THRESHING IN YEARS PAST


| May/June 1968


Route 3, Monticello, Indiana 47960

Not seeing any articles in Iron Men from this section of Indiana, thought I would write a few items about threshing in times past.

In 1903 I was a boy ten years of age living on a farm near Brook, Indiana in Newton County. We had a large threshing run consisting of twenty five or more jobs on the run. Each farm furnished a bundle wagon to haul oats bundles from the field to the machine, also a grain wagon to haul oats to the elevator. The engine was a large Case model 1903 or earlier. Also a large case thresher. The engine had a tender with a round tank for water and on top a space for a considerable amount of coal. Have never seen a picture of just this type of tank in the album. In August 1903 a picture of the entire outfit was taken after the completion of a large job, showing all the workers and the machine. I was then a boy of ten, and at present theres only three of us left that were shown in the picture.

Our run lasted for about six weeks in the fall, counting time out for rainy weather. As I was too young at the time to make a hand I was always on each job and delighted in getting to set in the engine cab and get to ride on the engine while moving from one job to another and help around the engine.

There were lots of oats raised in this area at that time as corn and oats were the only crop, wheat and soy beans being unknown as a crop at that time. Crops were rotated each year, a field of corn stocks would be disked down and be planted for an oats crop some time the later of March.

Having moved to town at the age of thirteen years this about ended my personal experience with steam engines, but the memory of early times still lingers and I am still very fond of steam engines. About the oddest job that I ever saw was a steam engine engaged in was the running of a dynamo to furnish electric power for a moving picture show. The light plant in town was not yet finished and this engine and dynamo was brought in to use for a few weeks. The dynamo was located in a shed near the theater building and the drive belt ran thru an open window. In case of rain the whole operation had to be shut down. I was employed in the theater at the time. This was about 1910.






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