22 September 2015

Selling off the farm

Years of hard work, good seasons and bad, little or abundant rain, dusty dry paddocks or golden fields of grain are the lot of the South Australian farmer in the lower mid-north region. How difficult then must it be to sell the land where one has worked and toiled for many years? In tough years a clearing sale may bring in some needed cash.

In March of 1933, a successful clearing sale held on my grandfather's farm at Alma could have helped them weather the world wide depression afflicting business, industry and indeed the farming communities.

We see from this article that 13 valuable horses, essential on a farm in these years, were sold. It is worth noting that "there was a good attendance from local and surrounding districts" Some folks were probably looking for bargains but we can hope there were others there to support the family in their time of need.

1933 'STOCK MARKET REPORTS.', Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954),
16 March, p. 28, viewed 15 September, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90895610
Less than a year later sadness struck on March 4th with the death of Elizabeth, my grandmother, at age 64. (1) Now Andrew and his son Edward were alone on the farm.

In 1906 on his marriage to Elizabeth Smyth, Andrew Horgan had moved to the farm at Alma. Her father had died in 1901 the land then being administered by his brother, Elizabeth's uncle, James Smyth. The deeds for this land passed to Elizabeth as a married woman in January of 1909 with subsequent transfer to Andrew her husband.
After her death in 1934, he and his son Edward continued to work the farm. After Edward's marriage in 1937 and seeking better prospects for the young couple, their attention turned to land available further north where Andrew's cousins had settled and were doing well. By 1939 Andrew was 70 and ready to move on. His 2 bachelor brothers, Thomas now aged 72 and John aged 64 had moved to Riverton and had leased out the farm at Linwood.

So in 1939 this advertisement appeared in "The Mail"
At Mr J O'Connell's  Office
For sale by auction under instructions from the registered proprietorMr. ANDREW HORGAN, of ALMA:—  
LOT 1. 213 ACRES, being free hold Sections 481. 482. and part 418. Hundred Alma, situated about 7 miles north-east of Hamley Bridge. 
IMPROVEMENTS: STONE HOMESTEAD, 6 ROOMS, concrete cow sheds, G.I. barn blacksmith's shop. garage. pigsty fowlhouses. and yards. Fruit garden. 95 ACRES UNDER CROP -25 acres peas. 20 acres oats, and 50 acres barley: also 68 acres pasture, look ing well, and 50 ACRES OF WELL .WORKED FALLOW. LOT 2. 100 ACRES, being free hold. Sections 483 and part Section 418, Hundred Alma. ADJOINING LOT AT PRESENT IN CROP (20 acres wheat and 80 acres barley). The above land will FIRSTLY BE OFFERED AS A WHOLE, and if not sold THEN IN TWO LOTS. AS ABOVE. The land is all cleared and arable, and is first-class agricultural land, TERMS.— 10 per cent, deposit: balance in cash in one month, when possession will be given.
For inspection and further particulars apply to the Auctioneers

The farm was sold and contracts exchanged on land near Snowtown in February 1940. 

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