The pioneer farmers of this county had little to aid them in the reclamation of the soil. The ground was covered with dense undergrowth and weeds, the removal of which required the most arduous labor by hand. Small quantities of grass seed were sown. The principal crops were rye, wheat, corn, oats and buckwheat. The latter was often used as a roughland crop, frequently saving the day when other crops failed. In 1819 the price of wheat was 50 cents a bushel, rye 40 cents and oats 20 cents.
An accompaniment to the burning of the brush piles at night were the mournful howls of the wolves, so it is seen that the settlers had some natural music to divert them. In these modern days we have the mournful dog and tuneful cat of our next-door neighbor to accompany our attempts at slumber.
Wooden plows were used after one or two crops had been planted with the hoe and mattock. Later the "Western" plow, with metal moldboard, was introduced, and after that came the cast-iron plow. One of the old timers was the "Bull" plow, so named from the power required to run it. Those were the days of the "chaff piler" threshers and flails.
The first metal plow was introduced into this county by James Elgin in Plum Creek township, in 1811. He was so proud of it that he would never allow others to use it, and on occasion would resent any attempt to borrow it without his consent.
Source: Page(s) 19 - 23,
Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present Volume I, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed June 1998 by Michael S. Caldwell for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Published 1998 by the Armstrong County Pennsylvania Genealogy Project