John & Ella Kundert
Albert & Violet Kundert
Ken & Sherry Kundert
This barn has always been in the Kundert family. It was built by Ken’s grandpa, John in 1926 on his great-grandpa, Heinrick Kundert’s homestead, built the same year his great-grandpa died. Grandpa’s two older brothers, Henry and Jacob (Jack) most likely helped him. The original roof sported cedar shakes that were replaced with brown asphalt shingles and just last year were sheeted with metal. Grandpa was probably the one to apply the first bright red coat of paint.
Though the loft isn’t used anymore, Ken remembers helping his dad, Albert, use a bale elevator to put square bales up there. In former days it would have had loose hay or some other kind of feed that was then forked down the holes onto the slatted feeders below. Any stems etc. that fell as the horses ate would have fallen into the manger underneath; no waste. There are racks that were used hold the saddles and harnesses. It still has the original floor planks; there’s a plywood cover over the front part where Ken used to shoe his own horses. The randomly placed rocks embedded in the dirt going up to the door still keep the soil from eroding.
Ken remembers ‘bending an ear’ to hear the comments his dad and brothers made. They mentioned that horses were considered a working tool, they were only used for work. Grandpa didn’t ever ever ever want his horses to be run, they were only to be walked. One time for a funeral a pair of Grandpa’s black horses were used. It was funny how he gave strict orders that they were only to walk the horse-drawn hearse. Grandpa did have a saddle horse or two just for riding. (I wonder if they were allowed to trot or gallop!)
The horses worked by day; they were put in the barn every night. When his dad and Uncle Henry (Dad’s twin brother) were old enough, it was their job to make sure all the animals were put in the barn and looked after. Before bedtime, his grandpa would take the lantern and check to make sure everything was done properly. He did that all the time -put the final seal of approval on it. Every morning the barn was meticulously cleaned. Grandpa John was pretty fussy.
The barn has two leans that are empty space now. But in his grandpa’s day they were full of animals. His grandpa had cattle as well, probably Herefords. They likely had milk cow(s) as well. There was a bin, a chop shed where chopped grain was kept, definitely had some oats as a treat for the horses. Between the lean and another shed there was a small corral, a pen. Ken remembers his dad keeping calves and the bull in it. The loading chute was used when they hauled cattle with their 3-ton. There was a windmill over the well and a big wooden trough that the water was pumped into.