100-year-old woman helps harvest beans on family farm
Fifteen years ago at the age of 85, Beulah Lauderman climbed the steps up into the combine to take a ride with her son as he harvested.
This year, Mrs. Lauderman crossed the century mark and needed assistance to get into the behemoth combine. Her grandson Brad Lauderman drove the combine and his son Logan rode as well, making the Thursday harvest a four-generation event, with son Larry also present. Granddaughter Cindy Adam also was on hand to record her grandma’s harvest experience with a video camera.
How times have changed.
In 1941, Wilmer and Beulah Lauderman began their farming career on the farm just west of Pleasant Plain, where her son Larry now lives. Wilmer died in 1986.
The land is now rented to Tom and Gary Adam who were harvesting beans there Thursday morning. Tom Adam said the 85-acre bean field was their last to be combined in what has been an excellent harvest season. He added, “This is pretty special. I have never had a 100 year old in the combine.”
Beulah’s nieces, Alberta Miller, Ireta Janecek and Frances Darbyshire, drove her to the farm from Washington, Iowa, where all now reside. On the drive, Mrs. Lauderman said, “I may farm 10 acres today, so we might be there awhile.” Her nieces were willing to wait in the car and watch as none of them showed any interest in a combine ride.
Grandson Brad and son Larry assisted Mrs. Lauderman into the front-end bucket of Larry’s tractor, and Tom Adam rode up with her as Brad raised the bucket to the level of the combine cab. Once she crossed from the bucket to the landing, Mrs. Lauderman grabbed the safety rail and walked into the cab. There she sat in the extra seat to once again farm the land she knew so well.
Aug. 1 of this year, Mrs. Lauderman turned 100 and still lived alone, doing her own cooking and fending for herself. Just a few weeks ago, she moved into the United Presbyterian Home in Washington after experiencing several falls.
For the complete article and photos, see the Friday, Nov. 5, 2010, printed edition of The Fairfield Ledger.