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Harvest Tales - Mitchell County 01

Harvest stories submitted by Kansans for the online exhibit, Wheat People.
Submit your own at kshs.kansasmuseum@ks.gov.

Carldon Broadbent

Breakdowns and Repairs

Dad's cousin Keeling from Oklahoma was helping us one year. He was sixteen or in high school at least. . . . Once arriving back from town, Keeling missed the driveway to the field and ran down the ditch on highway #14 and hit the telephone pole. That accident delayed the harvest, although I don't remember the radiator being ruined.

Dad was real proud of his Case combine which he must have bought in 1938. . . . Harvest was delayed every year because of repairs to the combine when it broke down in the field. One common breakdown was when crossing ditches . . . the back end of the combine would go down and smash the return auger pans. After taking off hundreds of bolts, the pan came off, [was] hammered out, bronze welded perhaps, and [after] many hours of putting bolts back on, the machine was ready for the next ditch. One soon learned to cut the ditches out in separate patches, so they wouldn't have to be crossed. . . .

All this hard work and preparation was worth it if the wheat was yielding well, and it was all gathered in before a storm. Too many times, however, we stood and watched hail stones destroy the crop, only a day before harvest began. . . . There was always next year, and with renewed effort and hard work, wheat harvest might pay off next time.

Carldon Broadbent also submitted Harvest Meals.

"Harvest Tales" is part of the online exhibit, Wheat People:  Celebrating Kansas Harvest.