Paublo Agricultural Museum More Than Nostalgia

Paublo Agricultural Museum in Stonington, Ill. is a reminder of the good old days of farming

| September 1998

It's easy enough to get nostalgic about "the good old days" of farming, when steam engines and threshing machines were commonplace. But Levi Green's interest in that era is more than casual: as a young man, he had firsthand experience with vintage iron. Today, he relives those days at the Paublo Agricultural Museum near Stonington, Ill.

Levi grew up on a farm near Kenny, Ill. In his youth, he was a regular on area threshing crews.

"I started out as a water boy," he said. "Then, when I got older, I ran a box wagon, and then I ran a rack wagon, running bundles. Prior to that, I was a pitcher. I've seen about all the jobs. One year, they contracted with trucks, and I had to haul the grain away."

It was grindingly hard work, but not without its rewards.

"My brother always said threshing time was the only time he got enough to eat," Levi said.

After leaving the farm as a young man, Levi tried to join the service, but was rejected because of a medical condition. In the early 1940's, he worked at a Caterpillar plant until the war's end. He then joined the Mueller Company, Decatur, Ill., as a machinist on the night shift. During the days, he had a sideline business of garden plowing and landscaping.