Another Story by Leo Fitzpatrick From Clare County, Michigan

| July/August 1998

  • Dennis Fitzpatrick Sr.

  • Dennis Fitzpatrick Sr.

This is a picture of Dennis Fitzpatrick Sr., with his ox team Tom and Jerry working wheat ground in the summer of 1914. The picture is a tribute to an important part of preserving our past, 'a good picture.' Just as a good thresher man could thresh grain as clean, ninety years ago, as we do today, so could a good photographer take pictures that are as good as the best pictures of today. John Walters, who lived in this area, carried his camera with him just about everywhere he went. He would walk for miles around to take a picture of the last day of school, the building of a new barn, threshing rigs, and grandfather with his ox team. The log roller was made here on the farm. In the summer of 1911 a four acre field of wheat threshed seventy bushels per acre on the Fitzpatrick farm.

Dennis and Sarah Fitzpatrick had seven sons and one daughter. George, the oldest, ran steam engines.

Bill and Den went to work in the lumber woods near Temple in the fall of 1909. Bill and Charlie owned and ran threshing rigs in the Clare area.

The youngest Bernard, my father, drove the ox team in the picture, a team of horses, a steam engine, gas tractor and a diesel tractor. All in a span of sixty years as a farmer.