Besides engaging Thompson, I tentatively bespoke the services of his wife and son. Mrs. Thompson was to come for $15 a month and a half-dollar raise for each six months, the son on the same terms as the father.
The other man whom I engaged that day was William Johnson, a tall, blond Swede about twenty-six years old. Johnson had learned gardening in the old country, and had followed it two years in the new. He was then employed in a market gardener’s greenhouse; but he wanted to change from under glass to out of doors, and to have charge of a lawn, shrubs, flowers, and a kitchen garden. He spoke brokenly, but intelligently, had an honest eye, and looked to me like a real “find.” Polly, who was to be his immediate boss, was pleased with him, and we took him with the understanding that he was to make himself generally useful until the time came for his special line of work. We now had two men engaged (with a possible third) and one woman, and my venire was exhausted.
Two days later I again advertised, and out of a number of applicants secured one man. Sam Jones was a sturdy-looking fellow of middle age, with a suspiciously red nose. He had been bred on a farm, had learned the carpenter’s trade, and was especially good at taking care of chickens. His ambition was to own and run a chicken plant. I hired him on the same terms as the others, but with misgivings on account of the florid nose. This was on the 19th or 20th of July, and there were still ten days before I could enter into possession. The men were told to report for duty the last day of the month.
BORING FOR WATER
The water supply was the next problem. I determined to have an abundant and convenient supply of running water in the house, the barns, and the feeding grounds, and also on the lawn and gardens. I would have no carrying or hauling of water, and no lack of it. There were four wells on the place, two of them near the houses and two stock wells in the lower grounds. Near the well at the large house was a windmill that pumped water into a small tank, from which it was piped to the barn-yard and the lower story of the house. The supply was inadequate and not at all to my liking.
My plan involved not only finding, raising, and distributing water, but also the care of waste water and sewage. Inquiring among those who had deep wells in the village, I found that good water was usually reached at from 180 to 210 feet. As my well-site was high, I expected to have to bore deep. I contracted with a well man of good repute for a six-inch well of 250 feet (or less), piped and finished to the surface, for $2 a foot; any greater depth to be subject to further agreement.