Mrs. McCollum's grand-father's workshop in later years. 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.