Handy Herbert Jack Of All Trades


| July/August 1970



Muchwa Bridge

Courtesy of Herbert Reese, Sr., Greenbush, Minnesota 56726

Herbert Reese

Sr., Greenbush, Minnesota 56726.

I'll begin with some background on my family and myself. My father, Nick Reese, came to Sheldon, Iowa, from Germany in 1876. He worked on farms and got married at Adrian, Minn. in April, 1893. I was the fourth boy in the family, born January 23, 1900. My father was farming and owned a hay baler and did custom baling in 1909-10-11. I had to tie the wires on the bales all fall and winter of those years and therefore I did not get to go to school too long -- only got through the fourth grade. The hay was shipped to market by rail.

In 1911, my father traded his fine 160 acre farm for more land to keep us boys busy. He got 320 acres of wild land near Badger, Minnesota. There were no buildings on it so he rented a place near Greenbush. He made a poor trade as the land was just brush and rocks. He had four good horses and bought four more for f 800 and also two sets of harnesses and two new six foot Deering Mowers

He sent my two oldest brothers, John and Joe, out to start cutting hay. They had a very bad accident as some hunters were shooting at chickens and shot near the back team and some of the shot hit the team. The horse jumped and my brother, John, fell off the mower. The team ran away and the mower bar smashed into the other mower and scared the second team and they also started to run away. Brother Joe fell off and the horses ran into the woods nearby. Both mowers were smashed and two of the horses had some of their legs nearly cut off. Father had to shoot them. When he lost these horses, he decided to buy a tractor to break up the new land.

Herbert and 12 U.S. customs border patrol agents taking delivery of twelve new four-door 1929 Model Overland Whippet Sedans in May of 1929 at Duluth - were shipped in by water from Toledo, Ohio. Officers were from Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota and Wisconsin. It was funny walking down the street. Everyone would look to see who the lone fellow was with the twelve armed guards. (I am in the middle of the picture.)

He found a used 12-20 Titan about two years old. It was a single cylinder gas engine with about 8' piston, had an open crankcase, crankpin lubricated with a grease cup. Cylinder was lubricated with a sight feed drip oiler; also a hit and miss governor. The drive wheels were about 6 feet tall and 18 inches wide. My three older brothers and myself each took turns helping with the breaking with a 24 inch John Deere Jumbo breaking plow. We also did custom breaking for several years with this tractor.