3752 E. Green Street, Pasadena, California 91107
I am 85 years old, born and raised in Kansas on the farm. We
raised a 500 acre crop of wheat until 1919. We had a thresher and
separator, made a run that year and then loaded up on a flat car
and went to New Mexico in the fall to thresh in an irrigated
valley. As the season of winter wheat is later, we got in on the
fall threshing, then in partnership ran a Bird sell clover huller
after the wheat threshing and then the ensilage cutter to fill
silos. We had a 20-35 Avery gas tractor and a 28-46 Red River
In 1918 I operated a 30-60 Rumely Oil Pull engine on a 5,000
wheat ranch in Kansas near Fort Larned, threshing with a 36-56
separator and then plowing the fields with a 21 disc plow for the
fall seeding. In the fall we then filled the 18 x 72 silo.
In 1914 we had a hail storm that put most all the wheat plants
on the ground. It happened on a Sunday before we planned to harvest
on Monday. So father and four other farmers went to Kansas City and
bought a Minneapolis steam engine and a 36 x 56 separator to thresh
our wheat, as it was all on the ground and custom threshing would
have been too expensive. So, we all threshed our own. Father ran
the rig, cook shack and all, and I ran the header and we threshed
some out of the barge.
I well remember in threshing time when the machine pulled out
after the finish. All the wheat straw stacks were set on fire so
the fields were clear to plow for the fall planting. Many times in
the summer after harvest one could count a dozen smokes from
engines up in the air on a clear, hot day as the rigs were busy.
This was in Pawnee County, south of Lamed, 10 miles from town.
Father and an uncle bought 640 acres of grass land, fenced it, put
down well and broke sod and planted 30 acres of watermelons as they
rode the plow: We had melons like you wouldn’t believe!