RobbHaas Family Pages
Union Township, Delaware County, Indiana
|Home||Walt & Norma Robbins Family||Residences Index||Sources||Images|
|Baler Purchased 
Birthing of Baby Pigs 
Bath Time and New Bathroom [003-003]
Corn Picker, New John Deere 
Financial Records 
Interview with Walter C. Robbins, Sr., 22 Sept 2005 - S2,
Land Purchase Timetable - S6,
Norma Becomes a Farmer [003-004]
Out House [003-002]
Postcards addressed to family while living on this farm - Link (See Index/110-acre farm)
Well Pit [003-001]
|Union Township, Delaware County, Indiana|
|County Rd 1270N (Present day), east of CR175W and west of CR100W|
|Coordinates: 40°22'28.01”N 85°25'05.56”W|
|Address: RR ?, Muncie, Indiana - Phone Number was a Gaston Exchange (Party Line)|
|Maps: Google Custom Map | 1860's Plat maps - S8, | 1957 Plat Book - S1, ||
|Property Layout | House Floor Plan ||
| Occupants - 1952 - 1958|
|Walter C. Robbins, Sr., ID0005 | Norma L. Haas Robbins, ID0006|
|Walt Robbins, Jr., ID0001 | Phillip E. Robbins, ID0007 | Living, ID0013|
| Notes -|
|This farm had 110 acres and was a big step up and offered the opportunity for a larger
farming operation for that time period. It was
located on Delaware County Road 1270N which was gravel at that time.
When purchased in 1953, it had a house that sat on the south side of the road along with a workshop building that had a basement. Also on the south side was a fenced in wooded area that had a small metal grain bin and a large chicken house where several chickens as well as some ducks roamed the area.
On the north side of the road was the large barn, a granary and an outbuilding to the east. To the north of the barn at the end of a lane was a large building that had been used to house farm workers when the farm raised tomatoes. The Robbins family used this building to house the large herd of hogs being raised. Walter purchased fresh sawn oak lumber and built the stalls and birthing areas in this building. There was a small woods of probably about 10 acres on the northwest corner of the property.
The northern property line was on the Delaware-Blackford County line. The western property line adjoined the farm of Oscar and Grace. Walter, still working in the factory at night, farmed both his 110-acre farm and that of his father as well. Oscar’s farm was a 250 acre farm but contained a large woods that cut down on the tillable land.
The family raised beef cattle and milk cows. Black Angus cattle were the choice of Walter and they were beautiful animals. Corn, soybeans and some oats and wheat were raised. For the time period we had all the finest of equipment – tractors, combine, hay baler, plows, discs, etc.
This house was another of houses that did not have a
bathroom. This home, however, did have a water supply other than a pitcher
pump. It had a large well pit just outside the kitchen door. This pit was
covered and contained the well and the water pump. The water was piped into
the kitchen sink. There was only cold water. Any hot water that was either
wanted or needed had to be heated on the wood heating stove in the kitchen.
Walter updated the kitchen by installing a water heater and
later new kitchen cabinets and sink in Oct 1956.
S7 page 68. He updated the kitchen by
first fixing the the drooping ceiling - it probably drooped
6 or 8 inches in some places. He put in new ceiling joists
and jacked up the ceiling to make it all level and put in a
new ceiling. S2,
The house consisted of a living room, kitchen, enclosed back porch, one bedroom downstairs and 3 rooms upstairs plus an attic. The heat was provided by an oil stove located in the living room. Above the oil stove in the ceiling was a vent to the upstairs which provided the only heat to reach the upstairs rooms. Take it from someone who attempted to sleep in these rooms during the winter months; the heat from this source was sparse at best. Mostly the upstairs was sealed off during the winter months.
It was at this house that the kids would take bricks wrapped in a towel to bed to keep their feet warm. These bricks had been heated on the wood stove and after being covered would retain their heat for a little bit.
[003-002] Out House: Before a bathroom was installed the family had to make the long trek out to the outhouse which was located behind the house. This was not a fun experience especially in the winter time when the wind was blowing. Another exciting part of owning an outhouse was that the pit underneath it had to be cleaned out. This was an adventure that was always done during the warmer months so one could truly appreciate the aromas produced in the process.
[003-003] Bath time was not as it is today back in the good ole days either. This was usually taken care of on a Sunday evening and took place in the kitchen. The large galvanized tub was placed close to the wood stove and water was heated in a kettle and poured into the tub. The kids would take their baths probably in the same water. Because this was such a job baths were not taken on a frequent basis. The bathroom was added in 1954 - S4 Page 13, pdf, 15 - Originally it only had a stool sitting out in the middle of the room with no walls. He put walls around it and finished the bathroom adding a tub with shower and a sink and ran water to the bathroom. The bathroom was in the northeast corner of the kitchen. What a wonderful change to get to take a shower instead of the weekly bath in the kitchen. S2, I remember Dad teaching us boys how to take what he called an "Army Shower" - you didn't use a wash cloth but used the bar of soap to rub all over your body and then used you hands to work the soap into your skin.
[003-004] Norma Becomes a Farmer: This is the farm where Norma REALLY learned the ropes of being a farm wife. Since Walter worked at the factory at night, it fell on her to be in charge of things while he was gone. Naturally, a big share of the problems that arose on the farm took place while he was gone. One of the worst events was when the herd of milk cows (about 10) broke into the granary and ate their fill of soybeans. The beans swelled up in their stomachs and could not be expelled. The local vet, Dr. Hyde from Hartford City, had to come out and operated on the cows to relieve the pressure. The operations were done in our barn and the odor was terrible. Mostly, the kids stayed on the south side of the road after having made one trip over to see what was going on. Norma and the poor vet had to endure this and it is a wonder either of them made it through without becoming violently ill. Most of the cows died and dad had them made into hamburger. We had so much hamburger "we had hamburger out our ears." We had a fellow painting the barn - he worked with dad at Chevrolet. Instead of money dad gave him 200 pounds of hamburger as payment. He took the hamburger and forgot about it or something and it all spoiled - so he ended up painting the barn for nothing. S2,
We also had, at one point, about 60 head of Black Angus beef cattle - they were beautiful animals. S2,
Walter became ill and was not able to continue running the farm. It was decided to sell the farm and move to a smaller place (Stoney Haven Motel) with less physical work to be done.
A large sale was held on 7 Nov 1958 to sell all of the farm equipment, tools, cattle and horses. S3, The farm itself had not yet been sold but did sell a short time later.
When we lived on the 110-acre farm we had some horses. Dad bought a horse for both Phil and I from a local Horse breeder. It was rumored that these horses had come from the western states. The horse purchased for Phil was a female which he named Trigger. Trigger had a wide beam and looked more like a small work horse than a riding horse. My horse was a white gelding who was rather wild in my opinion. I named him Sliver which is a play on words. At this time the TV show "The Lone Ranger" was showing his horse which was a white stallion, was named Silver. I did not want to be seen as a copy-cat so I changed the name a bit. Sliver evidently had been trained that when you put your foot in the stirrup that he would began to move forward quickly. We tried several things to keep him from doing this but nothing seemed to help. He also liked to run fast and would try his hardest to get rid of his rider. I was thrown from him several times and luckily was never hurt in any of these mishaps. I was scared of this horse and actually most all horses because they were so big and unpredictable.
We also had a small horse named Scout that needed some training when we got her so we would ride her down the road to the end of the road and back to the barn. We did this over and over and in time she settled down and was a nice horse. Dad decided to sell her to a neighbor (Melvin Rogers) who lived behind us. He came to get Scout and was going to ride her home. He took off down the road and was soon back in the barn lot. Scout had it in her head that she was only supposed to go to the end of that road and then had to come back to the barn. He ended up leading her home.
We had a pony named Bill as well. He was a nasty little thing. He was cute and had a matching saddle, bridle, reins, etc. but he had a bad attitude and wanted to bite and kick you rather than let you ride him.
When we sold the 110-acre farm and had the farm sale on Friday 7 Nov 1958, the thing that stands out in my mind is that my horse Sliver or Trigger did not sell and was about the only thing that did not sell. The sale was well attended and most everything but the horses were sold that day and people came for a week or so after to pick up some of the equipment, etc. We had already moved to the Stoney Haven Motel well before the sale.
See Images I-13 to I-17 below
- Farm Accounting Record Book, 1954 - S4,
- Farm Journal 1953, 1954, 1956 and 1957
- Misc. Financial Papers relating to the farm - S5,
 New Hay Baler Purchased -
20 June 1954 - S4 Page 9, pdf, 11 -
This was a brand new McCormick #45 PTO (Power Take Off) baler. It had a bale chute and a wagon hitch on the back. The cost was $1400.00 and this was the first piece of new equipment Walter had purchased for the farm. I remember it well - it was red - it hooked to the hitch on the tractor and the PTO hooked to the tractor which is what provided the power for the baler to operate. A flat wagon would be attached to the back of the baler. In operation out in the field the baler would draw the dried hay up into the mechanism and would turn the hay into an oblong bale of hay which it would tie up with baler twine and spit the finished bale up the chute on the back which extended over the front of the wagon. The men on the wagon would grab the bales and stack them on the wagon until it was full. Once full it would be unhooked and another wagon would be attached. The full wagon would be taken to the barn and the bales would be put into the haymow for storage. Video of the baling process using an IH tractor, McCormick baler and the wagon - Link
(The images below are NOT of the actual baler but images of a baler like they one we owned)
Tractor, baler and wagon in operation The McCormick #45 Baler
New John Deere Corn Picker purchased - Down payment of $200.00 -
S7 PDF page 68,
Previously the corn picker was a 1 row unit that was pulled behind the tractor with a wagon hooked behind that to hold the corn as it was picked. The new picker was a brand new John Deere two-row model that mounted on the tractor. Dad would mount it probably on the IH "H" tractor with a wagon being pulled behind. Video of a similar unit in operation.
 Birthing of
Dad had purchased rough-sawn oak lumber that he used to construct the birthing pens in the large building to the north of the barn. There were probably 10 or 12 of these spaces in the building along each side with an aisle down the middle. The wood for these stalls came from logs out of the woods on the property. Dad hauled the logs to a saw mill in Matthews or Hartford City to have them cut into lumber. It was rough sawn oak and very hard. Dad bought a heavy duty 1/2" drill and a portable circular saw when he built these stalls and has these tools to this day. The hog house had a cement floor. The previous owner (Mr. Tatman) had been a tomato farmer and had built and used this building for something to do with the tomatoes but dad could not remember for what purpose. S2,
There was no heat in this building. Naturally, this process took place in January or February when it was the coldest. I well remember that I got the job of babysitting these sows and freezing my tail off. When it came time for the birthing process to begin we would spread straw on the floor of each of the birthing pens. We would then bring the sows into the building and put each one in a separate pen. We had a heat lamp over each pen to provide heat for the newly born pigs to aid in the drying process.
When it was time the sow would lay down and begin the birthing process. After the birth of each little pig we would move it out of the way with a long pole so that when the mother would turn over, as she tended to do after each birth, she would not smash the little guy. Once she was finished delivering all her piglets she would expel the afterbirth. As soon as that process was complete we would use a hay fork to remove it from the birthing pen and dispose of it so the sow would not eat it. As I recall dad telling us that if they did eat the afterbirth there was a good chance they might also eat their young.
We watched over the sows and their young for a long period after the births were complete to make sure they were all nursing and to see if there was anything wrong with any of the piglets or the sows that needed attention.
We raised around 200 head of hogs each year. We had them at our farm and also down at Grandpa Robbins' farm. Dad raised them at both places. S2,
 Property Transfer Notice, 19 March 1955 - S9,
- Probably when Walt & Norma paid off Paul Tatman because the farm was purchased before this date.
|S1||Delaware County Indiana
Official Farm Plat Book and Directory (Madison, Wisconsin:
County Plat and Directory Co., Inc., nd ); Bk3332/Doc4710-001.pdf,
page 33, 43.
Page 7 - Delaware County Map showing Townships
Page 12 - : The ad for WLBC Radio - they state they have been serving the farm home for 31 years and they were established in 1926
Page 33 - : Section 11, north of Eaton - Shows 26 acres belonging to "L. B." [Leo Bettinger]
Section 7 & 8 Show the relationship of the Farms of Walter, Oscar and Milton Robbins
Page 43 - : Robbins, W [Walter] - Muncie, Union (Owner) and Eaton, Union (Renter)
Robbins, M [Milton] - Muncie, Union (Owner)
No listing for Oscar Robbins
Note: I estimated the publication date from page 12 - the ad for WLBC Radio - they state they have been serving the farm home for 31 years and they were established in 1926.
|S2||Interview with Walter Clifton
Robbins, by Walter Clifton Robbins, Jr., 22 Sept 2005,
|S3||110-Acre Farm Sale
Documents. Walter C. Robbins Family, 7 Nov 1958. Acc000180/Doc1136,
1] Original Sale Ad (7 Nov 1958)
2] Ad receipt - Evening News-Banner $27.00
3] Ad List, 7 Nov 1958 - $210.58
4] Ad Receipt - Muncie Newspapers - $56
5] Ad Receipt - Commercial - review - $16.94
6] Ad Receipt - The Buyers Guide - $2.50
7] Cash Register tape - $210.58 (Goes with #3)
8] Ad receipt - Bluffton Printery - $15.74
9] Ad receipt - The Chronicle (Marion) - $72.00
10] Ad receipt - Hartford City News-Times - $20.40
Ear Corn Sales receipts - Nov 1958 - Farm Sale - Doc1137.pdf
Farm Sale Ads: (Doc4172.pdf) S10,
The Classified Ads appeared in the Muncie Star on the following dates:
11 Oct 1958 Link,
14 Oct 1958 - Link,
22 Oct 1958 - Link
23 Oct 1958 Link
24 Oct 1958 Link
25 Oct 1958 - Link,
27 Oct 1958 - Link,
|S4||Book: Farm Accounting Record Book, 1954. , Walter & Norma
|S5||Financial Records related to 110-acre farm
|S6||Research: Land Purchase Timetable Research.
Walter C. and Norma Haas Robbins, 1948-1958. Acc002365
|S7||Financial Record: Farm Journal. Walt & Norma Haas Robbins, 1953-1957, 110-acre Farm, Union Township, Delaware County, Indiana. Acc002909/Doc1862.pdf|
|S8||Hand-drawn Plat Maps, Union Township, Delaware
County, Indiana: (BSU Bracken Library)
110-acre farm located in Sec. 8, upper left corner of maps
- 1861 -
- 1862 -
- 1863 -
- 1865 -
Newspaper Article: "City and County Statistics, Real Estate Transfer" Walt Robbins, The Muncie Star, 19 March 1955, page 3, Col. 4. www.newspapers.com, accessed 11 March 2017. Doc4167.pdf
City and County Statistics/ Real Estate Transfers
Paul R. Tatman, et. ux., to Walter C. Robbins, et. us., 110.47 acres in section 8 Union Township. Four miles northwest of Eaton.
Newspaper Articles: "Coming Auction Sales" The Muncie Star (Muncie, Indiana), Classified ads: 11, 14, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28 Oct 1958, Display Auction Ad: 6 Nov 1958, page 36, Col. 7 & 8. www.newspapers.com, accessed 25 March 2017. Doc4172.pdf
Classified Ad Sample: 11 Oct 1958 Link,
Display Ad: 6 Nov 1958 - Full Sale Ad - Link,
|Images Click Thumbnails for larger Images - Higher Res Versions Available for most Images - Contact Me Photo Album|
Granary - Barn
silo of Oscar Robbins
Hog House - Trigger
|West side of House, Looking north||
Looking west from front yard
barn/silo belongs to Oscar/Grace Robbins Farm
|Cows - Horses
Silo in distance farm of
Oscar & Grace Robbins
Barn - Gasoline Tank,
28 Sept 2014
28 Sept 2014
28 Sept 2014
|1986, Looking East||1986, Looking West||Barn,
Gas Tank - Hay Mow
Walt, Jr. and Phil
|Barn, Gas Tank, Granary
|Sliver & Billy||Janet
110-acre front yard
|Phil holding Sliver Horse
| Photo shows the east end of the barn which was used as storage then the gas tank used to fuel the tractors and vehicles, Scout, The little patch of white to the left of the old building is the corner of the hog house - then the granary - Next to the barn at the left is the manure spreader.|
|Grain Bin, Chicken House
South of house
|Walt, Jr - Phil, abt 1957
Building in background, located
East of Barn and Granary