A THRESHING BARN

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Mrs. McCollum's grand-father's workshop in later years. Courtesy of Ralph Hussong, R. R. 2, Camp Point, Illinois 62320.
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Mrs. Winnie McCollum at east side of barn. Courtesy of Ralph Hussong, R. R. 2, Camp Point, Illinois 62320.
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Mrs. McCollum - very modern looking lady of this rare barn a monument of our past history. Courtesy of Ralph Hussong, R. R. 2, Camp Point, Illinois 62320.
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Looking south toward north end of BARN. Shows door entrance of threshing room. Opening to left or east side is bundle entrance. Courtesy of Ralph Hussong, R. R. 2, Camp Point, Illinois 62320.
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McCollum threshing BARN as it looked March 24,1971. Southwest corner approaching from southwest position. Courtesy of Ralph Hussong, R. R. 2, Camp Point, Illinois 62320.

R. R. 2 Camp Point, Illinois 62320

Some few years ago while attending a threshermen’s reunion
at Center, Missouri, the writer engaged in conversation with a
middle aged carpenter who said he had been doing some repair work
for a widow lady on a THRESHING BARN. I asked him to repeat that
statement again as I had never heard of a threshing barn and am 82
years old. I had heard some of my Aunts tell of riding one horse
and leading two more in a circle to tromp out grain on
grandfather’s farm many years ago.

I took the name and address of the widow lady, but through
pressure of business and my wife’s illness, I all but forgot
about the unusual barn. Along with the fact that I am giving some
antique articles to the Threshermen’s Ass’n. at Mt.
Pleasant, Iowa, I happened to recall about the barn. The name and
address were lost so I called Bill Scholtz, an old thresherman
friend of near Center, Missouri. He refreshed my memory as to name
and location of the owner, so on March 24, 1971, I employed a
driver and went to the farm of Mrs. Winnie McCullum, 10 miles
southeast of Center, Missouri, where we took several pictures and
listened to this very unusual lady recite history of her family.
The acquisition of a large tract of land, made it necessary for her
grandfather to have a well defined method of caring for the large
harvest which was cut with cradle, bound by hand, shocked and later
stored until it was ready for the time consuming process of
tromping out under horses’ hoofs. This was usually in the
winter.

I, of course, was primarily interested in the floor of this
threshing room which bore marks of most high craftsmanship. It was
laid on heavy-lined timbers sunk in ground and pinned, not nailed,
with wooden pins to the foundation timbers. There is enough of the
floor left to show exactly how it was built. The sides and ends of
this building were hued timbers, eight inches thick. Many of the
logs covered 16 to 20 inches wide and over 20 feet long. The
threshing room was 20 x 24 feet. The south part of this main
building is a 12 foot corn crib. There are sheds on one side and
one end of the main building. The writer gave them no attention as
my trip was for the purpose of seeing the THRESHING BARN.

On returning to our car, the lady called my attention to a
smaller log house built with hued logs of about the same dimension.
This was where her grandparents lived while farming and buying more
land. I am unable to give the exact number of acres, but to the
best of my recollection, she pointed out 6 or 7 quarter sections
there in a rich creek bottom, southeast of Center, Missouri, which
her grandfather owned. Therefore, it was advisable for him to be
prepared to do extensive threshing in the most perfect manner
possible. After being cut and bound, it was shocked for a long
enough period to season or cure out, then either stacked or stored
under cover until convenient to thresh.

This lady’s great grandfather was born on a sailing vessel
approaching the United States on March 24, 1799. His name was
Abraham Brinker Seeley. Her grandfather went by the name of Brink
Seeley. The lady who owns the original quarter section is Winnie
(Seeley) McCollum.

During my entire life, most of which has been spent on the farm
and interested in. agricultural mechanics, this is one of the most
interesting sights and stories I have ever witnessed. I hope I have
made the story clear enough so that the reader can follow me in
thought.

I expect to be at this year’s reunion at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa,
and would be pleased to visit with anyone about this very
outstanding experience.

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