I started threshing by hauling bundles in 1920 at the age of 14
at Orchard, Nebraska, 100 miles west of Sioux City, Iowa. In
1921-1922 I graduated to the straw stack. If kids now a days
stacked straw under blower at 100 in shade and in muggy Midwest
weather ugh. 1922 through 1925 went the rounds of neighborhood
threshing. One week I hauled water from horse tank to double
cylinder Advance steamer, I think.
We kids on the bundle racks used to throw belt with wet bundles
for a little rest, but braving the wrath of the separator man was
My folks sold out in 1925 and headed for California n two Model
T’s. It took two weeks. The old plank road at Yuma; Arizona,
was being replaced with black top. Had eight flat tires a short
distance from desert service station carpet tacks on the pavement.
Changed and patched them all and pumped them up and glared at man
sitting in front of station.
My first job in 1927 in San Diego was driving a team of mules on
an old dump wagon from old steam shovel to road fill at 50 cents an
hour figured I was in paradise after no pay on the farm for
Enough of chatter always wanted a steamer and I saw an ad in
ALBUM for one by an old steamer man at Grangeville, Idaho; a Mr.
Northway has a place known as The Hobby Farm. I answered the ad to
find out all about it and later sent him a check and went after it.
It was an 1895 Russell in good shape. I’ve used it in many
parades. I steam cleaned it and gave it two coats of paint. It sits
in front of my market always.
Courtesy of Reuben T. Nelson, 601 North Broadway – 132 W.
Escondido, California 92025.