| November/December 1989

Rt 1, Box 238 Rocky Comfort, Missouri 64861

I had thought I would never write anymore but when I read the article by Ed Strack in Arizona, I thought I would try another article. Although it is nothing unusual, it is from an 'old timer'.

I was born in Anderson County, Kansas in 1897. Before my time my father and a brother operated a small thresher that had hand feed with slat stacker, powered by a horse power unit and I think it was 10 horses. I never did see this outfit but I have seen others like it.

My first experience was firing and operating a 16 HP N&S on the sawmill at age 11. This engine was leased and Dad bought a 12 HP Case. We used this engine for several years and we really used it as we not only threshed, but usually filled 12 to 15 silos. Then, later in the fall, we went out with a four roll shredder and would work this for several weeks. Then back to the sawmill for the winter. 1914 was a bad crop year. Many threshers never went out, including ours, but a Mr. Still did go out and I operated the engine, a 15 HP Case. Threshing at that time was rough. We had to spend many nights moving, and had to carry bridge planks to protect the many little wood bridges. All these long hours and hard work and when we did get a chance to sleep it may have been on the ground, or if lucky, a barn or straw pile. But we forgot all about this when we got to the dinner table.

There was a tornado east of town in the spring of 1916. It hit a thresher, a Case steel separator, broke all the outside fittings and twisted the frame. As ours was a wood separator in bad shape, Dad bought this steel separator. With jacks, chains, bars and sledge hammer, we got the frame back to original shape. We then transferred the feeder, augers and weights from the old machine. I babbitted the cylinder bearings on the separator (most bearings at that time were babbitt) and we were ready for the field. 1916 was a very hot season and we started early and threshed 45 days with very few breaks and finished about the middle of August.

This Mr. Still also was finished with his run and decided to go to Canada and invited me to go with him. This I did and we landed in a relatively new area at Lougheed, Alberta in time for harvest.


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