The Other Boy


| January/February 1956



As Told To GILMAR JOHNSON Frederic, Wisconsin

In a round about way through a tractor deal, I came across this factual gruesome story and it came to me this Mr. Winslow (teller of the story) is 'The Other Boy', the eyewitness of the bygone tragedy.

Mr. Harry Winslow, born June 8, 1876, is very much alive at this time and living on a farm run by two sons, near the town of Webster, Wisconsin. His boyhood was spent about 8 miles south of Zumbro Falls, Minnesota, where he experienced a cold chill he'll never forget. Seems at age 11 he was obligated to do his part with the dozen or more other men to get the threshing done. There he was cutting bands for the hand fed thresher a Case 36' agitator, machine powered by the tumbling rod from a six-team horse sweep. Harry to the right and another boy to the left and a certain bard-boiled Nelson between, rolling in the sheaves. His environment was enough to keep any boy on edge. Somehow it happened! The boy to the left cut Nelson's hand. In a furious stupor he grabbed the boy and rammed him head first into the cylinder fairly pulping the boy's skull. In a split second the teamsters slammed on the brake and Harry leaped off in fear. The rest of the crew were now closing in on Nelson. They were self-aroused judge and jury and now no mercy in their hearts. Uncoupling the tumble rod they soon set up a Jin Pole against the thresher and in a short time Nelson was hung. Nevertheless, as Winslow recalls it, Nelson had a son of 4 or 5 years old and in sympathy with his widow the neighborhood took up a collection for her amounting to one thousand dollars.

Harry Winslow recalls several tragedies he witnessed in his day. He was there when a man lost a hand in a corn shredder, but that was not uncommon in those days. Corn picker mishaps are nowadays.