The Blacksmith shop was run for years by Jacob Buckley. He made his own nails by hand. You could hear his hammer pounding out nails in the mornings by five o’ clock. He made the nails for use that day before the customers came in, then drove horses all day. He was a great worker. He then sold out and bought a farm up toward Advance. The Orrs sold out to Robert Townsend and his son Henry for $14,000. Later on after the Civil War Robert Townsend, Jr. joined partnership with Henry, taking over his father’s half interest in the land.
Lou Adair lived in the old log house near the Wherry schoolhouse for a number of years. Father rented the log house on what is now the Jim Wray farm. The house stood in the field below he Wray barn. Jake Starry lived there awhile. Levi Hill later lived there and raised a large family nd farmed that 100 acres of the farm.
Grain was cut with a cradle, and hay with mowing scythe.
We threshed with an old strap machine. We fastened down on the barn floor the cylinder power and had a strap to go out to a our horse power that was fastened down with pegs to the ground, and four long levers ran out fom it with a horse hitched to each one, and someone stood in the center and drove the horses around. The belt that went in to the thresher (about four inches wide) went through the box into the barn and around this pulley on the cylinder, and the horses had to step over the box each time they went around. One horse followed another.
It required seven or eight men to do the threshing. One cut and handed up the sheaves, one raked away back of the machine, another raked from him and back, and about two men shook the straw and forked it up into a mow. Another man or two worked in the mow, taking care of the straw. When the run was through, the horses were stopped and the men, after the grain was raked off clean, shoveled it up to the side of the barn floor. The next day we re-cleaned the day’s threshing and carried it into the garner.
Our shoes or boots were made by Wagoner, who lived in an old log house on the back of the farm. His son afterwards preached in the Reformed Church at South Bend. The clothing was mostly homemade. I recall scutching the flax, and the women helped prepare it ready for tow. The break was the first thing. We broke the raw flax, the wood part fell out, and the flax part was gathered up and we had to flail that with a “scutcher.” We had something that stood up almost straight and we whipped the flax against it. That was called “scutching.”
We whipped that with a thing made of wood with a sharp edge something like a paddle. We knocked the extra wood off the flax and made it ready for the heckle. It was then pulled through the heckle, which had many sharp points, and it made it ready for the spinning wheel, and then it was ready for spinning into yarn. Mother was a great spinner. She spun the flax into balls of linen thread, which was taken tom the weavers. Mother made many quilts.
We used candles made out of tallow. We had a candle mold and poured tallow into them. When oil was discovered in Butler County it was first used in and around our section. For amusement we had log-rollings, barn raisings, apple parings, and sausage-cuttings. To cut the sausage we used two choppers and cut it on a table.
A coal bank was opened on the lower farm, and coal was taken out almost every winter. One winter we took it out of the run next to the Thompson line. Squire Wherry’s boys, my brother Elwood and I used to go swimming a couple times a week through the summer at “Hickory Hole.”