certificate. The recognition is sponsored by the Minnesota State Fair and Minnesota Farm Bureau.
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