Courtesy of DeLoris Tharp, 410 Crest Drive, Jefferson City, Missouri 65101. This picture taken in 1913 at the Prather Farm, Bluff Creek Township, Monroe County, Iowa. The rig was bought new by Mr. Charles R. Williams in 1911. The engine was a 45 Case and
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 surrounding locality.
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 Southern Iowa.