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Perhaps I am inclined to delve into the past; maybe because
I’m not getting younger. Nevertheless, tilling the good earth
and the history thereof, haunts my fancy. Having operated our farm
since 1938 and using a team of horses up to 1956, I have sensed as
how horses can be contrary, and yet much more attached to my
memories are the cooperative aspects of a faithful team. In
checking corn, hauling bundles or skidding logs, one felt assured
any farm tractor would be a poor rival. Many loads of hay I hauled
alone, with the team straddling the windrow, and using a John Deere
slat loader. Pictures in retrospect to this line of thought are
from my collection and portray men who are still with us and that I
have known for some time. The first one showing an 8 ft. Deering
binder was taken Aug. 13, 1914 near Millbank, So. Dak. It is none
other than my good friend George Christian, holding his daughter
Rose, who was then 2 years old. To the right is Ed Adden (an uncle
of Geo,) and Mrs. George Christian. On that day Geo., drove a mile
to the field and cut eleven acres of rye in the afternoon. The four
horses he used were Mike, Jim, Jack and Bob, the latter was a
bronco. Geo. recalls as how the mosquitos were so thick they fairly
clouded the sun.

The second picture I received some years ago from my good friend
Louie Henrichs who now lives near Frederic. I have shredded corn
for him several times. This picture was also taken in 1914, near
Vasa, Minn. This town is located just east of Cannon Falls, where
Louie was renting the 80 acre ‘Lawter Farm.’ He was using
this 18 hoe drill seeding oats and wheat. Louie very well recalls
the horses names, left to right, Oliver, Sam, Katie and Frank. The
young man on Louie’s right is Ernest Engleking.

The third picture ‘came alive’ after the ‘Crex
article’ a couple issues back. It is of a good friend Reuben
Sederlund and his team, also taken in 1914, in August to be more
exact. At that time he was employed by Crex Carpet Co., as you will
note the team is equipped with bog shoes, which of course were put
on every morning and unbolted and taken off every night. One can
hardly look at this picture without sensing there was a close
friendship between this young man and his trusty team, which were
used to pull various equipment, such as reapers, gleaners, etc.

The next picture is more recent, and still well within the era
when horse power played a major part in tilling the soil. It was
taken in the fall of 1925 at Delile Saskatchewan, Canada .
(Southwest of Saskatoon). It is another friend of mine Elmer
Sturtevant who now lives near Centuria. This picture was taken on
the Chambers Farm who operated 2880 acres. Elmer was primarily
hired as separator man on the Chambers steam rig but helped with
the plowing when it was too wet to thresh. Three such, 8 horse gang
plows were used steady with additional T and some tractor plowing.
These horse gangs were John Deere’s 3 bottom 14 inch plows.
Each unit plowed about 7 acres per day. The thresh rig was a
Sawyer-Massey engine and Minneapolis separator. Though wheat was
the main crop, they also threshed oats, barley, and flax.

The final picture was taken in our local village of West Sweden
about 1913. It was perhaps the biggest enterprise, that flourished
for some two decades, that ever set up in our community. The
Bjorkman Bros. Sawmill, employed about twelve men and was sawing
for a Mr. Stevens who was a bonanza logger at that time. The crew
facing the camera left to right are: Herbert Klipp, Algot Klipp,
Charlie Bjorkman, Frank Bjorkman, Arthur Moline, Willie Lund, Emil
Holquist, Henry Bloom, Melvin Bloom, Victor Edholm, Ernest Friberg.
Charlie Bjorkman was the fireman, Willie Lund head sawyer. Aside
from lumber this mill also sawed shingles. Although I faintly
recollect the sawmill I did know all the men pictured except Emil
Holquist. Lund and Edholm were also engaged in threshing after the
mill shut down from lack of timber about 1915. I can well remember
Victor Edholm who walked from farm to farm as township assessor.
All the men pictured have passed on except Algot Klipp and Henry
Bloom. Henry gave me this picture some time ago when he came over
to watch us thresh.

A very careful driver approached a R.R. crossing. He stopped,
looked and listened very carefully. All he heard was the car behind
him crashing into his gas tank.

A Preacher paid a young fellow 10 for every Sunday he could keep
his Grandpa awake. This went on for two Sundays and on the third
Sunday the Preacher said ‘Sonny, I can’t give you a dime
today because your Grandpa went to sleep.’ ‘I can’t
help it, Grandpa gave me a quarter to leave him alone,’ was the

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment