By Brenda Winter
The year was 1913.
An advertisement in the Rock County Herald promoted Lydia E Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound for controlling female ills.
The Rock County Bank boasted a balance sheet of $205,411.
Land in Kanaranzi Township had passed the $100-per-acre mark and newcomers to the area were arriving on trains, by carriage and in automobiles looking to build new lives on the rich soil of Rock County.
Among them were the ancestors of Spencer Sells, Sterling Severtson and Ron Rentschler — all of whom, a hundred years later, are still living on the farms their forefathers established.
These three Rock County farms are being honored as Century Farms by the Minnesota Farm Bureau and the Minnesota State Fair in 2013.
Featured this week are Spencer and Pam Sells of Beaver Creek.
The Sells family farm
Spencer Sells and his wife, Pam (Beyenhof), live north of Beaver Creek on the farm purchased by Spencer’s great-grandfather, Goodman Anderson, in 1909.
Anderson owned the farm until 1917 when his daughter Mabel (Anderson) Sells became the owner. She owned the land until 1960 when Spencer’s dad, Jacob Sells, took over. Jacob raised sons Spencer, Tom and Dan on the farm and Spencer bought it in 1992.
Spencer and Pam raised their children, Lindsy and Lee, in the same house (with extensive modifications) that Goodman Anderson built in the early 1900s.
Spencer said it’s the people that make living in the same place one’s entire life meaningful.
“The nice part is having some of the same friends your whole life,” he said. “You still do things with them, and you knew their parents and grandparents.”
Pam joked that living in one place makes it easier to find things.
“You know where things are at because they are where they have always been,” she said. “And you know the land, the farm —everything about it.”