While my parents lived on the old farm on the south bank of White River in the south east corner of Taney County, Mo., I saw the first crop of wheat sowed and harvested. In the fall of 1854 my father sowed 3 acres in wheat and plowed it in with one horse and bull tongue plow. In the early part of June 1855 this wheat was harvested with sickles or reap hooks as they were called. The work of harvesting the 3 acres was slow and tedious and farmers rejoiced when scythe cradles taken the place of the reap hooks and we suppose now that they are glad that binders have taken the place of the cradles. The wheat we refer to was trampled out on a dirt floor with horses, and bed sheets were used to separate the wheat from the chaff after the straw was removed. Taking the grain from the head and cleaning the wheat from the chaff was toilsome work and the wheat was dirty and nasty after it was done. Nearly all the wheat raised in our neighborhood then was carried on horseback 12 miles to George Woods Mill which stood at the big spring on East Sugar Loaf Creek below where Monarch Post Office is now in Arkansas where it took more hard work to divide the bran from the flours by means of a hand bolt.
Springfield-Greene County Library