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Archive of: Farming

Tot Tries Tiny Tractor August 1947

Three-year-old Janet Schultze gets comfortable on her father Floyd Schultze’s two-cylinder, nine horsepower tractor. This was no child’s toy, however, as this miniature machine was strong enough to pull a 12-inch plow or a 56-inch disc cultivator.

Floyd Schultze ran a tractor repair shop in Chenoa.

John Thomas’ new corn crib June 1958

Construction of a corn crib nears completion at the John C. Thomas farm southeast of Bloomington. This crib, with a 5,000 bushel capacity, featured extra heavy framing, as Thomas looked to the future when it might be converted to the storage of shelled corn.

4-H Lamb Show June 27, 1951

In late June 1951, the McLean County 4-H market lamb show was held at the Producers Stock Yards, located at East LaFayette Street and the Illinois Central Railroad on the south end of Bloomington. Here’s Roger Risser of Danvers (left) showing off his “best pen of three.” That’s Wayne Mohr on the right.

4-H Gathering Undated

These patient 4-H members are waiting for something to wrap up before they can enjoy their meal. Note the needlework in front of them and the quilts behind. This mystery photograph comes from the Museum’s extensive collection of McLean County Home Bureau photographs. The Home Bureau is now known as the McLean County Association for Home and Community Education.

We don’t know the who, what, where, or why of this photograph. If you can help us with identifications, we’d sure appreciate it!

Free-range Kids April 1938

This mystery photograph comes from the Museum’s collection of Pantagraph negatives. We don’t know the names of these kids or the rural location of this cistern or stock pond. If you can help with the identification, let us know!

WW II Rubber Shortage Shirley Farm, March 1942

Arnold Beatty (left) and Colman Hicks, at the O.V. Douglass farm outside of Shirley, demonstrate patching a worn-out tire after yet another blowout. With a severe wartime shortage of rubber tires, area farmers were calling for the reintroduction of metal wheels for tractors and wagons.

Freitag children, rural Stanford February 1959

​Jane and Doug Freitag horse around with a canine friend at their family farm standing on top of a cob pile.

Jane and Doug Freitag horse around with a canine friend at their family farm outside of Stanford in Allin Township.

Grand Champion Poland China ISNU Farm, January 16, 1947

Thelma Thomas and her brother Glenn examine her grand champion gilt at the Illinois State Normal University Farm.

Thelma Thomas and her brother Glenn examine her grand champion gilt at the Illinois State Normal University Farm.

Heyworth Area Good Neighbors November 6, 1950

Corn pickers in front of corn crib, 1950.

A Corn Belt harvest time tradition involves farmers helping fellow farmers in need. Sixty-six years ago, in early November 1950, friends of Euel Roberts picked his 560-acre corn crop and then filled his crib.

Corn map of McLean County December 1909

Corn map at ​The Farmers’ and Teachers’ Institute, 1909.

The Farmers’ and Teachers’ Institute was held in mid-December 1909 at the “Normal University,” as ISU was most often called back then. A highlight of the corn exhibit room was a county map made of corn by nine boys from Price School.

Nation’s Best Corn Huskers November 1939

Corn husking national champs, 1939.

Local, state, and national corn husking contests were all the rage in the 1930s. Seen here are the winners of the 1939 national husking championship outside of Lawrence, Kansas.

Willard and Joel Yordy Heyworth Township, August 1938

​Farmer Joel Yordy and his son Willard, 1938.

Farmer Joel Yordy (right) and his son Willard pose in front of a smartly trimmed Osage orange hedgerow in Heyworth.

Walter Schroeder, August 1958 High-Moisture Shelled Corn

Livestock farmer Walter Schroeder, 1958.

Back in the late 1950s, livestock farmer Walter Schroeder (second from right) of rural Bloomington Township fattened about 500 head of cattle a year.

Grand Champion Gilt McLean County Fair, Aug. 6, 1958

Champion gilt, 1958.

That’s a proud Walter Gottschalk of Danvers at the 1958 McLean County 4-H Club Fair posing with his grand champion gilt hog.

‘Tomatoes for Victory’ Owen Nursery, August 1942

Owen tomato nursery, 1942.

The James W. Owen Nursery maintained a 100-acre “Victory” tomato field east of Bloomington. Back in 1942, Owen Nursery was located on the 1200 block of East Oakland Avenue.

Hog Heaven Klafke Farm, August 1942

Klafke Farm hog houses, 1942.

Henry E. Klafke was a Normal Township breeder of Duroc Jersey hogs. He’s seen here watching over the scrub down of his hog houses in preparation for fall litters.

Woodford County Fair, Eureka Grand Champion, August 2, 1950

Grand champion barrow, 1950.

Seen here is Delores Moser of Roanoke with her Poland China barrow (“barrow” being a castrated male swine) judged Woodford County grand champion of all breeds in 1950.

Frank Simpson’s Steers Farmer City, July 1957

Cattle farming, 1957.

Ralph G. Blue (right) and Harold Davis (with clipboard) weigh steers using a scale box. They’re seen here in early July 1957 at Frank Simpson’s feedlot outside of Farmer City in DeWitt County.

‘Golden Gleam’ Grabs Trophy Society Horse Show, Bloomington, 1953

Horse show, 1953.

Seen here is “Golden Gleam,” who captured the top prize in the parade class. The trophy winning horse was owned by Harold Mortland of Streator but was ridden by Pete Bradley.

Chopping and Blowing Hay Brown Estate, June 1941

Hay Brown Estate, 1941.

Back in June 1941, E.D. Lawrence, who farmed the Brown estate ten miles east of Bloomington, experimented with blowing chopped hay in the barn mow instead of moving baled hay the traditional method.

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