The McCormick-Deering binder (a 1930s model) and Farmall F-12 tractor on steel wheels shown in this photo were used by Harold Lee Williams (on the binder) and Eugene Joe Williams (on the tractor). Thomas Dale Williams is shown standing on the back of the binder to cut the oat crop on great-aunt Nora’s farm. The photograph was taken by a traveling photographer and was mounted on a large paper frame. No name or identification of the photographer or studio was included. Three people are visible in the background behind the binder, shocking oat bundles. Ed Wilcox’s house is visible in the upper right corner in the distance. The corner of the field is visible in front of the tractor, placing the scene at the east end of Nora’s 40-acre tract. My dad, Herbert Williams, traded the Farmall F-12 to Frank Hammond as a down payment on stock in the County Line Store, which he operated as Williams Produce until 1946. The County Line Store was 1 mile east of the junction of Missouri State Hwy. 39 and County Line Road.
Nora’s 40-acre tract was part of the Nathaniel Greene LeMaster estate (located on County Line Road and Carnation Road in Lawrence County, Mo.), which was purchased from the railroad in 1872. We lived on the south 80 (in Barry County) on the original 160-acre tract. Harold Lee rented Nora’s 40 from about 1930 to 1960. I plowed this field many times for oat and wheat crops. We purchased a John Deere 12A combine in 1949 so the binder was retired and sold. This photo was recently discovered by the new owner of Harold’s farm in an upper cabinet in the garage.
— Charles H. Williams, 100 Winterset Ct., Sunrise Beach, MO 65079; phone: (573) 374-8830.