North To NEBRASKA


| January/February 1996



Threshing crew

Route 2, Box 325B, Linn, Missouri 65051

It's a long way from Tucumcari, New Mexico to southern Nebraska. On today's road system it's about 500 miles. My maternal grandfather John W. Cole took his Case steam engine and threshing crew overland following the harvest season north in 1915. He purchased his threshing outfit from J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company at Amarillo, Texas in June of 1914. Grandfather mortgaged his homestead in southwestern Quay

County, New Mexico, to obtain the funds to buy the outfit. He probably threshed around the Tucumcari-Amarillo area in 1914.

In search of work he took the threshing machine north, as the harvest season began in 1915. The paper trail shows he worked around Liberal, Kansas, for awhile. The end of the season found him at Stamford, Nebraska. At Stamford he worked in construction, having previous carpenter and contracting experience in Texas.

John W. Cole, on the motorcycle, with his threshing crew. The picture was taken in 1916 at Atwood, Kansas. Harley-Davidson had been making motorcycles for six years when this picture was taken. Is it a Harley? What model Case steam engine is it?

My grandmother stayed on the New Mexico homestead with the children, watching after the livestock. He sent word for her to join him in Nebraska. She sold the cattle and traveled by team and wagon from Tucumcari to Stamford. The wagon had a canvas top and my mother told how grandmother would roll up the sides of the canvas to get a breeze through the wagon for the children. My mother was six years old at the time. She told how the wagon bed was two boards high. She and her twin sister were just tall enough to see over the top board.