| January/February 1954

Variety of soil, depth of furrow, vegetation and adjustment were factors in the draft of a plow. Sod, generally, was not plowed more than three inches deep. In northwestern Iowa, in blue stem sod, three horses pulled a breaker. In 1875, three yoke of oxen, hitched tandem, pulled a breaker on my father's farm near Aurelia, Iowa.

The scene of action described in this sketch, was not in Iowa or Minnesota, but in northwestern Kansas. The comparison should not be made with what an engine did in Dakota, nor Canada, but with what one did in Kansas.

In central and western Kansas, buffalo wallows dotted the prairies. The ground, where those wallows were, was hard-pan and did not absorb water. Heavy rains formed pools. Great herds of buffalo once grazed on the plains of Kansas, drank from the pools, stamped in the water to protect themselves from the flies and made those wallows.

A dark green grass grew in those wallows and formed sod so tough, the breaker beams would spring and the breakers draw into the ground six and eight inches. Power was required to draw twelve breakers in that sod.

In 1906, these companies were doing business in northwestern Kansas: Advance Thresher, Aurtman-raylor, Avery, Buffalo Pitts, Case, Frick, Gaar, Scott, Geiser, HuDer, Minneapolis, Nichols & Shepard, Nortnwest Thresher, Port Huron, Keeves, M. Rumely and Russell. Honorable men represented nearly all of them and were eager to share the business. Those who did not, probably were fortunate.

Reeves & Co., was the most wide-awake and sensed more quickly than any of the others, what was needed in gearing, water and coal equipment on a plow engine and furnished it.