Meier family farm—no regrets about buying big farm in Maries County

By Laura Schiermeier, Staff Writer
Posted 11/3/21

When Bob and Judy Meier got married in September of 1957, he told her he wanted to be a farmer one day. 

Both of his parents were raised on farms in St. Charles County. Then the Great …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Meier family farm—no regrets about buying big farm in Maries County

Posted

When Bob and Judy Meier got married in September of 1957, he told her he wanted to be a farmer one day. 

Both of his parents were raised on farms in St. Charles County. Then the Great Depression moved in and in 1936 Meier’s family moved to Kirkwood. His father didn’t want to be a farmer. He wanted to be a businessman so he got a job with a truck line. Before that he was the postmaster in Wentzville. In those days being a postmaster was a political job. So when Roosevelt became president, his dad, being a republican, lost his postmaster job. Meier graduated from Kirkwood High School. 

His dad was raised on a 120 acre farm but it was hard to make a living at it. He had a twin brother, and together they both left the farm when they were 16 years old; one got a job at a mercantile and the other got a job driving a doctor to his house calls. 

Meier’s love of farming was from going with his mother to her family’s farm. August was tomato month and his mother would go back to her home place to do the canning. This was during the 1940s. Meier was born in Sept. 1933. He’s currently 88 years old. He also would stay the Christmas break from school with his paternal grandfather on a farm where the rabbits were thick. He could earn 25 to 50 cents per rabbit, which were not skinned, just gutted and hung on a clothes line to freeze. People wanted the rabbit to keep its furry coat because otherwise, some unscrupulous people would try to sell them a skinned cat instead of a rabbit. This was at a time when there was no electricity but they got it in 1949. He also helped bring in the corn, which was picked by hand and shucked. They used horses to pull a wagon down the rows. The horses were trained and when they would holler, “Hey,” the horses would move a little further along. 

Bob and Judy worked hard. He was a roofer when the work conditions were so hard nobody now days would do it. They had the 120 acre farm but couldn’t make a living with it so he roofed for 25 years until his back gave out. Judy worked in Crestwood. 

When it was time to take up farming, they associated with two real estate companies, Strout and United Farm Agency. There was a catalog of all the farms for sale all over America. It was in this catalog they saw a listing by Dixon real estate agent, Arnold Bassett. The Meiers came and looked at the 756 acre farm near Brinktown several times before they bought it in 1974. 

The barn on the Meier farm is the October featured barn on Collector Jayne Williams Maries County Historic Barns Calendar for 2021. It’s a very nice fall photo of this barn, which was built in 1952. Williams said she admired the barn and also how well the farm was taken care of by Bob Meier. When she was there he was on a four-wheeler taking care of things. 

Meier said his wife Judy was a city girl through and through. But that didn’t stop her and “she took right to farming,” he said. She ran the tractor and baler. She loved to fish. He added another 40 acres to the farm, so it’s nearly 800 acres now. Some 350 acres are open and 400 are in timber. 

“I love that farm,” he said. “I’ve no regrets about buying it.”

Meier ran cattle on it and had a hay crop. They made improvements along the way, putting in four good ponds which he dug. 

It’s an old farm which was at one time was owned by Ignaz Bremer (1844-1916) of Brinktown, who immigrated to America in 1869. It was Ignaz’s grandson, Henry Bremer, who had the barn built in 1952. Floyd Rowden poured the foundation and Joe Baker built the barn. There are no center supports. Bob did some maintenance on the barn, putting tin over the outside to keep the rain and the subsequent rot at bay. Some boards needed to be replaced on the floor of the loft. The barn is on a concrete foundation. The barn continues to be used for agriculture activities as they work cattle in it. 

The farm house he lives in is 100 years old. Bob says when they moved to Maries County the farm house looked like something out of the 1880s. There was an older log house on the farm that he gave away. It would be worth some money today but at the time he just wanted rid of it. He gave it to a guy who took it apart and hauled it off. He said he was putting it up on a bluff on the Missouri River. That guy was supposed to send him a photo of the finished log house, but he never did. There were about eight other old buildings on the farm that they tore down. 

Meier thinks the reason the original settlers chose this site for the home place is because there is a spring there. The farm house was built in about 1920. It’s a two-story with four bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs. It needed some renovations. Herb Stratman’s crew, which included George Stratman, did the work, They redid the kitchen, bathroom and all the rooms downstairs. The home’s only heat source is an inside wood stove. There still is no heat upstairs and no air conditioning in the home at all. Bob said he used to joke that he and Raymond Wyss were the only men around who lived without air conditioning. 

When he and Judy moved to the Vienna/Brinktown area farm, their son Bob was in 8th grade and son Bill was in 2nd grade. His oldest son wanted to stay where they were in the St. Louis area because he wanted to play football, which there was not a school team for in Vienna. Meier said if his son Bob was asked if he regretted moving to Vienna, he probably would say he doesn’t have any regrets. The sons liked farming, too, and Bob raised some hogs. Bill currently raises cattle on the Meier family farm. 

Meier is proud of the history of his farm. He has the abstract detailing all kinds of interesting things about the farm and its former owners. Two of the land grants were signed by President Tyler and President Lincoln, respectively. He said the guys who came to this part of Missouri from eastern seaboard states thought on land like this they could pick up a rock and find good dirt beneath. What they found instead under the rock was a little bit of topsoil and a lot more rocks. They left. Bremer got one parcel of land on the farm for $23 in back taxes. 

Bob Meier likes his nice farm in Maries County. He hopes the farm can stay in the Meier family. 

These days Bill does the cattle farming and Meier “fools around on the farm,” fixing fence and he still cuts his own wood to heat his home. Over the years he has cut a lot of wood. His sons help him when needed and his two daughters-in-law, Lisa and Julie, take good care of him. Among the nice things they do for him is they make him good food.

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here