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Town of Frankfort centennial

Settling the township: early life in the Town of Frankfort,   pp. 27-39

Page 32

Environmentalists are urging the conservation of timber
c land by selective cutting and planting today called 'Tree Farms.'
In 1970, a stand of some of the largest timber in the area was
harvested on the Carl Bielke farm in the town of Frankfort. One
of the elms measured 42 inches in diameter and another was 34
inches, with a circumference of 96 inches. (L-R): Carey Bunkel-
man, Mr. Bielke, Chester Bunkelman, Morris Mantor, Elroy
Leffel and Leon Sazama. (From Tribune-Phonograph of Ab-
botsford and Colby, August 13, 1970.)
It was not until after the turn of the century and enough land
was cleared, that the need for threshing machines came into
being. Before that the grain was harvested with a hand cradle
scythe from in between the stumps and open cleared land. The
grain was fed whole or separated by a hand flail or other method.
The first threshing machine in Frankfort was probably
owned by the Hamann and Eggebrecht families about 1905. The
first machine was one thathad to be pulled by horses. The straw
was elevated out and burned as fuel in the steam engine which
was the power unit.
The next models were where the steam engine pulled the
separator which had a straw blower.
After the invention of the grain binder the grain was cut,
shocked and left in the field to dry. Then it was hauled and put
in a stack or in the barn to cure. After the grain was cured, the
threshing machine crew moved in. There were five or six men
with the machine plus the neighborhood bee which was another
12 or 15 men. This was quite an event in early years, especially
for the young folks. It also was the meal of the year everyone
looked forward to.
About the same time that Hamann and Eggebrecht started
threshing - which was around the turn of the century, the Julius
Hannemann and Sons, also started threshing in Frankfort.
These families continued for many years until competition from
outside of the township came in. One of the first to come in was
Andrew Novitzke and Lee Murkowski from the Town of Riet-
brock and were known as the Polanders. They still used the old
steam engine.
When the gasoline tractor came on the scene in the late 20's,
Arw-ld and Martin Zettler from the Town of Johnson did
threshing in Frankfort. Joe Bohman, Sr. bought a new Interna-
tional tractor W-30 and International separator in 1930. He
threshed mostly in the southern part of Frankfort.
Later years found many farmers purchasing their own
threshing machines which were used until the pull type com-
bine came into use in 1940 and the self-propelled combine in
1930 through 1935. Art Giese's portable hammer mill feed
I grinder, powered by a model "A' Ford motor, went from farm to
farm grinding feed. In the beginning he charged 5v to grind 100
lbs of grain.
A 1900 plat book shows Joseph Schmirler as doing feed
grinding for local farmers on his farm. There is no record as to
how long he continued this operation. This was in Section 10on
the farm owned by Eldred Wenzel.
In 1914 Charles Brown started a feed grinding business,
grinding oats and other grains for local farmers. The mill was
run by a large one cylinder gas engine. He ran this operation
until 1925. This was in Section 11, the farm now owned by his
daughter-in-law, Dorothy.

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