410 Crest Drive Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
The steam is up, the whistle indicates, as the white puffs of
smoke go wafting skyward creating an atmosphere of exhilaration.
‘Chuff, chuff, chuff, chuff’, softly comes the chant of the
Case engine early the morning of the Annual Threshing done by C.R.
Williams and his family that gather around him and work as a team
when it is time to thresh the small grain.
The grain is cut with a John Deere Power take-off 10 foot ct and
then hand shocked and cured for a week or more.
Before the special Day, Mr. Williams extends an invitation to
his friends and neighbors and people of Albia, Iowa and other
communities in the southern Iowa area to come, participate or
observe the Old Fashioned Threshing.
When all equipment is in readiness and the bundle wagons are
loaded and two wagons pulled up to the separator, Mr. Williams
gives the work. One of the 80 plus grandchildren is given the
privilege of jerking the whistle cord – the threshing officially
starts and men start pitching the bundles into the separator. Soon
golden grain comes pouring out of the grain spout, and straw out of
the blower pipe forms a stack and floats down into the hair of the
spectators. The big Case steam engine continues to purr, the big
belts slapping and the spectators snapping pictures. An airplane is
overhead taking another passenger for a ride over the fields and
Soon it is noon-Mrs. Williams has an old time dinner for the
workers-then they return again to the field. The workers, include
sons and son-in-laws, daughters and daughter-in-laws and neighbors.
Some of the women help with serving and the clean up work in the
kitchen. Charlie R. Williams, age 76, has been running a steam
engine since he was 13. He was brought up with threshing as his
father had a horse power rig when he was a small lad.
He bought his own new rig in 1911 -a 34 Hp Case engine with a
3654 Case separator with 4 pitcher bundles. Mr. Williams bought and
reconditioned his present engine in 1962. It is a 50 Hp engine
built in 1917 – has boiler test of 225 pounds cold pop valve set at
140 pounds. He burns Kentucky Block Coal. It takes about 500 lbs.
for one day of threshing. Besides the annual Threshing, Mr.
Williams displays his engine at parades in small and large towns in