THRESHING IN THE NORTHWEST IN 1915

Threshing crew

This picture of our threshing crew was taken in 1915. The man with the light cap and white shirt was the owner of this outfit. Mr. Wm. Lang of Hobson, Montana. I am the first man on the left sitting on the bench in the second row.

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Box, Tonica, Illinois

This threshing was done near Hobson, Montana, Fergus County, in what was called the Judith Basin. The outfit belonged to Wm. Lang of Hobson. The engine was a 40120 HP Double Cylinder Geiser Plow Engine. The separator was a 3660 Avery.

We threshed 92 days with the same crew with the exception of 2 men. We were 19 days at one place. We worked from 4 A.M. to 7 P.M. The crew consisted of 14 on bundle wagons, 7 field pitchers, 2 spike pitchers, a man to haul water for the engine and horses, a separator man and myself as the engineer. One spiker helped the separator man and the other was available to me, helping with belts, etc., when setting and getting ready to move.

The engine tanks held 500 gallons of water and coal bunker held 1 tons of coal. This engine pulled 28 disc plows and a harrow.

Our meals were served in a cook car that was built on wheels about 24 ft. long. We had a wonderful man cook. Up front was the cook stove, work table and a small sink. The tables, about 2 ft. wide, were built along the outer walls. Each worker's place was marked and numbered. There were benches that we used for seats. If something was served and we didn't go for it in a big way, that cook would fix it up again, maybe in another way. Nevertheless, we had plenty to eat. As we came in to eat all the food was on the table and ready for us to start. Our coffee was always served after we were seated.

Each man carried his own bedding along. Most of the men had to provide their own place to sleep, such as, on a bundle rack or in the straw stack. The separator man, spike pitchers and I were fortunate enough to be able to sleep in a covered wagon.

I had complete charge of this outfit and we finished on November 8th.

This threshing was mostly wheat and a few small jobs of oats and barley. That year the wheat averaged 45 to 50 bushels per acre.