Sleigh Bells

Arthur Hudachek

Courtesy of Frank Hudachek, 105 East 5th St., West Liberty, Iowa 52776. This is Arthur Hudachek pulling into the yard after giving the neighborhood children a ride with his bobsled pulled by his team of re-roan horses (Lady and Rex) with sleigh bells on.

Frank Hudachek

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105 East 5th St. West Liberty, Iowa 52776

I was born on August 3, 1880 near Lone Tree, Iowa in Johnson County. At 8 years of age my brother taught me to fire a six horse portable steam engine. He sawed wood for the neighbors and shelled corn. He later purchased a ten horse Springfield Kelly traction engine and Kelly threshing machine.

At 12 years of age I cut bands and fed the threshing machine by hand. This was hot and dusty work, but I did not mind as I enjoyed it. I hauled water for this engine, three tanks a day. I had to dip it with a bucket over a creek bank. It was slow work but I got the water on time.

I fired and handled a Rumely 25 horsepower myself. During the winter a man by the name of Mahaffey, my brother, and I tied four bob-sleds together, we put three logs on each sled and we pulled all four sleds to the saw mill with this engine. We went across the Iowa River over the ice and piled the logs on the opposite bank. I fired the Rumely steam engine myself and sawed the wood to burn in it.

At a sale a Mr. George Morrow purchased this steam engine, who lives on Riverside Drive, Iowa City. I am very pleased that Mr. Morrow purchased this engine rather than a junk dealer.

My son, Arthur, has a 45 Case engine and has had it at the reunion in Mt. Pleasant several years and I have helped take care of it. Arthur Hyser of Sully, Iowa has also helped in the restoration of this engine. We do some threshing at the West Liberty, Iowa Fair each year. We have a 28' Case machine.

We thresh one load of bundles at each day of the fair. My son brings a lot of antiques to the fair also. In addition he has a Fordson tractor on rubber bought in 1925, two Titan tractors, purchased in 1918. Arthur also has a roan team of horses and in the winter-time he hitches the team to a bob-sled, with sleigh bells on them, and gives the children of the neighborhood a ride. This is one of the occasions the youngsters will never forget. 'The Good Old Days Are Gone Forever,' but the memories of the good times I have had linger on, and it was with a great deal of pleasure that I submit this small resume of my life.