Truman's years on the Grandview farm were formative. He
gained strength and learned lessons that would prove valuable
in the years to come. Most of all, he had time to think
about Bess, about his work on the farm, and about his future.
a Straight Furrow
After working at Kansas City banks for several years, Harry
felt obliged to leave his job in 1906 and return to the
Grandview farm to help his family. As it turned out, the
farm taught him many important lessons as he grew into manhood.
He developed habits of hard work and careful planning. He
learned to value common sense and the common man. Most of
all, he spent a great deal of time thinking about his place
in the world.
"A riding plow gives one a chance to think of all
meanness he ever did and all he ever intends to do. I have
memorized a whole book while plowing forty acres."
"I've settled all the ills of mankind one way and
while riding along seeing that each animal pulled his part
of the load."
Harry helped manage the farm. He worked with animals and
learned how to rotate the crops. He struggled to manage
the farmhands, who were more likely to listen to his father.
Farming taught him that hard work alone did not guarantee
became familiar with every sort of animal on the farm
and watched the wheat harvest, the threshing and the corn
mowing and stacking hay, and every evening at suppertime
heard my father tell a dozen farm hands what to do and how
to do it."
Picnics in The Stafford
Harry's farm years were tough times for him and his family.
To make matters worse, being on the farm didn't help Harry's
attempts to court Bess Wallace. She wasn't interested in
marrying a farmer, and she lived in Independence, some ten
miles away. To visit her, he had to take a long, difficult
trip by train and streetcar. In 1913, Harry bought a used
1911 Stafford open touring car, which made the trip to Bess'