VIDEO: Rick Poppitz, kcvideo.com
Special to The Gardner News
March 3, 2014 – In June of 2014 , the McCarthy family farm in Edgerton will be 150 years old. John McCarthy (1812-1887) immigrated from Ireland in 1857 and settled in the Edgerton area. In 1864 he purchased the property that the McCarthy family has farmed and lived on continuously to the present day. The family has several cherished heirlooms, such as a walking stick which John brought with him from Ireland, a property deed with Abraham Lincolns authorization on it and a branding iron that was used in the 1880’s.
Neal McCarthy took over the farm from his father after returning from service in WW2, tending to hogs, cattle and crops. Neal and his wife Joan were married in 1950 and raised eight children on the farm. All of the children attended Edgerton schools and Neal served on the school board for a number of years. Some of the children went on the college and two daughters have become school teachers. Their son Bob tends to the farm today.
According to Joan, the farming life depends on the elements and has good days and bad days, but they had more good days than bad. She says her kids all learned to work early in life and that has paid off for them in adulthood. Joan has enjoyed living in a small town community and says it “served as a support system for all of us”. She feels blessed to have had many wonderful friends and neighbors.
Congratulations to the McCarthy family on the 150th anniversary of their farm. We appreciate and respect for all the generations of McCarthy’s who for so long have cared for the land and have been contributing citizens of Edgerton.