| November/December 1967

Alvordton, Ohio 43501

When I was a young lad living at home near Minden, Nebraska in the late 1890's, I remember hearing a true story about a boy being thrown into a threshing machine head first by an angry man feeding a grain thresher.

In looking over some of my old copies of IRON-MEN ALBUM magazine, in the September-October 1952 issue in 'Cobs From Elmers Corn Crib', a Mr. H.H. Scanland of 1240 Burlington St., N. Kansas City, Missouri, wants to know if any of the readers of the ALBUM remember a case back in the 1880-85's when a feeder cut by a boy band cutter, threw the boy into the separator and the crew hanged the feeder on the straw carrier.

I well remember hearing that story and perhaps it is the same story Mr. Scanland asked about. It seems the boy was cutting bands on the bundles and accidentally cut the feeders hand. The angry feeder told the boy if he did it again he would throw him into the revolving threshing cylinder. This made the boy rather nervous and he accidentally cut the feeders hand again. Thereupon the feeder picked up the boy and threw him into the machine, thus killing him instantly.

The crew seeing what happened, overpowered the feeder and hung him on the spot. When I was visiting a cousin and her husband, Jay L. Smith, in Hastings, Nebraska in March, 1953, I asked them about it. They said it was a true story and they heard it when they were young also. My cousin said the murderer was hung from the end of a propped up wagon tongue as no trees were available for hanging out on the prairie.

When calling on our old thresher, Bert L. Smith, who lived about 10 miles northwest of Minden, Nebr. in August, 1965, he verified the above true story. Bert Smith passed away several months later well past 90 years of age. This story is similar to the one on page 9 of the November-December 1952 issue of the ALBUM, but I am sure it is another incident as the ALBUM'S story occurred many years earlier.