Old Times In Schuyler 

Had Crude Farm Implements
By Howard F. Dyson, 1918

Cultivating the soil and harvesting the crops was accomplished with the crudest implements, and the work was all done by hand. The first plows used were made with an iron share and a wooden mould-board, and they were heavy and cumbersome. In breaking the native sod, the plow was usually drawn by a yoke of oxen, and it would throw a furrow from 20 to 30 inches wide and three to five inches deep. Corn was oftentimes planted in the sod without cultivation, and good crops were thus harvested. Grain was cut with a cradle, bound by hand, and threshed with a flail of the farmer's own manufacture. All the smaller agricultural tools were hand-made, and were limited to the hoe, rake, spade, and pick, and, as a rule, they were heavy and unwieldy, and productive of many back-aches for the lads who were called upon to do their full share of farm work. At harvest time the farmers joined together in garnering their crops, and gaiety and good fellowship abounded on every hand. The harvesters always expected the farmer for whom they worked to have a jug of whiskey in the field, and it was handed about as freely as water. Whiskey in those days sold for 18 to 20 cents a gallon, and, while there were occasional excesses, the pioneers as a rule were not addicted to drunkenness. The evolution of mechanical appliances on the farm has been so rapid and wonderful as almost to exceed belief, and it has been accomplished largely within memory of the present generation, many of the older residents of the county being familiar with the primitive methods of actual experience.

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