Oct 2, 2003

Pages 482
Whole Number 30

THRESHING IN IOWA FIFTY YEARS AGO



Mr. O. A. Sparks of Clio, Iowa, recently sent your editor (who is Mr. Sparks's son-in-law) a photograph of considerable historic value. Because your editor believes it will be of interest to other members of the Association, especially those go back to threshing time half a century ago, it has been reproduced above.

This picture was taken near Mr. Sparks' s home in Wayne County, Iowa, some fifty years ago. Mr. Sparks believes that he is the middle man on the stack and that the man on his right is his father, Joim Garland Sparks (1851-1923). The man farthest to the left on the ground, is John Hughes, Mr. Sparks's cousin, and the man next to him is Wilbur Lane, another cousin. The man on the wagon, with his arm upraised, is Dave Williams, a brother-in-law of Mrs. Sparks. He waved just as the camera snapped so the photograph doesn't show his hand.

Of particular interest is the old-type straw carrier on the threshing machine, the platform on which the band-outter stood, and, of course, the mechanism for transmitting the horse-power to the machine through an iron tumbling-rod.

This photograph was taken about 1910 by Fred Lane, a cousin of Mr. Sparks, who now lives in Memphis, Tennessee. Mr. Lane has been an amateur photographer for well over half a century. When Mr. Sparks requested an enlargement of this picture, Mr. Lane had no difficulty locating the negative.

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