IN THE EARLY TWENTIES

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Courtesy of Edward Knapple, Star Route, Box 21, Lexington, Nebraska 68850 Our threshing rig, taken on the Haas Bowen farm in the twenties (see story). Case engine and Case separator.
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Courtesy of Edward Knapple, Star Route, Box 21, Lexington, Nebraska 68850 Our threshing rig, taken on the Haas Bowen farm in the twenties (see story). Case engine and Case separator.
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Courtesy of George W. Hedtke, Davis Junction, Illinois 61020 Pictured is a 32-110 hp. Case steam engine that will be seen at the North Central Illinois Steam Power Show this summer. The owner. George W. Hedtke is standing by the front wheel

Star Route, Box 21, Lexington, Nebraska 68850

As it is about time to renew my subscription to the
‘Iron-Man’ I thought I would write a few lines from this
part of the country. I came here in 1897 at the age of one and one
half years. I can still remember going to the south east corner of
our section and cutting across the prairie to the town of
Lexington, formerly Plum Creek, in central Nebraska near the Platte
River and on the main line of the Union Pacific Railroad. Arriving
here just after the great grasshopper plague in ninety-four, things
were not very good for some time, but that year the farmers
organized and dug the Dawson County Irrigation Canal, which was
used to irrigate some of the land, but along in July the river
would go dry and that would be the end of irrigation for that
year.

In the early twenties I started farming the home place, raising
wheat, corn, oats and alfalfa. As Machines were not too plentiful,
neighbors organized a threshing run and advanced their threshing
bill in order to buy a big machine. A local implement company had a
Case factory rebuilt engine Number 13686 and a 32-54 Case steel
separator. Having had no actual experience before, we fired up on a
Saturday, drove it home, seven miles, and on Monday we were
threshing.

The grain was rather light that year, and it was a good thing as
we never had to shut down on account of power. The next year the
grain was. good and the machine was paid for and some left over. We
run this rig thirteen seasons, winding up in thirty-four using a
20-40 Rumley for power as the flues in the Case were leaking, and
no one wanted to haul coal, threshing fire weeds and short corn, to
winter cattle on, as this was a bad drought year. Next came the
small combines and after a few years small grain was not raised in
the valley as everyone turned to alfalfa, with the dehydrators
taking over. At the present time, in Dawson County, there are
twenty four dehydrator companies with fifty seven ovens, making
pellets, using automatic steam boilers burning natural gas.

We are not short of irrigation water anymore since the
Tri-County System was built with its many man made lakes, together
with approximately 2500 irrigation wells in Dawson County,
receiving power from the four hydro-plants and one large steam
plant, competing in cost about on a par with hydro power.

In the Twenties our rural Buffalo Grove Presbyterian Church,
issued a call to a young minister from the east, and being twelve
miles from town, he purchased a model T Ford. All went well until
the weather turned cold, and one morning the car refused to start.
He called his neighbor to help him start it. As the neighbor was
doing his chores, he suggested that he jack up a wheel before
cranking it, and he would come to help when he finished choring if
it hadn’t started by then. When he went over later he found the
minister had jacked up both front wheels. He said it didn’t
seem to help jacking up one wheel so he tried two. He had a good
laugh before explaining that the back wheel was the one to jack
up.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment