Ervin Petzold, life-long resident of Altus, will celebrate his 100th birthday on March 16. Ervin’s children are hosting a celebration from 1 to 5 p.m. at his home on Saturday, March 12. Friends and family are welcome to attend.
Although Ervin was born, raised and has lived on the same property all of his life, his parents were German immigrants. One of his stories is about how his parents insisted that he speak German at home as a child.
He farmed in Jackson County with his dad with horses and mules until changing over to tractors. They also wheat pastured 500 to 600 head of yearlings each year. They had 100 head of bred Charolais cows that they raised.
Ervin and his dad Herman also butchered cattle and swine for this area. They first traveled in a horse drawn wagon selling their custom made beef, sausage and ham.
Ervin married Lillie Bennett in December 1936 in the Lutheran Church at Granite. Later he became an elder in the church. They drove 20 miles one way, crossing the one lane Elm Fork Red River wooden bridge, just to get there. After church they would spend the day playing baseball and softball. Ervin and Lillie were married for 66 years.
Ervin and his sons were the first farmers to begin using Teflan in this area. They ran two tractors 24 hours a day plowing this in for area farmers. They also did custom hay baling, plowing and cutting of grains which included wheat, oats, alfalfa, and mung beans.
Ervin and Lillie had six children: Harvey, David, Jerry, Brenda, Alan and Debra. From oldest to youngest, there is a 22-year age difference in the children.
Aside from farming and ranching, Ervin has served his community and the area for years. He has served on the Friendship and Navajo School Boards, Martha Gin Board and has been active in the Lutheran Church.
After being a member and President of the Friendship School Board for many years, the school burned. He then joined the Friendship-Warren Consolidation Board that formed the consolidated school of Navajo. The school had to be moved half way between the two schools for the consolidation to take place. Ervin was president and member of the Navajo School for many years.
Aside from his board involvement, he was also active in helping with 4-H and FFA which his children were involved in. He even received the FFA Vocational Honorary Chapter Farmer award.
Ervin and his wife Lillie were also class parents at Navajo and Friendship Schools for many years as well as being involved in other school activities.
Ervin is proud to say that along with his six children that he has 15 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.