Dr. McCoy kindly gave us a seat in his buggy during one of his professional calls at Cresco and Irvington last week, and we took the opportunity to visit the barn of Dr. Armstrong, of which we had heard so much. It is certainly the most complete barn for general purposes which could be well imagined. The first thing which one remarks is the extreme cleanliness of the whole, from the entrance room to the pig pen, a cleanliness with the Doctor assures us is chiefly owing to his children, upon who devolves the care of this large edifice. Going into the entrance room, we are first attracted by the neatly arranged rows of seed corn packed along the ceiling, next by the cobs, all of which are preserved for fuel. From this road leads the stairway to the bins and hay loft above. There we first note a number of large “bins” containing shelled seed corn, oats, wheat, &c., each arranged with sliding panels, and provided with a spout, for spouting the grain to the floor below for feed or bagging. The hay loft is provided with large spouts, spreading below, for feeding the horses and stock on the lower floor. Below, from the entrance room, lead two doors, one to the heads of the cattle for feeing them, the other into the stables. Beyond is a single stall for valves, or early milch cows, arranged with rings, hooks and sliding panels to convert it into a pen when needed. Still beyond are the hog pens, the troughs arranged with lids for feeding and the feed pens opening into the sleeping pens, still father back. On the side is the hen house, with capacity for 300 hens, the roosts arranged one above another and separated by sloping shelves to receive the droppings and prevent fouling the hens beneath. The nests are ingeniously prepared readiness of cleaning. Sand is scattered over the floor, shelves, and in the bottom of the nests, and the whole scrupulously clean. Wire screens at once admit air from without and prevent the inroads of owls &c., while the room is ventilated by openings in the large bay loft above. The barn throughout is made with a view to convenience, durability, and neatness, warmth in the winter and coolness in summer. There are double floors above and below, the outside is sheathed and clap-boarded, the partitions made of inch and a half matched stuff, doors and windows are all supplied with perfect fastening, and altogether a more complete barn in every respect, it were difficult to conceive.
Source: Algona Upper Des Moines, April 19, 1877.