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 reply.