Posts Tagged ‘Loel Diggs’

Rolfe, Iowa, in the ’40s and ’50s: The Wickre Story (About those feed sacks…Part II)

September 3, 2010

To better understand the following post, click here to view Part I. Both posts include details from my communication with Loel Diggs regarding the 1950s and…well, you’ll just have to read.

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Louise: I see you mentioned the year 1955 in reference to the photo of the pickup [immediately below]. Is that the model year of the pickup in the photo?

The Diggs' 1955 Chevy pickup. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Loel: Yes, the pickup is a 1st series 3100 Advance Design 1/2-ton 1955 Chevy Pickup. The “Advanced Design” body styled pickup was manufactured from 1947 to mid-year 1955 with minor styling changes and mechanical improvements occurring for every model year. In the photo [immediately above] is what it looked like when Dad brought it home from the Chevy dealer in Rolfe.

Louise: I know you said that your dad bought it. Was it a pickup that anyone in your family could drive, or was it meant to be for you? And, when did you become the official owner?

Pictured here is the Diggs' 1955 Chevy pickup and 1949 Chevy car. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Loel: The pickup was purchased for the sole purpose to serve as the Diggs Farm pickup. Dad, myself and Mom were the drivers of the pickup, but having only the family car and  the pickup for me to ask for, such as on Saturday nights or date nights, the pickup became my preferred daily driver.

Loel: Dad liked customized accessories, added to vehicles, as I did, so his comment was: I could add any accessory I wanted, as long it was my $s (my 4-H calf monies) that were spent on the pickup accessories. That helped me  get the pickup, just about (not always) any time I wished to drive it for something other than farm use. I purchased the pickup from my Dad in the summer of 1980, driving it from the farm to Watertown, SD, where I have kept it ever since.*

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Louise: When you mentioned doing business with the mill (i.e., taking your corn and oats to the mill, etc.), was it always with the mill that Wickre’s had? Or, sometimes was it ever with any other  mill?

Loel: The only mill that my folks did business with was the Wickre mill.

Louise: When you said in your paragraph, “By the time we had the pickup…,” about when are you  referring to…was that by 1955?

Loel: Up until that  time my folks had no pickup. My folks considered a pickup to be a non-essential piece of equipment to effectively run the farming operation. Two tractors and the necessary farm implements were all that were needed.

Louise: Do you think the reason the imprinted sacks only saw the original fill was because they were then sewn into something (like the dresses, aprons, etc.) and didn’t have a chance to  get used for subsequent fills?

Loel: If my Mom liked the print, then the sacks never saw another fill of feed. If the design was not of what anyone wanted, then they might see multiple filling or be used as cleaning supplies as other fabric bags were used on the farm.

*Pictured here is Loel's 1955 pickup this past July 4th, the same day it was entered in the Watertown, South Dakota, holiday parade. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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


Rolfe, Iowa, in the ’40s and ’50s: The Wickre Story (About those feed sacks…)

August 31, 2010

After I posted in July about the feed sacks available in the 1950s (and maybe the ’40s?) from Barbara and Henry Wickre’s Climax Feed and Grain in Rolfe, Iowa, I was pleasantly surprised to receive more information from Loel Diggs about those sacks.

Loel is the son of the late Emma and Tom Diggs. He is a 1956 graduate of D.M.T. (Des Moines Township school) which is a little more than four miles northeast of Rolfe, Iowa. (Before my junior high years, which were from the fall of 1966 through the spring of 1969, the D.M.T. school building had become the Rolfe Community School District junior high building. My Rolfe graduating class of ’73 was the last class to have “eighth grade graduation” from/at D.M.T.)

Loel emailed to me the following information about the sacks mentioned by Sharon (Wickre) Rickard in previous posts. His initial information prompted my reply of several questions which resulted in his also telling me about his pickup.

Our email conversations and photos supplied by Loel went as follows.

Here is the Diggs' Farm pickup "loaded for the trip to town" (i.e., Rolfe). (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Loel: I liked your last posting on the Climax Feed & Grain. When in high school (and Dad had bought the pickup) I would take our corn and oats to the mill, have it mixed and ground with feed concentrate, sacked and taken back to the farm and used to feed the flock of laying hens being raised. By the time we had the pickup [1955], the imprinted feed sacks had pretty much disappeared and the concentrate or feed additives were being supplied in paper bags. However, the accumulation of prior cloth feed sacks, from the farm, were the feed sacks that were filled with the mixed and ground feed that I hauled back to the farm.

Loel: I do remember the imprinted feed sacks. Those were the sacks that Mom and my sister would make into dresses, aprons and other stuff. The imprinted concentrate feed sacks, as Sharon states, were delivered  to the farm with their delivery truck or would be brought home by my folks. Then the grinding and mixing of the chicken and other needed ground livestock feed was done on the farm. It was ground with a tractor-belt-driven stationary hammer mill that was hand fed with a scoop shovel.

Loel: If Mother or my sister liked the imprint on the sacks, the imprinted sack only saw the original fill of concentrate feed. Some of the non-imprinted sacks would be made into dish towels, or used over and over again to contain the prepared feed that would be brought back to the farm to be fed. I always enjoyed taking the grain to town (to get it mixed and ground) because it allowed me a chance to get off the farm for a couple of hours during the day.

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This next set of emailed Q. and A. is in response to Loel’s first comments (those immediately above).

Louise: Are the imprinted sacks the ones that had the stripes and other designs on them that Sharon talked about in her first and second audio recording segments? And, the non-imprinted ones just plain?

Loel: Yes. The imprinted sacks were the ones that had all different designs as imprinted fabric does today. The non-imprinted sacks were just plain sacks with no identification on the sacks other than an identification tag sewn into the stitches to close the sack. Some feed sacks would come with a brand name imprinted on the fabric (such as FELCO Feeds). If Mom was going to use these, she would first bleach the sacks until the imprint would disappear off the fabric before being made into dish towels.

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Later this week I’ll post Part II of Loel’s and my communication in regard to Climax Feed and Grain and also about Loel’s 1955 Chevy pickup.

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