Bobby A Reed Harold L Barger Ralph M Gaither Stranded students rescued by Brown County cooperation 4-H Teen Ambassador Dunning attends SHOT Show Veterans Service Commission invites veterans to seek help with benefits Unemployment rate rises in Brown County Pick a Lollipop, help a dog A season to remember G-Men hit the field for first baseball scrimmage Eastern’s Rigdon, Purdy earn AP SE District Div. III honors New blocking, kicking rules address risk minimization in high school football Judy A Schneider James M Darnell Lawanda R Truesdell Paul E Grisham Arrelous R Rowland Dennis E Stivers David M Daniels Fayetteville man is charged with child porn April 1st Grand Opening for Jacob’s Ladder Resale Boutique in Georgetown Talent Show auditions at Gaslight Theatre Nine indicted by county grand jury Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall visit coming next May to BC Fairgrounds In it to win it! Bronco wrestlers end season on successful note Eastern’s Hopkins finishes 5th in long jump at OATCCC State Indoor Track and Field Meet SBAAC awards academic all-stars, winning teams Marvin D Atkin Beverly S Flatt Jessie M Sanders Leroy Deck Sr Jody A Towler Sherman E Young Kenneth C Burton Varnau’s face second defamation suit Attorney General to visit Georgetown schools Clermont County GOP hosts Wenstrup, DeWine at dinner Fatal car crash in Adams County BC Chamber welcomes new Cricket Wireless store to Mt. Orab Aberdeen Council approves 2017 budget Royce K Zimmerman Lady Warriors advance to Elite 8 SBAAC awards boys basketball all-stars SBAAC girls basketball all-stars take home awards SHAC Winter Sports Awards Banquet set for March 12 Altman claims 170-pound district title Sirkka L Buller Arthur C Schneider Lowell G Neal Virginia M Schirmer Connie S Darling Harold L Purdin Terry E Frye Lucille Schumacher Lady Warriors roll to district finals Broncos take care of business to claim sectional crown G-Men upset MVCA to earn berth sectional finals WBHS JROTC Rifle Team competes at Camp Perry Lady Rockets finish 12-12 Season reaches end for Rockets Eugene D Ring Two indicted on major drug charges Two charged with home invasion Cincinnati airport expanding services, lowering prices in effort to compete Two sentenced in common pleas court Georgetown man hurt in car crash Robert G Miller Linda M Howland Robert E McKinney Mildred J Hodges Farrel L Amiott Patricia Brown Rick L Dye Mary E Nagel Betty Ratliff Broncos claim SBAAC wrestling title Broncos pull ahead for win over G-Men in SBAAC Tourney Ripley boys wrap up regular season with win at Lynchburg Eastern girls are sectional champs Anderson pleads not guilty to battery charge Some county offices to change locations Fayetteville prepares for Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall HealthSource hosts Chamber of Commerce meeting Five sentenced in Brown County Common Pleas Court June Howser Marguerite A Fender Timothy D Harris Jay R Purdy Robin S Godwin Marc A Wachter Chester W Eyre Warriors blast past the G-Men, 61-40 Rockets performing well heading into post-season tournament play Lady Warriors bring home the Gold with perfect 13-0 finish in SHAC Western Brown Junior High wrestling team wraps up successful season Rockets fall victim to ‘Pack’ attack Broncos suffer heartbreaking loss to Mentor Lake Catholic in state quarterfinals Adult Education Center coming to county ‘Senior Playground’ moving forward at Georgetown park

What a farmer does when he is in need

Having the privilege to grow up on a farm at the time that I did, I got to not only enjoy and be fascinated with the equipment but I also got to see the horse equipment being abandoned or converted to be used with tractors. Tractors brought a new era to farming and not only how, but what was used in handling the farming. A case in point was the harvesting of corn. Before tractors the corn was cut, stalk and all, and tied into shocks, then loaded onto wagons and hauled to a corn shucker/corn shredder and all the fodder went in it with fodder going into a pile one way and the ears going into a trailer that when full was moved next to the crib and shoveled in. The entire process took several men and a long time.

When the tractor appeared, along with it came many new items for a farmers to use. One was a corn picker. With the picker, one man on his tractor could remove the ears from the fodder in the field and bring only the ears to the crib where all that was left to do was to shovel it into the cribs. Putting the corn into the crib sounds easy but the sides of the average crib were at least ten feet up. Try shoveling ear corn up and over that height all day. It was still a very hard job at its best and it was back-breaking to say the least. It wasn’t long before the elevator came into existence.

The elevator was a long trough with a drive chain with paddles that carried the corn to the top and dropped it into the crib. It was powered by either a gasoline engine or electric motor. This was one of those pieces of equipment that gets little recognition for how much labor that it saved. Dad and Ed and Chris Maus bought a Wood Brothers one row corn picker together and then converted their horse drawn box bed wagons to fit on the wagons of the new era.

They still didn’t have the elevator and since this was about the time I was born, my guess was that they couldn’t justify spending more at that time after buying so much newfangled modern equipment, so they did what all smart farmers did and still do. They went together and pooled all their parts, got a neighbor who was a machinist, Web Winston, and they built their own elevator. Pretty creative you are probably thinking, but wait. To build an elevator would take a lot of metal and farmers seldom keep that commodity around so they used what they did have, cheap lumber.

Dad went to the saw mill and got a load of Ash lumber and all three men pooled their money and for much less cost had what was needed for the frame of their elevator. Somewhere they found a pair of cleated steel wheels, cable, and a crank to raise and lower the elevator. It was wired to run off electric and to gear it to a speed that the chain could move as they installed the transmission of a Model-T pickup truck. Yes, I said a truck transmission. Three speed with a reverse! The elevator I remember was approximately 20 feet long so it could reach about all of their cribs. My guess is that during construction, Dad, Ed, and Chris assisted Web as he was the grand designer of the project and when it was completed it worked and was welcomed by all when the corn harvest began.

To this day I have never seen another wooden elevator and not many wooden anything being used but this one of a kind, unique piece of equipment was never looked upon as out of the ordinary. I loved it as a boy when my Dad or brother Ben wouldd give me a slow, first gear ride up to the top of the crib and stop before I was thrown in ( as much as I loved it I doubt my Mom would have). When Dad wasn’t around and Ben was in his teens he would practice his power shifting on the three speed as it didn’t have a clutch. I must admit he could shift it with no clutch and never grind the gears. As he would do that he would just grin more and more.

That elevator lasted into the 60’s when Dad bought an aluminum replacement. It was pulled into the barn yard and left to rest as it had done way more than was ever expected of it. It was sad in a way to see something left to deteriorate but that happens. Finally in the mid 70’s, Walt and I were burning tobacco beds and the elevator was rotting into a lump of this and that so we took the elevator parts and all the lumber and burned it on the tobacco bed. We sent it off in a flame of glory, kind of like when the Vikings would send a leader out to sea in a burning boat to Val-hala in glory. I never saw a wooden elevator before and am positive there was never another.

As interesting as it was and after all the conversions of horse to tractor equipment there is one conclusion I take from this and that is they say “necessity is the mother of invention.” If this wasn’t that saying in progress I will never understand, but above that is that a good farmer will always find the way to make it better. A big reason today’s farmers are where they are now.

Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and likes to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

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Rick Houser

The Good Old Days

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