Harvey E. Diamond
Humboldt, MN 56731
Notes written Jan/Feb 2002 by Harvey Diamond in response to questions from Jeff Muir, Harvey’s grandson:
I was born a farmer. As soon as you get dirt under your fingernails you qualify.
My Dad had his ideas and plans. One was that as soon as we got out of high school we could not work for him. He said he worked at home until he was 23.
Hurdis (brother) graduated in 1934. Rented a quarter of land and was farming.
I graduated in 1939. Dad rented me a quarter and I was farming.
My Dad was a farmer, worked on the farm his Dad put together, starting in Humboldt, 1878, with good planning and a good family put together a sizable farm, a family of twelve, 6 girls, 6 sons. A great story my Dad told me all the stories.
My Dad took over the main farm in 1913. Grandpa, Grandma, and younger family moved to Humboldt.
My folks farmed there until 1919. Land prices were good. Many other developments, bought a home in Humboldt and moved off the farm, sold to new comer.
Dad was going to be partly retired. In 1923 he took over the garage in Humboldt. A good business he had hired mechanics and he done the business, selling and trading.
I never worked in the garage. My sister Amey took care of the office for Dad for a few years.
The family that bought the farm didn’t finish the payments, farming got poor, depression was coming.
Dad got the land back from the loan company. He didn’t take the original farm. He took different land and in 1927-28 he was farming. Farm help was available, and his sons were bigger. Hurdis was 12-13 and I was 7-8. We all helped from there on and the farm kept growing, many changes from 1927 to 2002.
Dad sold the garage in 1936 and enjoyed the farm.
Helen and Harvey got together in 1941. I came a calling when she worked for Bouvette. Their son Joe was just a baby.Then she worked for Harold Glidden, helping with the cooking and everything. Lots of work. I came often, Saturday and other nites. Helen got a chance to go to California, and her sister Jeanne went with.
I missed her so much I planned a trip to California. My sister and her husband Byron Hanson were out there; I had other relatives out there. Helen had a job in Long Beach so I spent most of my time in Long Beach. Helen said she would put up with me. “Great” next stop Las Vegas we got married. Great time ever since, 60 years.
Our house in Humboldt, the house we were in was too small for our needs. I talked to lumber managers and the plan to remodel and enlarge was not feasible. I asked my Mom to sell me their house. They didn’t want to move. Mom said build your own. I bought a plan in a farm magazine, a good plan to start with, we changed as we built.
Dad – Herbert Lomas Diamond
Business H.L. Diamond
Born – June 11, 1890, home farm James Diamond SW ¼ sec 14 St. Vincent Twp.
Mom – Annie came to Humboldt in 1912 with her Dad and brother Fred to visit sister Lilla married to Leonard Diamond my dad’s brother, grandparents James and Emelia with Leonard mad a trip to Prince Edward Island a few years before and they came back with Lilla & Leonard married, Leonard farm was the NW ¼ sec 14. Fred helped on the threshing rig and went back to P.E.I. with his dad. Annie stayed to help her sister.
Annie got to know Herb and on Jan 6, 1913 they were married. Grandpa James had moved to his home in Humboldt and Herbert was batching on the farm. Greatly in need of a partner.
My sister Amey Rebecca Diamond born October 24, 1913. The home farm of James Diamond SW ¼ sec 14. My mother’s sister Amey came from Winnipeg, Manitoba to be with mom. I never heard if they had the doctor come. The doctor in there area was Doctor Harris who lived in St. Vincent, Mn.
My brother Hurdis Ambrose Diamond born September 15, 1915. The farm place on SE ¼ section 14. Mom said they didn’t make any money renting the home farm so they moved to next farm, the house is our storage house in Humboldt now.
Dad operated the steam engine on the threshing rig. He was up at 3 in the morning to move the outfit. They didn’t move very fast, when he got home that night he had a son. 10pm.
I – Harvey Ellsworth Diamond born December 15, 1920. Hospital at Warren, Mn. 6pm. The closest hospital, some hemoraging, but we made it OK.
Our baby sister Marva Alto Diamond was born at Hallock, Mn, the hospital in Hallock had been built by then. Never heard who the doctor was. My dad called us a gentleman’s family: 2 boys, 2 girls.
My Dad and Mom had moved back to home farm of James D. on SW ¼ – 14.
Amey and Hurdis knew the grandparents James came to the farm often as grandpas do. James Diamond died in 1919. I don’t have the exact date from memory (ask Delores).
Herb and Annie sold the farm and bought the home in Humboldt.
I have been there all my years and don’t plan to leave.
The railroad was completed in 1878. My grandparents – James and Emelia got off 1½ mile south of where Humboldt was planned to be. The railroad was finished that fall and start of winter, connecting with the Canadian line coming from Winnipeg, Manitoba. James J. Hill the railroad builder got a big land grant for building the RR. Hill gave the land to Humboldt, named it after a famous German businessman and explorer.
Hill had a few requirements on the land for Humboldt. The buildings on the corner of Main Street to had to be built of brick or concrete. The Humboldt State Bank was of brick. The garage was of concrete. Another request was no intoxicating liquor can be made, sold or give away in Humboldt. A cousin, attorney Clarence Maxwell said that could be removed, but never a need in Humboldt.
The bank stayed in business until it was transferred to Hallock in 1934. The banks in our county had gone broke and closed during the depression.
I will ask Nancy about the essays the Humboldt students wrote. The writings are on computer with Dennis Matthews. He said he put 73 books on the computer. The research and dates would be better than my memory.
Humboldt was an active community with a population of about 100 and a lot of farm families used Humboldt for business.
At one time, Humboldt had 5 elevators, 2 stores, 3 gas and service stations, 2 cafes, blacksmith shop, a lumberyard, and a RR depot.
Reports from my Dad and other older farmers: the year 1917 an open winter meaning very little snow and mild temperatures.
Jim McIlrath told me, He came home from the woods. (Northbrome, Nm. Eastern timber) On St. Patrick’s Day, 17 of March and the Northcote Hill Farm was plowing prairie soil.
Dad had seeded the wheat on his farm, the wind started blowing and blowed for 17 days. The wheat was uncovered and no soil on top of the seed. The wind put so much dirt in the air, couldn’t see after midmorning. The farmer and horses couldn’t put up with the dirt blowing.
Dad got new discs for the drill to change from a show drill to a single disc, could seed deeper. He went to the Humboldt Hill farm to buy more seed wheat to replant his wheat crop.
George Finney told me the rain came on May 24 it rained about 5 inches the crop grew and farmers were back in business.
Questions and Answers
Q. When was the first car you bought?
Q. Who bought the tractors?
A. Dad Herb, Hurdis, and Harvey
Q. Who built the buildings behind your house?
A. Helen and Harvey moved them there.
Q. Why did you use the Northcote elevator instead of the Humboldt one?
A. We thought it paid more.
Q. Why did the Northcote elevator close?
A. Management problems.
Q. Did you go to your sister’s weddings?
A. We drove to Amey and Bill’s wedding in Warren, Mn. The minister had been in Humboldt. Marva and Byron married at our home.
Q. Were your parents surprised when you got married?
A. I had been single for a long time.
Q. Did you date anyone besides Grandma?
A. I kissed a few, but not really dating.
Q. I do not remember much about your father. Can you tell me some stories about him?
A. I remember from 1925 – dad died in 1967.
Q. How many acres did you start with?
A. In 1939 – 160A
Q. Do any winters stick in your memory as being really bad?
A. 1936 a lot of snow. No rain that summer, 1958 big snow.
Q. When did you first start farming?
Q. How did you get started in farming?
A. Help from Dad & Hurdis.
Q. Did Hurdis farm first?
Q. Did your father farm?
Q. Did you work at the service station?
Q. Did you design your house in Humboldt?
A. Bought a farm plan and changed it to our desires.
Q. Where did you go to school?
A. Humboldt & Crookston Ag school.
Q. Did you play any sports in school?
Q. Did you have classes that you liked more?
A. Math and Agriculture.
Q. Have you kept in touch with any people from high school?
A. A few.
Q. Did you consider yourself a good student? Ever get in trouble?
A. Yes and no.
Q. What was your first car?
A. 1946 Dodge – $1950 more than new price.
Q. What was it like when you first became a father?
A. I loved it, had never carried or held a baby until I carried Nancy home.
Q. How did you feel like when you first became a grandfather?
A. A great experiment, longest Helen and I have been apart since 1942.
Q. When did you join the Shriners?
A. Lois was a baby 1953.
Q. Did you used to sell insurance?
A. Hallock Farmers Mutual
Q. When was the first time that you travelled overseas?
A. Sweden and Norway
Q. When and where did you first meet Grandma?
A. Lancaster 1940.
Q. Do you remember going to Lake Bronson before it was a lake?
A. No, park was built WPA.
Q. When did you build your house in Humboldt?
Q. For how long and when did you used to live in the house across the street?
A. 1942 until May 18, 1952.
Q. How many kids did you think you would have before you stared having them?
Q. Did you ever think that you might move away from Humboldt?
Q. When did your sisters get married and where?
A. Amey 1934 and Marva 1941.
Q. Do you still have contact with people in Prince Edward Island?
A. Yes, first cousins.
Q. Did your family always live the same place in Humboldt?
A. Yes, 1920.
Q. When did your father pass away and what from?
A. 1967 – heart condition.
Q. Do you remember going to my Mom’s wedding? What was it like?
A. Great, Humboldt Mn church.