Farm Collector

Unique Solution to a Common Problem

Check out these letters to the editor from Farm Collector readers about a donkey on a silo and Kansas farm equipment.

Was this ever produced?

I’ve kept this for many years but wondered if this machine was ever produced. Does anyone know?

Bob Gallagher, Onalaska, Wisconsin

Unique solution to a common problem

My granddad would ride his horse up to the gate, pull a pin and the gate would fly out of the pocket and swing the other way. He’d ride through and place the gate in the pocket by putting the pin back in place without getting off his horse.

He had three gates of this kind on the farm. They were used until 1946. The musket barrels still had the nipples in the barrels. Three muskets were destroyed. The cedar top pole was long and quite large. The pivot post was large and had an iron band around it to keep it from splitting. He kept putting rocks in the box until the gate was balanced. No patent was applied for. Ha! The gate was made by John Conner, Maurentown, Virginia.

Carl W. Conner Jr., Maurentown, Virginia

Looking for information on farm equipment produced in Kansas

I write books on Kansas history (published by History Press). I need help with information, pamphlets and photos on farm equipment invented, patented or manufactured in Kansas. I especially need information on the F.N. Beydler Success gang plow from Ashland, the Ruth automatic feeder, a grader made in or near Marysville and Midwest/Davis equipment. I have done stories on the Colby Plowboy tractor and the Hockett/Sterling tractor. Any additional information on these would be great. A corn sled was built in Ellinwood and I need information on that. Farm machinery and windmills were built in Topeka and Wichita and I need information on that.

I also am working on manuscript on less-known or unknown Kansans. Good story ideas are welcome. My Kansas books include Kansas Oddities, Eccentric Kansas, and True Tales of Kansas. My books are available in most book stores, on Amazon, the History and Arcadia books websites and from me.

Roger Ringer, 2261 NE Well Rd.,
Medicine Lodge, KS 67104;

Donkey on a silo: Readers, what do you make of this?

I acquired this photo at an estate sale and thought it was interesting. Location and time period are unknown. I have always enjoyed the public comments your magazine receives from eagle-eyed “experts” who have the knowledge and experience to shed light on the activities depicted in the photos.

The photo is puzzling to me because of what appears to be a little donkey being raised or lowered by rope and pulley. It appears to me there is a farm hand above the animal facing backward on the ladder (I believe he has just lost his hat, falling on the right side, halfway down).

Why do you need a donkey on top of a silo? What was it doing up there? Did they cut a notch in the silo top rim to remove the beast?

old photo of two young men on the side of a silo with a donkey

Randall Baron, Issaquah, Washington

Have any information on early sugar cane mill?

Carl Manuel is looking for information on a Victor No. 2 sugar cane mill built by Blymer, Norton & Co., Cincinnati. The three-roller mill, which appears nearly complete, carries patent dates of 1859 and 1864. Anyone with information about the Blymer company and/or the Victor mill is asked to contact Carl.

Carl Manuel, 1251 Co. Rd. 250,
Weimar, TX 78962; phone: 979-733-2100; email:

Send letters to:

Farm Collector Editorial,
1503 SW 42nd St.,
Topeka, KS 66609;
fax: (785) 274-4385;
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  • Published on Mar 30, 2022
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