Ralph DeVilbiss and Maxine Peabody were married on June 13, 1942. He was from Stillwater, Oklahoma and she was from Shevlin, Minnesota.
Their farm in Talbot, Oregon produced crops such as ryegrass seed, mint, and corn. They sold eggs, and chickens and rabbits for meat. Ralph kept his farm running by diversifying farm products and logging timber.
Ralph invented and built this front mounted wheel rake for ryegrass straw.
Wolverine Farm was first homesteaded on July 21, 1956 when Ralph purchased two parcels of land for $5.00 an acre. In 1957, he cleared 15 acres then planted potatoes, his first Alaskan crop. When the potatoes were harvested, he stored them in the root cellar he built – all without the convenience of a road or the use of electricity which was not installed until 1958.
Work on their first home in Alaska began in 1958. The original cabin and the root cellar can be seen in the background.
The picture shown below, taken about 1965, shows Wolverine Farm with barley and potatoes crops planted in the foreground.
If you would like to read more about Wolverine Farm and it’s beginnings, please e-mail Larry DeVilbiss and request a copy of the book, Homesteading in Alaska, the story of Wolverine Farm by Maxine DeVilbiss.
Maxine DeVilbiss (1924- 2009) – picture taken by Talitha, her 4 year old granddaughter
The following pictures and the comments under them show a bit about our ancestry and events in the lives of the DeVilbiss forefathers and mothers and the new generations.
Ralph’s family: The Edson DeVilbiss family circa 1900
Dispersal Auction of Clarence DeVilbiss’ farm in Stillwater, OK after the University condemned the farm to convert to an artificial lake in 1968
Maxine’s family: The Edwin Peabody family circa 1920
Lloyd and Pearl Peabody’s cabin at the mill in Toga, MN in 1917
Inside the Peabody cabin in Toga
The mill in Toga
The DeVilbiss clan – three generations – 1987
The DeVilbiss clan – four generations – 1999