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Cerro Gordo: Filled with childhood memories

Farm’s main outbuilding in 98th year

November 18, 2011
By CLAYTON RYE/Farm News staff writer


Farm News staff writer

MESERVEY - Anyone driving up the lane at the Gobeli farm, near Meservey, can read the white lettering - "G. Gobeli and Sons 1913" - on a red barn before reaching the farm buildings.

Article Photos

From left David Gobeli, his nephew Doug, and Daryl Gobeli sit in front of the family barn where each has memories of younger days spent in the barn.

The farm was bought by Gottlieb Gobeli in 1910, and the barn was built by Leo Halfpap and Sons Construction, of Meservey.

Today, the farm is owned by Gottlieb Gobeli's grandson, Leonard Gobeli, and his wife, Marlene, along with their son, Jeff.

The barn had 21 stanchions for milking shorthorns. At the south end of the stanchion area there was a calf pen and separator room.

The west side had stalls for horses and a feed bin was located in the southwest corner. The east side was a loafing area for cattle and hogs.

The haymow is large and Leonard Gobeli said, "It was filled with loose hay more than once."

Gottlieb and Amelia Gobeli had five children - Robert, Forrest, Lester, Albert, Frank and Alma.

Lester became the farm owner and he had five sons - Alan, Daryl, Leonard, Donnie and David.

The barn remains in its original condition with the wood stanchions, pens and rooms intact.

The Gobeli brothers can tell stories at length about the barn and the years they grew up on the farm.

David is the family storyteller. He said growing up on the farm, "you never said you were bored."

David remembers when he was small his job was to run the tractor with the hay rope as mow as filled. His older brothers got to trip the rope and David wanted a turn to trip the rope.

"I begged and Dad said, "OK."

David tripped the rope, did but did not let go of it.

"It jerked me right up," said David.

The second time he knew to not hang on to the rope, but did not let go completely and got rope burns on his hands. He decided he would go back to driving the tractor.

David remembers when Donnie was cleaning the calf pen and David wanted to help so he started pitching.

Donnie went and sat down as David pitched.

When the pen was clean, Donnie told his father he had the job done.

David said he cleaned the calf pen for two years before he figured out what his brother was up to.

The Gobeli brothers tell about dropping rotten eggs on each other from the haymow or when David got pushed into the cold water of the milk cooler after giving Donnie a push as Donnie was walking around the edge of the wood stock tank.

The brothers remember that the barn was a favorite place for their mother who preferred doing chores there than in the house.

David is now 63 and Daryl is 79. After telling their many stories, David said to Daryl, "I'm so glad you are keeping these buildings up.

"I would go back to those days anytime."

Contact Clayton Rye by e-mail at



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