The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

December 20, 2013

5 generations of farming comes to an end

BATAVIA — Farmers from around southeast Iowa gathered in Batavia Wednesday for a large farm equipment auction. They braved cold winds for more than two hours for the chance to bid on good, used tractors and other farm implements.

It was a good day for an auction, but for Steve and Diane Dallner, it was a retirement party. Steve comes from a long line of farmers.

Beginning with Phillip, the first son of the first son continued the farming tradition — until this week. And all of those first sons, since Simon Frederick, have had the middle name of Roy. Steve is the fifth generation in his family to follow this tradition.

Family records show that Steve can trace his Iowa farming heritage back to 1846 and the family farm by Germanville. He has a photograph of his great-grandfather’s farm, complete with horse-drawn wagons and the original barns.

“My brother went there and bought the barn,” Steve said, identifying the middle of the photo’s three barns. “My great-grandfather built that barn, and when my brother built his home in west Yellowstone, he used the timbers as part of his house.”

Near that family farm by Germanville is the Dallner Methodist Cemetery and ther was a Dallner School before the names were changed to numbers.

“I’ve been there several times — the house is almost gone, my brother took the barn,” Steve said. “The gate is still there, and you can see the path they used. It’s all worn down because it’s been there so long.”

Steve’s grandfather was a World War I veteran. He left the farm to go to war. Steve’s parents actually met at one of those World War I reunions.

Then Steve’s father, Vern, farmed until he passed away at the age of 56. This was the turning point for Steve Dallner as that first son.

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