Silo filling is normally completed prior to October; somehow HAROLD CHURCHILL'S down at Elmwood had escaped even the late September frost. We got word Harold would be using the 20 HP double Rumely on the Case silage blower as in years past. His sons GEORGE and DONALD shoulder the major responsibilities of the farm work and with adequate equipment operate a 360 acre dairy farm including a 25 acre sugar bush. On October 15th we made the 85 mile trip to Churchill's in time for dinner, of course. Thanks to Marlys, her experience as a Home Ec. teacher really packs a meal. Had a chance to fire the engine, and what a three-plow tractor would find a load was merely keeping the flues clean for the Rumely. Joint owner of the steamer is WILLIAM HERPST from Elmwood, who had not only operated several threshing rigs but was salesman for a decade prior to World War I. There too was HOMER PENCE, a precision model builder of stationary steam. Of course Harold's grandson couldn't resist the urge to blow the whistle and in so doing a nabor down the road who was supposed to be putting on storm windows, truantly joined the fun that afternoon.
Stopped at Wm. Herpst, graciously he gave me an 1893 catalog on Minnesota Chief Threshing Machinery printed in Norwegian. I take it he figured my wife could read it for me in as much as she spent nigh two months in Norway. As for me, I'm Scandinavian in that I sure like my coffee; right Elmer? Luckily the catalog contained literature on the engines made by Minnesota Thresher Manufacturing Company of Stillwater, Minn. at that time. 'Minnesota' Giant built in five sizes, 10 to 18 HP, 'Stillwater' Engine 4 sizes, 10 to 16 HP. It put me straight on the difference between the two and is rather evident in the picture, page 15 September issue of ' Engineers and Engines'. The Stillwater Engine has a fire box return flue boiler whereas the Giant boiler is similar to the Huber.
Twas late in October on a Sunday afternoon, the wife decided we visit some friends up Grantsburg way. To no surprise this farmer and his brother-in-law had gone hunting, season open on grouse, ducks and pheasants all of which are going the way of the dodo and passenger pigeon. By the time we had coffee the nimrods returned. 'What you get?' 'Got a crow for supper.' In reality it was a raven and unedible. ' 'How come you shot it?' 'Oh, I dunno, wasn't going to, it was really out of range, quite a challenge for my old Remington but it brought him down.' 'Aren't they protected?' 'No, I guess not.' 'Anything else?' 'Well I shot a rabbit, I suppose I shouldn't have, had a couple chances to get it sitting still, but preferred a running shot, so when it took off I let him have it.' 'What about your brother-in-law?' Well he got nothing but bagged a grouse the previous week-end. In my book such wild life is harmless, the raven is a scavenger and what if a hare grazes a cherry tree, George cut it down anyhow. On our way home we noted some hard pressed nimrod had taken his shooting out on a 'town dump' sign, leaving only tattered remains of public property. Where does good sportsmanship start or end? Hunting is a graft, seems to me, whereby the state obtains revenue while wild life is suffering defeat. I am glad that in our 'EARLY DAY' endeavor our hopes and aims are at preservation rather than ruination. During deer season a posse of 15 hunters scanned a swamp near our home in persuit of a buck deer, luckily the stag eluded their efforts in spite of their generous shooting. Here was a ratio of 15 to 1, what will they do next? It puts me in mind of PWA days, a foreman was overly blest with workers and put in an order for more shovels the reply came back, we are out of shovels, tell them to lean on each others. According to Winconsin Conservation Department statistics for '62 showed 45,000 legal deer shot and 25,000 illegal deer. This sort of violation should cause some concern.
Many readers will recall HARDY LINDBLAD'S super heated 60 Case; it was pressed into service threshing two jobs last fall.
JOHN HANSON from Lewis was still using his 3090 Russell number 16003 for sawing lumber last October.
By no means have I been in the market for another thresh machine, but got lead on a 24x42 wood Huber in near perfect shape, couldn't resist buying it, has slat stacker, tally box with measures, and Langdon feeder, that should make a nice mate for my Titan come fall. It was bought new in 1920 and powered by a gas engine.
Made a trip north after a forlorn Fordson that had set in a shed for a decade or more along Highway 35. Wheels were sunk in the dirt, gas tank and radiator splattered with residue from consecutive years of Phoebes nesting overhead, come spring they will wonder who took their 'cellmate.' Well its got a good home, but as for its restoration that's a pending project. It had been used in the cut-over country south of Superior for breaking land and at one time tipped over backwards in an effort to pull a pine stump. The former owner George Farmer is still around to tell the story. Before I drop the Fordson story, sometime ago ADOLPH MATTSON from Webster told me that in order to move a cold Fordson take off the 4 cap screws holding the hitch and pull out the worm gear. This was a very easy process and simplified matters immensely.
Scouting around for old-iron I came upon a 'Hooverizer' Threshing machine, a steel framed, wood machine complete with all attachments. This bachelor also has an eight roll Appleton Corn Shredder with geared blower apparently in good shape, but who shreds corn, except me? Got to inquire about Hooverizer machines, sounded like some political aspect involved. I gathered that Herbert Hoover was Food-Administrator during the first World War. In effort to stress economy and preserve food, the public was called on to 'Hooverize,' six people riding in one car or five guys lighting a smoke on one match etc. Regulations were set up that grain bundle wagons must have tight bottoms and 4 inch sides to save grain gleanings and many grain saving attachments were made and sold for threshing machines to satisfy the cause. If I'm correctly informed the Hooverizer was the first thresher built by John Deere.
The Teacher had been explaining the story of Jonah and the Whale, 'Now then' she asked the class 'What does this story teach us?' Little Johnny pipes up 'it teaches you can't keep a good man down.'
HARVEY OBRECHT'S from Thor Iowa stopped in on their annual vacation. He is a steam fan and up on locomotives; we made a trip to Trap Rock quarry at Dresser where steam is almost out. Four 040 still intact, one of which was used the '62 season; but a crane built by Bucyrus in 1922 with a 65 foot boom and operated by SWEN LINDGREN of Taylors Falls, Minnesota still plays a big part in stock piling crushed rock and used as a hoist for repairing or dismantling the heavy crushing machinery in the plant. Saw it lift a 4 ton cone crusher through a door some 30 feet from the ground and carriage it 80 rods down to their shop.
With favorable fall weather we had ample time to saw up wood and shred corn. On different occasions STANLEY PETERSON, DENNIS ANDRES and GEORGE CHRISTIAN stopped in with the mutual feeling to to belt up some equipment, used 3 hp Novo to saw slab wood and 5 hp Galloway for cord wood, alternating old 'Old Spark Plugs' to power the corn shredder namely John Deere D, John Deere GP, Rock Island and Massey Harris 4 WD. Somehow the combination of a John Deere D and a com shredder takes my memories back to Iowa in 1933. At that time Oscar Miles residing near LaPort City was operating a shredder with a D, when the old D was making a name for itself. Somehow I cater to a tractor with a hand clutch and that open fly wheel. Oscar Miles was also engineer on a top mounted straight flue Avery engine belonging to a farmer thresh ring. My job was husking corn for Mrs. Martha Goudy and her son Robert. Her son-in-law Roy Fritz was operating a Hart Parr tractor and a new Idea corn picker. He sort of objected to the exhaust coming out the front, said it seemed the exhaust gasses kept drifting back and made his eyes sore.
The Harry Mooneys from Eau Claire visited us one week-end and we sure enjoyed their company. They had some very interesting slides and of course we did some tape recording.
Seems there was an Englishman visiting this country; was questioned how he liked it over here, 'Just fine' came the reply, ' 'but I'm having a heck of a time getting the tea out of those tea bags.'
Puts in mind of an American visiting in Italy and browsing in a shoe store; the proprietor got to explaining as how his shoes were all carefully cut and sewed by hand; the tourist being taken in, decided to buy six pair, sometime later he discovered in the shoes 'made in Hong Kong for overseas trade.'
My wife collects cups and of course picked up a rare specimen while in Norway. Upon coming home she noted in fine print 'made in Czechoslovakia.'
Branch No. 1 of 'Early Day Gas Engine Club' had their meeting at Furuby Club House December 8 with a most enjoyable Christmas party. We feel we have some real cooperative women in our ' gang'. Thanks to them! Officers elected for the coming year are: KARL MARQUARDT, President; JOHN JACKSON, Vice President; DENNIE MAGNUSON, Sec'y-Treas.
Got a picture from MYRON GLEITER, Cochrane, Wis. of Myron and his son Frederick on their Baker Engine threshing wheat using their Nichols Shepard thresher in the fall of '62. Myron is very fortunate in having two sons and a steam engine too.
Wayne Corcoran ('Cork' for short) of River Falls has been in pursuit of a steamer for some time, said he attended the Ellsworth Centennial Celebration where DAN BOOTH had his 80 Case in the parade. Wayne casually approached Dan, 'How much for your engine?' Rather unconcernedly Dan turns to him, 'How many farms you got?'
The temperature was zero, the time 6 PM, a GMC truck pulled into our yard, if I gave Alice 3 guesses who, she'd guess FRANK MILLER of Lacrosse Indiana 3 times. The following morning it was 47 degrees below freezing. As usual, Frank carries reading material such as Thresher men's Reviews, which we looked at while visiting that day. Was pleasantly surprised to find a nice write-up in June 1912 issue by C. R. WILLETS (of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa), on his threshing experience. The second morning, the thermometer was 22 degrees below zero. Frank seemed to protest our brisk weather but concluded the mosquitoes didn't bother him out there in the six by six. Frank wanted to get home before the week-end. despite the cold we proceeded to load the Model T Ford Knickerbockers tractor which is claimed by his five year old grandson MICHAEL LEE MUFFLEY better known as 'Sputnik', which was a must on this trip. Quoting some words of wisdom from 'Sputnik' 'Women don't seem to understand us men'. Gil