5. The Truman Farm - Stone Gate Posts

If you look down towards the back of the property, you can see some sets of stone posts. These were originally gate posts. If you walk up to them, you can see the remains of the gates and the hinges. Fences ran down the length between the sets of posts and enclosed a big barnyard. It looks like a lawn now, but when Harry lived here it was probably a big muddy mess. Six hundred acres is almost a square mile, but this property wasn’t in a square. It was more of a dog leg shape and extended straight back for over a mile. It was good land, but farming was—and still is—an unpredictable profession. Everything depends on something no one can control: the weather. “It rained within a quarter mile of our field and never a drop in it,” Harry wrote to Bess. “There’s always something the matter with a crop. It’s either too dry or too wet or too short or too long or too much or not enough,” he wrote her in 1913. “ If is the largest word in a farmer’s language.” Certain things are just out of our control sometimes, and Harry Truman seems to have learned that here on this farm. There was no time to sit around feeling sorry for himself or wishing things were different. Harry had to learn to make decisions and deal with situations as they were, rather than as he would like them to be. He later wrote, “Once I had made [a] decision, I didn’t worry over it. If I made a wrong decision, I made another one to correct it.” Of course, he had no idea about some of the decisions he was going to have to make in the future.