Wheat Centennial Celebration

| March/April 1975

Moundridge, Kansas 67107

The wheat centennial year is fast coming to an end. It has been an eventful year with a number of centennial activities in the area. This report will be focused on two activities the Goessel Centennial celebration August 16 and 17 and the participation in the 'Country Days' festivities in the spacious Crown Center in Kansas City.

The ancestors of the Goessel community people were among those Mennonite immigrants from South Russia in 1874 who brought small amounts of Turkey Red hard winter wheat to Kansas. It is this variety and its derivatives that have made Kansas to become known as the 'Bread Basket' of the world.

The Wheat Heritage Engine and Threshing (spells wheat) Company, consisting of 60 members from a radius of 50 miles, offered to perform the threshing operations. In addition they put on a very fine small engine demonstration. Threshing was scheduled for Friday and Saturday afternoon. An attempt was made to portray in proper sequence the development of threshing as experienced by our forefathers during the past 100 years. All demonstrations were narrated.

Although the flail was not used very extensively during this period of time, it was demonstrated to show the long and tedious way of threshing prior to later developments. The threshing stone was next in order. This had been their chief means of threshing in Russia and they evidently planned to proceed in this manner when they had a hundred stones cut. American technology was, however, so much farther advanced that the stones were soon discarded and more up-to-date methods adopted. For many, this was the first time to witness this sort of operation and was very much appreciated.

The threshing practice which was soon adopted was done with small machines activated with horsepower, either sweep method or treadmill. A Champion thresher, pat. 1887, had been purchased from Marlin Crownover, Schelocta, Pa. several years ago. The demonstration illustrated the concept but the actual threshing was not too successful because of improper gear ratios. The horsepower had been purchased from Lewis Sargent, Jewell, Iowa and was designed to run a corn elevator, but was too slow for threshing. Hopefully this can be corrected for the 1975 show.