Farm Collector Blogs >

Field Notes

Monarch Name May Have Been Used Into the 1930s


I am writing in regard to a statement on Page 22 of the November 2016 issue of Farm Collector. The article states that, “the Monarch name was retained for a time, but in 1929 the name was dropped and the characteristic Monarch steering wheel was replaced by steering levers.” I believe this is incorrect. The Monarch name was used through 1931, which was the last year for the Model 75. My Monarch 75 is a 1930 model, and has the steering wheel. Thanks for your time. I love the magazine!

Dan Jacobs, Darien, Wisconsin

Send letters to: Farm Collector Editorial, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 FAX: (785) 274-4385 email:; online at:


Manure Spreader Might be a New Idea/Nisco


The unidentified manure spreader shown in the November 2016 issue of Farm Collector might be a New Idea/Nisco. I am enclosing a picture from an original owner’s manual that came with the spreader my grandfather purchased in 1923.

We used it into the 1970s. It was later traded to a man who was working a team. He completely restored it. One day when he was using it, the team spooked, ran through a fence and jumped a ditch, wrecking the spreader.

Bob Kohlhagen, Casco, Michigan

Send letters to: Farm Collector Editorial, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 FAX: (785) 274-4385 email:; online at:

Farm Collector Connects Distant Relatives

Starkebaum Cousins 

Left to right: Richard Starkebaum, Wendell Starkebaum and Raymond Starkebaum.

On a cold December night in 2015, the phone rang at the home of Wendell Starkebaum in Higginsville, Mo. On the other end was an unfamiliar voice asking if this was Wendell Starkebaum. With a little hesitation, the answer was “yes.” The caller was Raymond Starkebaum, Choctaw, Oklahoma. He had seen Wendell’s name in Farm Collector magazine’s “What Is It” section several times, and he was just wondering who this Wendell Starkebaum was. They had a very lengthy, informative conversation and discovered that they shared a relative who came from Germany in 1830. A phone friendship developed from this conversation, and on Oct. 4, 2016, the two met face to face. Raymond, who is 90, made the long trip from Oklahoma with the help of his son, Richard, to visit Wendell’s farm in Higginsville.

In this age of technology, many family members are brought together to rekindle acquaintances. But sometimes that happens by unconventional means. Thanks, Farm Collector!

Wendell Starkebaum, Higginsville, Missouri

Send letters to: Farm Collector Editorial, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 FAX: (785) 274-4385 email:; online at:

Interesting Crescent Tool Co. Wrench


I saw the collection of wrenches in the June 2016 issue of Farm Collector. I am enclosing a photo of a wrench I have. One side is marked “6-8 m Crestoloy Steel made in U.S.A.” The other side is marked “Mfd by Crescent Tool Co. Jamestown N.Y.” I enjoy your magazine.

William Canary, Franklin, Indiana

Send letters to: Farm Collector Editorial, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 FAX: (785) 274-4385 email:; online at:

Getting a Grip on Collectible Wrenches

Get a Grip 

In regard to a letter to the editor in the November 2016 issue of Farm Collector from Bob Stevens, Wapiti, Wyoming: I have several wrenches similar to the one shown in the November 2016 issue. Mine are all patented by Edwin Evans, Venice, California. They are called either slide-adjust or spiral-adjust wrenches. Two of the wrenches are for standard nut application; the other is a pipe wrench. The one nut wrench with a brass slide is marked “Evans Wrench Co. Fall River, Mass.” The other nut wrench is marked “Evans Patd. Zip Grip, L.A. Calif.” The pipe wrench is marked “Evans Patd. Zip Grip L.A. Calif.”

Edwin, Evans & Hempfill patented the spiral-adjust nut wrench on Sept. 20, 1921.  The pipe wrench was patented March 27, 1923. H&E Wrench Co. operated in New Bedford, Massachusetts. They manufactured under the name of H&E Wrench Co. Two other wrenches shown in the pictures are made by H&E Wrench Co. They are much larger and more heavily built and are also called spiral wrenches.

Joe Greiwe, Batesville, Indiana

Send letters to: Farm Collector Editorial, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 FAX: (785) 274-4385 email:; online at:

Preserving the Past

preserving the past

preserving the past


I have enclosed an aerial photo (right) taken of the Johnson farm, Capron, Illinois, in about 1960. Compare it to the ground photo (above) taken in about 1935.

Note how the concrete block silo replaced the two stave silos. Also, check the empty foundation at the bottom center of the aerial view. This was the old location of the chicken house, which is shown in the upper left of 1960 photo. It was moved to a place less proximal to the road as a deterrent to chicken thieves. As far as I know, this is now all gone.

Farm Collector is helping to preserve the memory of the seemingly brief period between the decline of the family farm and the emergence of the big corporate farm. Future historians will use it as a reference.

Clyde Eide, 3801 E. Crest Dr., Apt. 3205, Bryan, TX 77802

Feeding Hogs in Kentucky

illustration of pigs 

I was raised on a farm in central Kentucky with four brothers and three sisters. We raised a big garden and our own beef and hogs to eat.

It was the boys’ job to slop the hogs. Slop is a mixture of leftover food scraps and water, which the hogs love to eat. It was downhill from the house to the barn. My younger brother could coast his bicycle from the house to the pig lot. He would hang the pail of slop on the handlebars of his bike. One day he went to slop the hogs and got his bike in a rut and wrecked it. Of course the slop went everywhere, covering him from head to toe. That was the last time he did that.

Another time, the hogs got where they wouldn’t eat ear corn, so my dad called the vet. The vet told him there was nothing wrong with the hogs. Come to find out, my brother had been laying the ears of corn on the electric fence and the hogs had gotten afraid of eating it. Boy, did my brother ever get a whipping for doing that.

John Haynes, Brownsville,Kentucky