Appleton Century Farm
O'Brien County, Iowa
Century Family Farm
In 1908. C.L. (Clarence LeRoy) and Maud Watson Appleton purchased 160 acres of farmland, the southwest quarter of section 4 in Summit Township of O’Brien County, Iowa. They built a square frame house and a horse barn in that year. Their family consisted of 2 girls and 2 boys. Iris (Paul Hoy) and Angie (Fred Thornton), followed by Cletus (died in infancy) and Richard Robert, better known as Bob, were CL’s and Maud’s family.
Bob was united in marriage to Dorothy Adeline Davis on May 25, 1937. They farmed this land and utilized livestock in the operation. A milking Shorthorn herd, farrow to finish swine and chickens were the main staples of the farm at the time. In the early 1950’s the barn was remodeled for beef cattle finishing and were fattened for market in Sioux City. Bob and Dorothy had two sons, Norman Clair and Lowell Dean. Bob farmed the land through 1979 and helped Lowell get started farming in 1980.
Lowell was united in marriage to Karen Carstensen Appleton in 1980 and they continued farming the land until present. In the 1980’s swine were farrowed and finished in the older facilities and both Karen and Lowell also worked off the farm as an educator and accountant respectively. Lowell and Karen were blessed with 3 daughters, Elizabeth Ann (Sean Peterson), Abigail Marie (Halston Williams) and Amalie Victoria (Gavin Guldenpfennig), none of whom see farming in their future.
Many changes have occurred in the last century of this farm. The barn was struck by lightning in 1998 and burned. Machine sheds, grain bins, corn cribs and swine barns have been built and later “retired”. The original house is now located in the town of Sanborn as a new house was built in the early 1990’s.
Today, conservation efforts have changed the tillage practices on this land. Cover crops and minimum tillage are utilized with the hope that the land will be improved and sustainable for many years and generations of our family to come.Corn to Whiskey