In 1945 my paternal grandfather departed this vail of tears. The probate document filed for his estate the next year provides a financial glimpse of life on a South Dakota farm in the mid-1940s.
This was a time of low productivity with all the members of a large family working all day every day to keep the farm running.
Farmers were starting to transition from horse power to tractor power.
It was also a time of self-sufficiency: Raising the oats and hay to feed the horses to work the fields to raise the corn and hay to feed the pigs and cows to sell for money to pay for the farm.
I will use my accountant eyes to see what can be learned from just a probate filing.
Discussion in this series:
- Glimpse into economic life on a farm in 1945, provided by probate documents – part 1
- Cash transactions listed in 1945 probate filing – part 3
- Cash-based income statement of farm in 1945/1946 – part 4
- Prices of farm animals in 1945 – part 2
- First estimate of value of my grandfather’s estate at close of probate