Harvest Tales - Ottawa County 05
Marjorie Zuker Miller
and Melvin Zuker, Minneapolis
A Threshing Story and Photograph
Our grandfather, Christian L. Zuker (1840-1937) was one of fourteen children born to Christoph and Anna Zuker in Liberty, Pennsylvania.
In 1868, Christian, known as Chris, and his brother Joseph, came with a wagon immigrant train to Kansas. They both homesteaded adjoining farms in Garfield Township, Ottawa County, Kansas. . . .
In 1870 Chris and Joseph went to Illinois and secured a threshing chaff piler separator which was shipped to Abilene, Kansas. The machine, first in the state, was hand fed and had no grain elevator.
A man stood on the ground with two half bushels. Grain spilled from one side of the machine into a half bushel, then was emptied into a wagon, while the second half bushed filled. The straw came out the machine in an endless raddle that elevated it into a pile. The separator was operated by horse power with six teams hitched to a sweep which was pulled in a circle. The gearing was hitched to a drive shaft tumbling rod which in turn operated the machine. In 1898 it was discarded and they secured a self feeder grain elevator with automatic weigher and oscillating straw stacker, plus a Russell steam engine to power it.