School: Miller, Smith (1900)

Contact:  Laurel Bragstad

----Source: Greenwood Gleaner, Greenwood, Wis., 9-29-1900

Friday was Smith Miller’s last day of school here, as he leaves soon with his parents for Minneapolis where he will enter the Hamlin university.

----Source: Greenwood Gleaner 23 APR 1959

A Letter out of the past, From Smitty Miller

It is noted in the current Gleaner that the farm where I was born is up for sale in three days now, lock, stock and barrel, just like we did to the same place in 1899. Only the price will surely be somewhat enhanced and the volume of equipment vastly greater.

In reading the list of machinery, I began to wonder just how we ever got the work done.... Everything then was of the armstrong variety. No electricity, no power machinery but plenty of horses to pull things.

Our haying machinery consisted of a horse drawn mower, a springtooth rake.....would rake into windrows and then either shock or next day spread out with the old pitch fork. Just ordinary wagons with hay racks--no rubber tires either. We were fortunate in haying to have hay forks to take the hay into the barns. When grain harvesting came the grains close to the edges we had to cut with old cradles. I have swung one of those things for days and then had to bind by hand--not twine either.

Self binders those days were rather expensive luxuries and were usually hired. Bundles shocked and then either put into stacks or direct to the thresher and all this in place of the combines that run with but one man.

One single plow and a two section smoothing harrow was all that had to prepare the soil for crops. And the fertilizer was spread by the old pitch fork and what a fine rig those were to develop blisters.

In the place of a gas tank we had a large hay mow that held a whale of a lot of timothy hay-fuel for the dobbins.....Well, it was hard work and now seems pretty crude but we sure felt well all the time. When we earned some money or sold bought more per buck and we didn t go through it so fast either for we knew how we got it. Even with all the lack of present pleasure facilities, we had a heap of fun that in my reasoning is greater than these kids have now.

To this day I can hear the sonorous voice at 3:00 a.m. of one John Charles Miller, my Dad, ring up that stairway, "Smith, get up!"

Editors note--The farm Mr. Miller speaks of is the George Speich farm just north of
Greenwood on 73, which was recently sold and an auction was held.




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