HISTORY OF CENTURY FARM


| November/December 1966



36-60 Yellow Fellow Separator

Courtesy of Mr. Lee F. Priseler, 4253 Mission Blvd., San Diego 9, California. This is a 36-60 Yellow Fellow Separator threshing in 1919 at the Century Farm. J. J. Priseler in the stack.

Lee F. Priseler

4253 Mission Blvd., San Diego 9, Calif.

It was the year 1842 when the first Priseler set foot on the now 'Century Farm' in northern Illinois. My Great-grandfather, Joseph, became one of the first settlers in this community, coming here from Northeast, Pennsylvania. He bought the land from the government for $1.25 per acre. The Winnebago Indians, for whom the county is named, were quite numerous in the territory at that time. This farm has been in the Priseler family ever since, and now my brother, George E. Priseler, farms the same 200 acres, 3 miles east of Pecatonica, Illinois.

My grandfather, George W., my father, Jay J., and my brother, George E., as well as myself, Lee F., were all born on this farm. I was born in 1911, so I am not really an old timer according to Iron Man standards, but I still like to recall the 'good old days'.

There has been a lot of machinery over the years on our farm. Down through the years, new machinery in the neighborhood was usually 'first' on the Priseler farm, or 'Century Farm', as it became known after the first hundred years.

I heard of horse powers, reapers, steam engines, etc., way back then. Grandfather George W. ran a sawmill, a Farquhar, powered by hired steam engines along about 1898. He tried an engine off of a steamboat, but it did not have power enough. He operated this mill until 1905, during which time my father must have cussed all sawmills, because as long as he lived he always said 'No One' could saw a straight board on a sawmill. After father's death in 1960, my brother, George E., bought a Corley #20 mill with a 52' blade. This mill is powered by a John Deere 3020 Diesel tractor.

The present house on the farm is part of the original house built in 1844, added to over the years and completely remodeled in 1955. I lived there until 1936 when I joined the U. S. Marine Corps, coming to San Diego, California, where I still live.