DeMoss farm has been a part of the family for generations
By Heather Meade
ARCANUM — The DeMoss family farm has been in Donald DeMoss’ family for more than six generations, he said. His grandparents, Luther and Ethel DeMoss purchased the farm in 1906, but it had been in his grandmother’s family for at least two generations before that.
Donald’s father, Earl DeMoss, inherited the farm, and when he passed, Donald was able to buy his brothers out of their portion, he said. But Donald doesn’t live on the farm, and his family hasn’t farmed it for three generations.
The Baker family has farmed the DeMoss land for three generations, they said, and have been good friends of the family for many years, David commented.
And while Donald said that his son, David, doesn’t show much interest in the farm, he’d still like to inherit it, to keep it in the DeMoss family, he said.
“I’m hoping my son and family will view it like I do, too,” said David. “It’s been bred into me that the farm is important.”
Donald said that the house was built around 1888, finished within two weeks of his grandmother’s birth, he said. The family moved from a log house into their new house, where there were horse and cow stables, Donald said. His grandfather, Luther, was the first farmer in Darke County to own a pickup baler, he said. His grandmother, Ethel, was a poet, known as the “Ohio Farm Lady.” Luther DeMoss sold most of the horses and cattle in 1942, when Donald said he switched to tractors.
DeMoss recalled summers spent on the farm, baling hay with his grandfather, planting corn, and his grandfather’s horses. Hay hasn’t been grown on the farm in nearly 50 years now, Donald said.
“My grandfather was the greatest guy I ever knew — he was really a wonderful man,” Donald commented. “He’d always stick up for me…He told me stories my brothers didn’t ever hear…I was the one who always absorbed the stories, I was always listening.”
Donald also used to go mushroom hunting, he said, and one year he found nearly 1,100 mushrooms. Mushroom hunting is one of his son David’s fondest memories as well.
“I remember hunting mushrooms…there were just pans full of mushrooms,” he said. The wooded area hasn’t given up a good mushroom crop in years, though, David commented.
The farm, located outside of Arcanum, was also the site of many family reunions, David commented, both for his grandmother’s side, the Trost’s, and his grandfather’s DeMoss family. He recalls playing baseball, and just having a really great time.
David was the one who went to the Darke County Courthouse to do the research necessary to have the farm become a Century Farm, or a farm that has been in the same family for at least 100 years. He plans to further his research to extend the date back to the first of his family to own the land, he said, which Donald commented could be as far back as 150–200 years ago.