Karl Boekenhauer>NIU Collection>NIU Collection, Segment 4


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Farms smaller & closer together in past. Fields divided by barbed or woven wire. Fences needed to keep livestock out of neighbors' fields. Livestock foraged in fields.
Oats grown on every farm for livestock feed.
10-12 farmers formed "Threshing Ring" to share workload in harvesting oats, wheat, barley. Threshing machine separated seeds from chaff. Notes work in loading shocks into wagons. Every year the "ring" rotated which farmer got threshed first. Threshing Ring & cooperative work encouraged, good neighbors, socializing & the large threshing dinner.
Combines ended need for threshing ring. Not all farmers bought combines, many continued use of threshing machine. Combines came in 1940's. Notes how much larger modern combines are than first combines. Lists makes of combines. First started farming with 3 horses pulling a salty-plow (a one bottom plow). Later sold the horses & bought a John Deere two-bottom tractor.
Started with Model A Ford. Went to town regularly. Waterman only 1.75 miles away so easy to get into town except for times of heavy snow. Had to take school kids to school in town.
Visited larger towns (DeKalb, Aurora) to purchase winter clothes. Karl notes that farm machinery dealers in most small towns of 1,000 or more population before 1960's.