Poem Recalls The By-Gone Days Of The Old Threshing Machine

The Old Threshing Ring

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1320 Old Creek Avenue, Bluff ton, Indiana 46714 Reprinted with permission from The News-Banner of Bluffton, Indiana

Florence I. McEckron discovered this poem in a box of items belonging to her parents. It was written she explained by the wives of the 'threshing ring' men and is at least 60 years old.

(For those too young to remember, a threshing ring was composed of a group of neighboring farmers who hired a threshing machine and operator to visit each farm and harvest the grain. All the farmers in the ring would assist in the process with the wives of the group providing the meals and refreshments. It also was a time for the youngsters to get together and play and sometimes assist with the work.)

Neighbors in the group included Charles Plummer (Mrs. McEckron's dad), Don Minnich, Delmar Huffman, Cary Roush, Leander Morrison, Rue Long and William Wolfgang, now all deceased.

The father of Chester Huffman (who is now a dentist in Hartford City) did the threshing.

Mrs. McEckron says she can still remember the girls of the families and they included the two Roush girls Helen and Ruth and her sister Esther. They enjoyed watching the work in progress and she remembers the teasing they took from Chester.

Among the playful sport was the throwing back and forth of a ball to Chester and once the four girls agreed to get a piece of coal and roll it in grease and throw it to him. Mrs. McEckron reported that he caught it and the girls ran to the house! 'Anyway,' she reports, 'it was fun while it lasted!'

When the wheat and the oats are golden yellow
And the combines are out 'Doing their thing',
Just how many of us can remember
The days of the the old threshing ring?

I can still see that big old steam engine
As it slowly came puffing up the lane:
Pulling behind it the large separator
That soon would be threshing our grain.

Then along would come the teams and the wagons
And from the fields all the sheaves they would bring:
Yes, we even had a boy to bring us water
In the days of 'The Old Threshing Ring.'

Then, at noon, Mom would call us all in for dinner
To a big meal that was fit for a king:
And even though she didn't pitch any bundles
She had her place in 'The Old Threshing Ring'.

When all the wheat and the oats were in the granary
And we had a big straw-stack back of the barn:
The 'Old Huber' and its separator
Would pull on down to our neighbors' farm.

When the threshing in the ring was all over
Then at someone's house, we would meet:
To settle up our account with the thresher
And have all the ice cream and cake we could eat.

But today, the story is quite different
And no more do we hear 'the whine and the sing'
Of the big belts on that 'Old Huber' thresher
Back in the days of 'The Old Threshing Ring'.