Area farmers thresh a field of oats

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 8/18/98.

Al Mueller and Lloyd Thielen, rural Eden Valley, thought it would be fun to thresh a small field of oats like their forefathers.

Pete Drontle, Richmond, a friend of Muellerís brought a McCormick-Deering threshing machine from the 1940s to the Lloyd and Tess Thielen farm, south of Rice Lake, Saturday. This is only the fourth time he has used the threshing machine.

Mueller and Drontle harvested the grain with an old binder and shocked the grain July 25. The shocks stood in the field two weeks before the bundles were loaded up and stored at the Mueller farm. The five-acre field yielded four loads of grain bundles.

When the big day arrived, neighbors gathered to watch and reminisce about when they threshed grain or about how their fathers threshed grain. Thielen said he hadnít threshed since he helped his dad some 30 years ago. ďI enjoyed the afternoon. It brought back a lot of memories. A person doesnít forget how to thresh. It is just like riding a bike, you donít forget,Ē he added.

Several ladies dressed for the occasion, donning pioneer style dresses and sun bonnets. Among the women was Lorraine Blomker, 97, who walked across the grain field from the road to the festivities.

The threshing machine was powered by a Farmall tractor from the early 1950s. The main drive belt measured 50 feet in length from the threshing machine to the tractor.

Drontle kept monitoring the threshing machine to see that everything ran smoothly.

ďIt didnít take long for the men to have the grain all threshed,Ē Tess Thielen said.

Several women had refreshments of lemonade and cookies ready for the men who had gathered to help with the project.

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