| November/December 1968

By James G. Stewart

Minnesota City,Minnesota 55959

I have threshed and shredded corn ever since 1919. I have only missed two years since then and that was 1926 -1928, the three years that I was in Chicago, Illinois. In 1927, I was home on vacation and I got in a few days that year. 1968 would make 50 years if I had not missed those two years.

To begin with, I started out with a 32 x 52 J. I. Case handfeed machine with a slat stacker and a 12-20 Rumely Oil Pull Tractor. In 1920 I bought a Sears Roebuck 12 Hp. portable gas engine. Then, in 1922 I bought a 1 cylinder I.H.C. Mogul Tractor 10-20 Hp. The first few years I put my engines on a neighbor's shredder but in 1922 I bought a new I.H.C. Shredder. It was a four roll and was not too good of a machine. In 1929 I bought a four roll Appelton that was quite a lot better machine. I also bought a 10-20 McCormick Deering from my brother that was new the fall of 1926. In 1930, I quit using the Case and bought a 24 X 40 New Racine with wood frame and steel sides. It was a used machine. Then in 1932, I bought a J. I. Case 15-45 Steamer that was built in the year 1905. I used it to do some custom work, then after that I just used it at home to do our own work.

In 1943, I sold it for junk, but if I would have known what I do now, I would have kept it. I did not think at the time that they would ever become so valuable as they are now. If I had known what I do now, I would have gone out and bought a few of them. A junk dealer at Rochester, Minnesota, was cutting them up for a dollar a horsepower. $25.00 for a 25 Hp.and there was some really good ones that went for scrap iron.

In 1932, I lost my left hand at the wrist. It was on the 8th day of December and I was using the steam engine and the Appleton Shredder. I had just got the steamer and it was the first job that I used it on. It happened right here at home. Well, I