Threshing Memoirs

By Staff
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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

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 25×45 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

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.

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