Delivering Corn To Market Was A Real Job in 1866
(by R.R. Draper)
In 1866 we had some corn to sell....oh probably a hundred bushels, but it had to be shelled, sacked and hauled to Aspinwall on the Missouri River, more than 20 miles away. And we did not have Bud James to run in and shell it in an hour, oh no, not at all!
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John Hart, who lived on the ranch that was later known as the Cassmore place and still later as the Morehead and Weaver Ranch, had a one hole hand corn sheller which was going all over the country then, as others had corn to sell. We had to wait about a week for our turn with the sheller, but finally got it shelled and sacked in two or three days. Then it was Hurrah for Aspinwall!
- We rigged up three wagons, one an old flint-lock, wide track, linchpin relic that probably had been used by the mound builders. You know the kind – the tar bucket hung from the hind axle. Brother Ira hitched four mules onto this and took the big load, John and I taking the smaller ones. We got to the Hayes bridge on the Muddy alright, but just as Ira was starting onto the bridge, one wheel of the relic busted. A stranger had just come across and he stood up in his wagon and yelled and waved. He shouted: “say Mister, your wagon is broke down!” Ira answered, “Oh no, mister, it is alright – git up Jack and Jake,” and kept on going, the hub rolling across the bridge. He drove to the side of the road, left the wagon and came back home, got another wagon and the picket ropes for the mules, went on back, reloaded, and got into Aspinwall and unloaded that evening. Then he came back out on the prairie and unhitched, staked out the mules and slept under the wagon, getting home the next day. John and I got home the first day. The corn sold for 50 cents a bushel. Such was pioneering and marketing your grain in 1866. And that was the end of the poor old wagon.
The above article was taken from the Historical and Business Review Edition of the Dawson Herald Newspaper. Volume 15, No. 43, August 20, 1936. Charles Ross, Publisher
A goodly number of farmers in the area will soon be taking their 2014 harvested corn to market. Corn price is a daily topic at morning coffee and is lower than for the past few years. I thought to ease the pain of low prices and cost of delivery you farmers would find this story interesting. Copies of the reprint of the Dawson Herald may be purchased from a board member of the Penn Colony Museum at Dawson.