Century farmers in Douglas CountyIn September of 1910, a humble family farm was purchased by Rudolph Jobe, where he cultivated corn, oats and hay. Now, more than 100 years later, his grandson, Paul Jobe, still owns and operates this very farm, located just south of Alexandria.
By: Leah Stinson, Echo Press Intern, Alexandria Echo Press
In September of 1910, a humble family farm was purchased by Rudolph Jobe, where he cultivated corn, oats and hay.
Now, more than 100 years later, his grandson, Paul Jobe, still owns and operates this very farm, located just south of Alexandria.
Though Paul and his wife, Gladys, have five adult children and are past what some would consider retirement age, they still run the farm on their own.
“I still farm quite a bit yet,” said Jobe, passion seeping through every word.
It’s no mystery as to why this farm is near and dear to Jobe’s heart: He has spent every year of his life in the same house on the same farm.
The oldest of six, Jobe always knew how to work.
“When I went to high school, I always got up at 4:30 to do chores,” he said.
Once he graduated from high school, Jobe knew his vocation.
“Somebody had to stay home and help,” he said.
Jobe never made any plans for college: He knew farming was his calling.
For years, Jobe happily worked alongside his father until he took over the farm in 1978.
Jobe eventually married a woman with whom he had three children – two boys and one girl.
However, life has not been a simply fortuitous path.
When Jobe’s children were but adolescents, cancer killed his wife, leaving Jobe a widower.
As a single father, Jobe still managed to operate the farm without much help.
However, in 1986, Jobe was connected to Gladys via a friendship club in Alexandria. Jobe wrote her a letter, but it did not sit well.
“It was not a very good letter,” Gladys admitted. She never replied.
But then, a year later, Jobe and Gladys’ relationship advanced beyond the constraints of pen and paper. They met at a VFW singles’ dance and hit it off.
For the next seven years, the couple dated, waiting for Jobe’s three and Gladys’ two children to start college.
Finally, their relationship came to fruition when they married in 1993.
Although Gladys’ father had been the manager of a creamery, she had never actually experienced farm life.
“I never lived on a farm before but I do like it,” said Gladys.
Since they were first married, both have delighted in the simple joys of farming.
“I like it at the farm,” said Gladys, specifically mentioning aspects like the gardening, the openness and the animals.
The Jobe family has not only grown – the farm has as well. The original 266 acres have grown to 313 and multiple buildings have undergone renovations.
Though the Jobes have been blessed with a surplus of happy years, one particularly tough memory for Jobe was the loss of his father.
“We worked together all my life,” said Jobe. “When he passed away, it was really hard.”
Jobe’s father was as diligent a worker as his son: Even on his 90th birthday, he came and baled hay.
Jobe noted that his father always came and left with a smile.
The Jobes also appreciate the free time they’re allowed. When not doing chores, the Jobes can be found helping others around town.
They enjoy attending church suppers, being involved in the Elder Network, volunteering in the Bethany Home beauty shop, and doing mission work in the winter.
Part of Gladys’ mission work is quilting: She has made numerous quilts for the needy – food shelf users being some of the lucky recipients.
The Jobes have no plans to sell their family farm, though none of their children plan to inherit it.
“We’re satisfied with what we have,” said Jobe.
The Jobe family farm will be recognized as a Minnesota Century Farm at the Douglas County Fair this Sunday at 11:30.