1810 Avenue D, Ft. Madison, Iowa
Enclosed is an item clipped from the Threshermens Review in
1907. My father, E. C. Cook, of Brighton, Iowa, recently found this
clipping which he cut from the magazine. The main reason he saved
the clipping is that he was the engineer on this rig. The picture
enclosed is an exact duplicate of the one that appeared in the
Review with the article. Martin & Wager operated this rig.
Martin, son-in-law of Wager, was the field boss and is seated in
the buggy. It took some doing for them to get the rig. They bought
the engine second hand with a note and then mortgaged the engine to
buy the separator. Edd Krehbill of Donnelson, Iowa, was the
separator man. He passed away several years ago. Albert Miller and
William Young of Salem, Iowa, and my father are the only living old
threshers that threshed in Lee and southern Henry County that I
Also enclosed is a picture of a 12hp. Rumley purchased new in
1902 which my father operated. The picture was taken the same year.
The following year father went to North Dakota to run engines.
After proving his worth as an engineer he asked for and received
practically double the pay of the average engineer.
The last picture is of father as he looks today. This fall he
will celebrate his 84th birthday anniversary. For an old man he
enjoys fairly good health. Ray Ernst of Wayland, Iowa, is a fairly
close old thresher and they get to visit together once in a
If this is of interest and worth printing I might be able to get
some more together. Father thinks I can be classed as an old
thresher as I stayed out of school one fall for three weeks to run
a 16 hp. Gaar Scott pulling a clover huller when I was just 12
A GOOD ONE FROM DAKOTA
Editor Review: Having noticed in your last issue a little joke
at the expense of the Dakota thresher, I would like to submit a few
facts, which I hope will prove that we are justified in trying to
give our crew ‘steady work.’
I don’t believe there is any other place where the
thresherman has as much expense to carry as we have here, and in
order to make anything we are obliged to pay high wages and work
I operate a 36×56 inch separator with a 20 hp. engine, and to
run this sized outfit it requires twelve teams and about thirty
men. The wages running from $2.50 to $6 per day for men and $2.50
to $3 for teams.
We, of course, board our own crews, using a dining car which is
large enough to set the entire crew. Also furnish a sleeping car,
and these we always move along with the machine in the field.
And now, a few words about how we thresh. There are usually two
may with each bundle team, so there are always four men pitching to
the feeder, and they are kept pretty busy most of the time,
And when it comes to moving, I believe we can take the prize, as
it is nothing unusual for Dakota threshers to move from 60 to 80
rods and be threshing in from 6 to 10 minutes.
In order to be a successful thresher here a man mustn’t know
anything but hustle, hustle, all day and half the night.
But somebody says, ‘Why all this hustle?’ Well, you see,
there is an immense amount of grain to handle here, and it is
nearly all threshed from the shock, and of course the farmers are
always in a hurry to get their grain in the bins, as a little loss
from bleach means quite a sum to a man who has from ten to twenty
thousand bushels of grain.
The expense of operating a machine here is on an average $125
per day, and as the price for threshing is down at rock bottom, the
thresher has to ‘go some’ to make ends meet. And there is
no doubt that if the gentleman who ‘wants work steady’ was
to find himself in the shoes of the thresher and realized that he
was losing good money through his inability to secure good steady
men who were willing to earn the money paid them for a day’s
work, he would change his ideas a little.
During the time that I have been a reader of your valued paper I
have noticed very little correspondence from this state. Would like
to see the threshers take more interest in The Review, as it would
certainly be a benefit to us all.
Will send you a picture of my out fit at work in the field,
showing a part of the crew.
With the best of wishes for the future of The Review, I am
A. G. Martin, Yours truly, Forest River, N. D. 1907