| March/April 1963

  • Threshing Outfit
    The Andy Winter's Threshing Outfit. Picture taken by Andy September 1913, six miles west of Yellow Grass, Sask., Canada. Cock 'o the North Engine and Case separator. Archie Wanamaker, separator man; Martin Miller, water hauler; Chas. Genter, engineer.

  • Threshing Outfit

Box 10, Byron, Oklahoma

In a previous letter, I once expressed the wish that someone would write a book on the part hobos played in the harvesting and threshing of grain on the great plains. Since then, I got 'Beggars of Life' by Jim Tully, a well-written book but he deals practically altogether with bums and tramps. The working hobos usually resented being called a bum or tramp. As a rule they were good workers and some were entertaining companions.

Among my dearest wishes is one that I might meet once again, some of those hobos and spend a few hours of chinfest. I'm enclosing some chaff from the old straw pile, on the hobos.

To be frank, it's not the kind of word picture I wanted to paint of the old-time hobos, but it was the only thing that would come out of my mental blower. I feel that it's too sentimental and repetitious, but can't improve it.

All of us old timers have nostalgic memories of seasons long gone. To me, the best picture that hangs on memory's wall is the season of 1913. I worked through harvest for Wilbur Perkins, southeast of Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan, Canada. After harvest, I ran an engine through threshing for Andy Winters, who lived west of the town.

The engine was a Cock 'O' The North, built by the American-Ables Co. and pulling a 40' Case Separator.