Manure Hauling in 1948 (Part II)


After Loel Diggs* sent his comments about manure hauling (that I posted in Part I), I asked him how long it had been since his family raised oats. In response, he sent the following comments.

Pictured is Loel Diggs (11 years old in this 1948 photo) manure hauling with his Uncle Frank's rig: a Farmall B tractor and Oliver Superior No. 7** manure spreader. (Click on photo to enlarge.)***

Memories of Loel Diggs

Regarding Raising Oats and Trading Labor

Oats haven’t been grown on the farm since back in the mid to late ’50s, once Dad decided to get completely out of livestock. Not only were oats used for a grain crop for livestock and straw for bedding, oats were also used as a cover crop for crops such as Alfalfa, Timothy, Brome, and Sweet Clover when grown for next year’s Hay or Pasture land. The Farm was on a 3 year rotation growing Corn, Soybeans and Oats, so hay ground and pastures would not be changed for three years or more.

Your spreader series just reminded me of the way labor would be traded between farmers when harvest and other such jobs needed to be done, and all parties involved did not have all the mechanized equipment to get the job done quickly. Dad and two of my Uncles (two of my Mother’s 4 brothers) traded a lot of labor when harvest, haying and manure hauling was done between the three Farmsteads.

The uncles that my Dad traded labor with the most were: Conrad and Franklin Majorowicz. All the farmsteads were within a 6 mile radius of each other.

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*Loel grew up on his family’s farm northeast of Rolfe, Iowa, 1/2 mile west of Des Moines Township School (D.M.T.) where he graduated from high school in 1956.

**The following quote about the Oliver Superior No. 7 model of manure spreader (pictured above) is according to a web page.

In 1939 Oliver introduced the Oliver Superior No. 7 spreader. This was the first spreader designed specifically for use with rubber tires. This was the Cadillac of all spreaders. With rubber tires, a smooth ride and a wide non-slip footboard for the operator, hauling manure was no longer a painful chore (unless you filled the box with a pitchfork.) The farmer now had a handy pedal clutch to start and stop the spreading. The tractor user could operate the spreader with a rope. The machine was made was with sheet ingot iron instead of wood which saved 400 pounds over competitive outfits. Ribs were incorporated into the sides for additional strength.

***UPDATE: After posting the above photo, I asked Loel what model of tractor he thinks is in the upper right of the photo. He said it looks like his Uncle Conrad’s WC Allis-Chalmers.

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(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)


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4 Responses to “Manure Hauling in 1948 (Part II)”

  1. Marti Carlson Says:

    I’ve enjoyed both parts in this series. Thanks, Louise and Loel, for sharing.

  2. Doug Hilton Says:

    Louise & Loel

    I lived across Hwy 44—and after 1969 Hwy 15 from Tom & Emma Diggs from 1966 to 1973 (or so). What a great pair.

  3. Louise Gunderson Shimon Says:

    Doug: I had wondered when Hwy 44 became Hwy 15. So, did the change happen in 1969? I have a “44” temporary highway sign that had been used for a detour route before 44 became Hwy 15. We plan to display the sign but have some other things on the front burner right now.

    In case he doesn’t see it, I’ll be sure to point out your comment to Loel. Thank you for writing it. Your comment makes me want to listen to Tom and Emma’s oral history that is at the library.

  4. Doug Hilton Says:

    Yes it was 1969 according to the website I checked!!!!

    I remembered that it was during the time we lived on the farm out there.

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