A Family Affair

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R. R. 1, Box 124, Lake Benton, Minnesota 56149.

These photos are of my grandparents and their threshing rigs.
Photo #1 is of a 1904 20 HP Case engine with 2-wheel tender
attached, belted to a 1904 32′ Nichols and Shepard separator.
My grandfather, Johan Krog, is sitting on the front wheel of the
engine, with my great uncle Hans standing holding the pitchfork.
Their rig was owned by my great-grandfather, Jens Krog, and four
other farmers. It was called the Big 5 Threshing Co. and operated
north of Lake Benton, Minnesota, from 1904 to 1920.

Photo #2 is also of the Big 5 threshing rig. They are stack
threshing at the Hans Krog farm in September of 1916. This farm is
still in the family and it is referred to as Pleasant Grove Farm.
It was homesteaded on March 17, 1887 by my great-grandfather, Jens
Krog. It was always hotter than heck when they threshed in that
yard!

Photo # 3 is of a 1911 75 HP Case engine and a 36′ Case
separator with Garden City wing feeders. This rig was owned by
Martin Sterzinger. My wife’s grandfather, Johnny Johnson, was
the engineer on this rig for 20 years. He is sitting on the engine.
They are stack threshing two miles southeast of Ivanhoe,
Minnesota.

Threshing is still very much a part of our farming operation
today. My cousin, Harold Krog, and I recently restored a 1932 Belle
City separator that his father, Hans, operated from 1932 to 1947.
In 1985 we threshed 20 acres for ourselves and did another 30 acres
of wheat for a neighbor. My four sons and I plan to make shocking
and pitching bundles a yearly event.

This past summer we cut and shocked 15 acres of oats which we
threshed August 17 during our family Centennial Reunion. We had 150
relatives in attendance, many of whom had never seen threshing or
draft horses before.

Whenever we thresh, people gather together to talk and reminisce
about times when people worked together and cared for each other. I
think that many of the problems farmers face today started when the
thresh rings broke up.

Farm Collector Magazine
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