It wasn’t the Stafford that took him away from the farm for good, though. It was World War I. He joined up in 1917, spent 1918 fighting in France, and by Spring of 1919, he was back in the States. Within a couple of months, he and Bess were finally able to get married. The courtship had gone on for nine years.
Both Bess’s father and grandfather were dead by this time and Harry moved into her family home in Independence, never to live on the farm again. One wonders what he would have thought if you’d told him in 1906, when he first came to the farm at age 22, that he was going to stay for 11 years, spend two years fighting in a World War, and then, at age 35, finally marry the girl he’d had a crush on since he was six years old. And of course, one wonders what he would have thought if you’d told that 22 year old farmer (as he was dipping chickens) that he was going to be the president of the United States some day. “We can never tell what’s in store for us,” he wrote later. And of course, none of us can. And that’s the story of Harry Truman.