Farm Collector

Dairyland Driftings

By Staff

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 24×42 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

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

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

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;

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

  • Published on Mar 1, 1963
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