Threshing Memoirs

Mogul gas tractor

Arlo Jurney

Content Tools

1835 Riverdale Road, Columbus, Ohio 43227

This past summer is the first opportunity I have had to attend shows, and I want you to know I have had the most enjoyable time in my life. And OH! the good friends I have made. It's amazing to me. I attended six shows this past season 'All in Ohio.' and I never heard the first filthy word from anyone. Everyone was so courteous. I still can hardly believe it. Praise the Lord!!!

I was born and raised in the south part of Ohio on the farm. I can still see the threshing outfit coming down the road to our farm when I was about six years old. And what a thrill it was to see that old steam engine puff smoke and to hear that shrill whistle. Then when I was a little older, when they were in the neighborhood, my Dad couldn't keep me away from them. Then I became old enough to work around them and help thresh. What a great thrill this was for me. In the late 30s and up until 1943 we threshed with steam and gas, the last couple of years with gas- 1942 with a big Huber. The Ervins from Beaver, Ohio did most of the threshing and sawmilling. There were three of them and they all had an outfit. Jim was the father and I think the oldest was Dave and then Clifford, the youngest. Jim, their dad lost an arm in one of the separators he owned back in the late 20s. Then in 1943 our neighbor had a little 24 inch that he pulled with a 1937 or 38 WC Allis Chalmers. I was the engineer on this outfit in 1943 before I went into the navy. We had some wonderful times, even though it was hard work. I remember one year we were threshing at home and someone pitched a blacksnake up to me on a load of wheat. I'm scared to death of snakes. Anyway I let someone else feed my load into the separator, and he threw the snake in with a bundle of wheat. We all stopped to watch it come out of the stacker. We never did see it come out. Then I remember one year we were threshing at the Deans , our neighbors. I was one of the first ones to sit down at the table for dinner. There was an apple pie sitting on my plate, so I just picked it up and took a piece and passed it on to the man next to me and he took a piece. The end of it all was the empty pie pan went around the table 5 or 6 times before Mrs. Dean came in and wanted to know where the pie was. What good and wonderful neighbors we had. There were the Deans. Farmers, Whitts, Hawks, Daniels, Shys, Shusters, Holts, and our own family the Schillings. These people are no longer there in good old Pike county, Ohio. Their farms were all taken when they built the atomic plant, including our home place. The only mark left of our home place is an old oak tree in the back yard. Well, I didn't mean to ramble on so, but these are such fond memories of my childhood days. I thank God for a wonderful Dad and Mother that taught me to be honest and work hard. Mom and Dad are both as well as can be expected. Dad is 87 and Mom is 79 years young.

Dad has told us children many times, how he used to watch the canal boats unload at the dock in Waverly, Ohio. Also, of the work crews from foreign lands that were used when they built the C & O Railroad through the country in the late 1890s and early 1900s. By the way, before I forget, at Greg's Hill just about 1-1/2 miles east of Waverly, Ohio is the only place in the world where three different company railroad tracks run parallel to each other. These tracks were guarded during W.W. 2. They are: N & W, C & O, and D T & I. With this in mind I would like to say; I love our stars and stripes, and I get a lump in my throat when I hear; God Bless America!!!! Oh!! But what a wonderful beautiful country we live in. Why oh why, can't we all pull together and show the world that there can be peace on earth as it is in Heaven. Our country could almost feed this starving world, couldn't we?

A few words about my hobby. I'm just getting started. I have a 1936 H.S. Huber 20-36 that I completely dismantled. I took every piece I could get off of it. Even the wheels and put new grease in the bearings and put them back together. I took every part, sanded and primed it before I repainted it. I have just started to put it back together. It is in very good condition and will be just like new when I get it finished. I hope to have it done in time for the shows this spring. This tractor is on rubber.

I also have a Huber 26 inch separator just like new on rubber. My brother 'Jack' lives at Mt. Sterling on a small farm. He has a 12-acre field of wheat that we plan on cutting and threshing with this outfit this year. We plan to have a family reunion in July when we thresh. We can hardly wait. The Drummond boys at Orient, Ohio have a lot of old steam engines and tractors. They are neighbors and we are inviting them over for the fun. Oh! Boy! The good Lord willing what a good time we will have. Won't you please come and join us?

The year is 1973; the scene is threshing; the occasion is the 4th Reunion of Pioneer Acres east of Calgary, Alta. This nice Rumely 25x45 gas engine is being operated by Orval Johnson, of Broderick, Sask. The separator is a Minneapolis. These shows are a yearly event held during the month of August.

The Maple Creek, Sask. Show in 1973; held each year at the ranch of John Stewart. It is a 'must' on the entertainment list of antique 'gas & steam buffs'. One & all receive a 'royal welcome'; the attendance is proof of the hospitality and quality at this yearly show, held during Labor Day weekend. This picture shows a Mogul gas tractor being operated by Eric Schwesinger, 266 Hendon Dr., Calgary, Alta. The separator is a Rumely.

This picture was taken at the Pioneer Acres, Langdon, Alta, 1974 Show. The owner of the 80 HP Case steamer is Toivo Anderson of Three Hills, Alta., and he entered his Steamer in the 1974 show. It was hauled a distance of about 60 miles. Mr. Eric Schwesinger of Calgary, Alta., was the truck driver and 'overseer' of the 'operation', and the whole procedure went as 'smooth as silk'. Here one can see [to the right of the picture] the men preparing to pull the Steamer off the Lo-boy with a 25 - 45 Rumely gas engine. The engine on the left is a 30 - 60 Aultmann - Taylor gas, also on display at the Show.

Pictured is my 1943 [?] John Deere H and my 1949 Massey Harris Pony tractor. The Pony tractor is restored. The H had a rod out of it when I bought it but I put a used rod in it and it runs fine. It has 3 speeds forward and 1 reverse and it has 9-32' tires. The Pony tractor is equipped with an electric starter and 9-24' tires, and it has a belt pulley and P.T.O. It has 3 speeds forward and 1 reverse. It is powered with a Continental 4 cylinder engine bore 23/8 stroke 3-1/2, 62 cu. ins. I have the 1-row cultivator and the original operator's manual for the Pony.

The 1940 harvesting scene on the Jurney farm at Grande Prairie, Alberta. A beautiful and bountiful wheat crop is being cut by two binders - pulled by a Case gas tractor. My Dad, Howard Jurney is operating the binder at extreme right, while I [Arlo] am operating the tractor.

Pictured is an unusual gasoline engine which was running at the Old Threshermen's Reunion at Kinzers. It operates in the order of a c. I did not get the name. But come to Kinzers at the next reunion and see it for yourself.