THE BROKEN DISC

Orofino, Idaho 83544

My late father made a down payment on a farm in the Cameron
district South of Kendrick, Idaho. Many old timers will recall the
disastrous autumns of ’93 and ’94 when little or no grain
was threshed in that area, due to continued rains, and as a result,
many farmers went broke. My father was one of them. In the spring
of ’95 he got a job with the surveyors who prepared the
Nezperce Indian Reservation in Idaho for homestead and in the fall
he filed on a quarter section of land adjoining Russell Canyon,
which is adjacent to Russell Ridge in what is now Lewis County in
Idaho.

I remember Dad telling that there was a good cabin on his
homestead that was built by some unknown person while the land was
still Indian land. He didn’t know about the cabin for a couple
of weeks after he settled there, as it was discovered by four
neighbor men who were also bachelors. They made a deal to use the
cabin the first winter while they worked on log cabins on their own
homesteads.

Dad had a quantity of lumber near the town of Cavendish that he
had earned at previous times as a mill hand, so he was absent much
of the winter while he freighted the lumber to Lewis-ton and on up
to his homestead, making a round trip per week. When Dad moved off
his original farm, he took with him a plow, harrow, four horses and
harness and his wagon. In the fall of ’95 he broke some sod
which was open prairie land.

In the early spring of ’96 he made a trip to Lewiston for
supplies (about 45 miles) and there he found, in a hardware store,
a six foot single disc, made by the Budlong Co. He had to borrow
money with which to buy the disc, but he reasoned that it was
almost necessary to the preparation of the broken sod for farm
operation. On the first day that it was fit to do farm work, he
hitched onto the disc and started out. He had used it only about an
hour when it struck a stone and one of the blades broke, center
wise, at the axle. Dad said he was pretty much down in the mouth,
for he realized that there probably was not a new blade nearer than
Portland.

However, there was a neighbor nearby who had a sawmill and who
was reputed to be an excellent blacksmith, so Dad drove the disc to
his place and showed him the trouble. The blacksmith took a piece
of an old saw blade and cut it to size and then punched four holes
in it. Then he punched four holes in the disc blade to match and
riveted the two firmly together. Next he made a hole in the center
of the patch the size of the axle of the disc, and put the disc
back together. To pay for the job, he asked Dad to disc up a patch
for him, which Dad was more than happy to do. After Dad got his
discing done some neighbor borrowed it, as it was the only one in
the neighborhood.

Apparently it was re-borrowed until Dad lost track of it. A
month’ or so later he made a trip to Nezperce, a new town that
was only recently a supply center, and while on the way home on
another route, he came upon a disc that looked familiar.
Examination proved it was his, because of the repaired blade, so he
dismantled it and loaded it onto his wagon and took it home.

A few weeks later a constable arrived and talked to Dad about
the disc, stating that some man on the prairie claimed it. However,
after looking at the broken blade, and after Dad offered to take
him to the blacksmith, he returned home and nothing more was said
about it.

I have a cast iron seat from a Budlong implement, and since I
located it only a few miles from Dad’s homestead, it is
possible that it came from the disc my Father bought.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment