Farm Collector

SAVED BY GRACE

Route 1, Waterloo, Indiana

I certainly enjoy the steam engine stories in the IRON-MEN
ALBUM. I never ran a steam engine, but I always hung around the
smoky end of things, when a boy, during the steam engine days. I
remember lots of stories my parents and old-timers used to
tell.

My father told about driving 24 head of horses on a Best or Holt
Header near Turlock, Modesta and Stockton, California, when he was
18 years old. He told about having a crop of wheat burned up years
ago. He had the wheat stacked at a neighbor’s place. They
pulled the threshing machine in the place. The fireman raked the
fire out in the stubble under the engine and over Sunday, the fire
spread over the field, got in the stacks and burned up the
threshing machine, wheat stacks and all, but never hurt the
engine.

He also told about an old thresher-man that moved a threshing
machine from Ohio to Indiana, a distance of 75 miles. He took no
fuel along, just chopped up fence posts and rail fences along the
road for fuel. Seems like he was quite a character-he was always in
a lawsuit about something. The story was that he had more lawsuits
than any man in the county and never won a case in his life.

I sure got a laugh when I read the Halloween Halocust story in
the Album as I used to have a neighbor that told about this
Halloween prank 40 some years ago. According to his story there
were married men 40 years old in that deal including some fellows
that used to live in my neighborhood at that time. I don’t know
if my neighbor had anything to do with it, but he sure knew all
about it. He has long passed on.

I remember 40 some years ago, Mike Schoudel used to do my
threshing and he was hulling clover seed for my neighbor and they
were moving the machine over to the other side of the field and
went through a low mucky place and got the engine mired down and
was 5 days getting it out. They used a block and tackle.

One more little story that my father told of which happened when
he was a boy about 15 years old. In Madison County, Ohio, they were
threshing for a big farmer. It took about a week or 10 days to do
their threshing and they were very respectful people. They were
strong church members and did not intend for anything like this to
happen. They had butchered a sheep and were serving mutton on the
dinner table every day and it went pretty good for about three
days. After three days, the mutton began to get stale and started
to spoil and nobody would eat any, but they still put it on the
table. In those days they had no refrigeration and could not keep
meat very long. Being very religious people, they always said Grace
and returned thanks and every day they asked different ones to
return thanks by saying Grace. After three days, when the mutton
was getting pretty strong, they asked a big Irishman to say Grace.
He was a pretty witty man and had long chin wiskers that hung way
down. The Irishman started to say Grace and said, ‘Oh Lord,
Please look down upon this plate of mutton. Once it was meat and
fit to eat, but now, Oh God, it is rotten!!’ They took the
mutton off the table.

  • Published on Jan 1, 1967
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