Francis got home that fall about harvest time, then went to work for the gravel company. He met a young woman named Erma Thornton. And it wasn’t long before they were married. They lived on the place with Dad and Mother.
We farmed the Lohman place for two years. A couple of years I went out with the Walters’ Brothers Company Threshing Machine from farm to farm threshing their grain. It had been bound in bundles with a binder. I had a team and wagon and would load the grain out in the field so it wouldn’t slide off the wagon and lose part of the load before I got up in the thresher. Then I’d help spike it into the feeder rack on the threshing machine. In spiking you always laid them in head first and always straight and even and on my side of the feeder. Then the heads would always go in first and the kernels would be shelled on the inside of the thresher. I had been working for them a couple of weeks when the spiker who would climb on all the wagons on his side of the thresher, got sick. The Walker boys came and asked me if they got someone to handle my team and wagons if I’d spike for them.
I was getting $7.99 per day for myself and my team and wagon. They were going to hire a man to handle the team and wagon for $5.00 per day and then they would pay me $6.00 per day and $2.00 per day for my team and wagon. I told them if they would get my brother. Emerson who was working on one of the adjoining places, then I would do it. So they got Emerson to drive my team and I went to spiking for the rest of the season. Though I only made a dollar more a day it gave Emerson a job where he was making quite a bit more than he was at the other place.
In March of 1926, Taylor Butler, a member of our Branch, came and wanted me to go and work for him on a sheep ranch. He needed me to help lamb out a lot of sheep. We had some canvas topped lambing sheds where we have a lot of pens about four feet by five feet where we would put the ewe and the lambs to help them get acquainted. This was done until the lamb was big enough and healthy enough to fare with his mother. I worked on the night shift most all the lambing season. When it was nearing the end of the laming season and the grass was beginning to grow they asked me to take a herd out on the nearby range, so I did. I herded those sheep for several weeks. The Butler’s were really good to me. Sister Butler would bring out cooked goodies such as cakes, pies and most of the bread I needed. I had a couple of very good sheep dogs which sure helped in caring for and herding the sheep.
One day I got a letter from my Mother in Harlem, Montana, where the folks had moved and rented a farm from Roy Colgrove. They didn’t have the crops in and it was getting late so Brother Butler told me to take some horses of his and go down and help them get the crops in. the Butler’s said they would like to have me come back for haying and I told them I would.
I took four head of horses and went to Harlem where the folks and I helped them get the crops in and then went back up to Clear Creek to help put up hay for the Butler’s. They had a lot of hay and we worked it most of the summer.
To be continued…