Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Spring 2012 (March 20, 2012)

The Round Barn: A Biography of an American Farm


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March 20, 2012

The Round Barn: A Biography of an American FarmJacqueline Dougan Jackson’50

Beloit College Press

Beloit, Wis., 2011

This book tells the story of a small yet significant enterprise founded in 1906: the Dougan dairy farm just east of the city of Beloit. At this farm’s center was a round barn with a silo, upon which the farm’s guiding principles were written out by Wesson J. Dougan, the author’s grandfather. His aims were for “good crops, proper storage, profitable livestock, a stable market, and a life as well as a living.”

It’s the latter, the life of the farm, that Jackson writes about in a meticulously researched and remarkably detailed book. She describes it as a “collective biography” for its chronicling of a way of life that has dramatically changed or vanished altogether.

Jackson, who grew up on the Dougan farm, has also written two previous collections of short stories—Stories from the Round Barn (2000) and More Stories from the Round Barn (2002). Her 2011 biography is the first in a set of three forthcoming volumes.

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