THE BROKEN DISC

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Orofino, Idaho 83544

My late father made a down payment on a farm in the Cameron district South of Kendrick, Idaho. Many old timers will recall the disastrous autumns of '93 and '94 when little or no grain was threshed in that area, due to continued rains, and as a result, many farmers went broke. My father was one of them. In the spring of '95 he got a job with the surveyors who prepared the Nezperce Indian Reservation in Idaho for homestead and in the fall he filed on a quarter section of land adjoining Russell Canyon, which is adjacent to Russell Ridge in what is now Lewis County in Idaho.

I remember Dad telling that there was a good cabin on his homestead that was built by some unknown person while the land was still Indian land. He didn't know about the cabin for a couple of weeks after he settled there, as it was discovered by four neighbor men who were also bachelors. They made a deal to use the cabin the first winter while they worked on log cabins on their own homesteads.

Dad had a quantity of lumber near the town of Cavendish that he had earned at previous times as a mill hand, so he was absent much of the winter while he freighted the lumber to Lewis-ton and on up to his homestead, making a round trip per week. When Dad moved off his original farm, he took with him a plow, harrow, four horses and harness and his wagon. In the fall of '95 he broke some sod which was open prairie land.

In the early spring of '96 he made a trip to Lewiston for supplies (about 45 miles) and there he found, in a hardware store, a six foot single disc, made by the Budlong Co. He had to borrow money with which to buy the disc, but he reasoned that it was almost necessary to the preparation of the broken sod for farm operation. On the first day that it was fit to do farm work, he hitched onto the disc and started out. He had used it only about an hour when it struck a stone and one of the blades broke, center wise, at the axle. Dad said he was pretty much down in the mouth, for he realized that there probably was not a new blade nearer than Portland.

However, there was a neighbor nearby who had a sawmill and who was reputed to be an excellent blacksmith, so Dad drove the disc to his place and showed him the trouble. The blacksmith took a piece of an old saw blade and cut it to size and then punched four holes in it. Then he punched four holes in the disc blade to match and riveted the two firmly together. Next he made a hole in the center of the patch the size of the axle of the disc, and put the disc back together. To pay for the job, he asked Dad to disc up a patch for him, which Dad was more than happy to do. After Dad got his discing done some neighbor borrowed it, as it was the only one in the neighborhood.

Apparently it was re-borrowed until Dad lost track of it. A month' or so later he made a trip to Nezperce, a new town that was only recently a supply center, and while on the way home on another route, he came upon a disc that looked familiar. Examination proved it was his, because of the repaired blade, so he dismantled it and loaded it onto his wagon and took it home.

A few weeks later a constable arrived and talked to Dad about the disc, stating that some man on the prairie claimed it. However, after looking at the broken blade, and after Dad offered to take him to the blacksmith, he returned home and nothing more was said about it.

I have a cast iron seat from a Budlong implement, and since I located it only a few miles from Dad's homestead, it is possible that it came from the disc my Father bought.