A Family Affair

Case engine

Content Tools

R. R. 1, Box 124, Lake Benton, Minnesota 56149.

These photos are of my grandparents and their threshing rigs. Photo #1 is of a 1904 20 HP Case engine with 2-wheel tender attached, belted to a 1904 32' Nichols and Shepard separator. My grandfather, Johan Krog, is sitting on the front wheel of the engine, with my great uncle Hans standing holding the pitchfork. Their rig was owned by my great-grandfather, Jens Krog, and four other farmers. It was called the Big 5 Threshing Co. and operated north of Lake Benton, Minnesota, from 1904 to 1920.

Photo #2 is also of the Big 5 threshing rig. They are stack threshing at the Hans Krog farm in September of 1916. This farm is still in the family and it is referred to as Pleasant Grove Farm. It was homesteaded on March 17, 1887 by my great-grandfather, Jens Krog. It was always hotter than heck when they threshed in that yard!

Photo # 3 is of a 1911 75 HP Case engine and a 36' Case separator with Garden City wing feeders. This rig was owned by Martin Sterzinger. My wife's grandfather, Johnny Johnson, was the engineer on this rig for 20 years. He is sitting on the engine. They are stack threshing two miles southeast of Ivanhoe, Minnesota.

Threshing is still very much a part of our farming operation today. My cousin, Harold Krog, and I recently restored a 1932 Belle City separator that his father, Hans, operated from 1932 to 1947. In 1985 we threshed 20 acres for ourselves and did another 30 acres of wheat for a neighbor. My four sons and I plan to make shocking and pitching bundles a yearly event.

This past summer we cut and shocked 15 acres of oats which we threshed August 17 during our family Centennial Reunion. We had 150 relatives in attendance, many of whom had never seen threshing or draft horses before.

Whenever we thresh, people gather together to talk and reminisce about times when people worked together and cared for each other. I think that many of the problems farmers face today started when the thresh rings broke up.