The Kansas October

Out-of-Door World in Autumn

“The Out-of-Door World in Autumn”[1]

The cheeriness and charm
Of forest and of farm
Are merging into colors sad and sober;
The hectic frondage drapes
The nut trees and the grapes
September yields to opulent October.

The cottonwoods that fringe
The streamlets take the tinge;
Through opal haze the sumac bush is burning;
The lazy zephyrs lisp
Through corn fields dry and crisp,
Their fond regrets for days no more returning.
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Posted in Home Life, Landscape and Wildlife, Midwest Literature, The Family Farm | 1 Comment

2012 Yesteryear Museum Antique Steam Engine & Tractor Show, Salina, Kansas, October 13 & 14

General Events run Saturday and Sunday, October 13 and 14, 9 a.m. to
5 p.m. Admission is $5 per person, children under 12 free.

Saturday features tractor-powered agricultural demonstrations and the Tractor Parade, this year featuring “oddball tractor” makes such as Gibson, OMC and White. Sunday features the traditional tractor pull and children’s pedal pull event.

Also on the grounds will be working horses and mules, a petting zoo, country schoolhouse and church events, country crafts, good country meals, and many other events.

PrairieYesteryear is pleased to offer a detailed show schedule here. General information on the show can be found at the Central Kansas Flywheels Yesteryear Museum Facebook Page. Continue reading

Posted in Historical Equipment and Technologies, Midwest History, Rural Community, The Family Farm, Yesteryear Museum | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The IcyBall – Crosley Radio Corporation’s Refrigerator for Non-Electrified Rural America

IcyBall Advertising Graphic, Popular Mechanics, August 1930

IcyBall Advertising Graphic, Popular Mechanics,
August 1930, p.27[1]

“For Farms!  For homes where ice supply is uncertain!  For camps!  For roadside stores!. . . For anyone who wants the pleasure, safety, convenience of a constant ice supply for 2 cents a day.”

 — Advertisement, Farm Mechanics, September 1928[2]


Ice - 2-cents a Day - Crosley IcyBall Advertisement, Depicts Heating Arrangement

Crosley IcyBall Advertisement Depicting the Lifting and Heating of the IcyBall Unit (Farm Mechanics, 1928,[2] Public Domain Image Courtesy of Crosley Automobile Club IcyBall Ads Page). (Click for an enlarged view.)

In the early 1900’s, methods of keeping food cool in the hot summers of the U. S. Midwest were limited.  Ice boxes were popular in cities in towns where ice delivery was available, and sometimes ice could be picked up or delivered to rural homes if they weren’t too distant from an affordable source.

In 1927, the same year the General Electric Monitor-Top Refrigerator was making home refrigeration more popular in electrified cities and towns, the Crosley Radio Corporation introduced a non-electric home refrigeration option powered by the heat of a stove burner:  The Crosley IcyBall.

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Posted in Historical Equipment and Technologies, Home Life, The Family Farm, Yesteryear Museum | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

We Get Back to that Hoe with New Strength

At age 86, Pearl Wilborn recalled her days as a wife and mother on the farm in Missouri, about 1915 into the 1950’s:

Mrs Lemuel Smith and children working in the garden

1941 photograph by Jack Delano for Farm Security Administration, Library of Congress Collection FSA 8c05499.

“I have told many things about my growing up on a farm the first 19 years of life. I’m grateful that my parents taught me to work as my next 38+ years were spent on a farm, the wife of a farmer where I learned many things first hand by experience.

“I learned the joys and rewards, and also some failures working in the ground. The pride in a nice growing garden, a nice clean green yard, a flower bed I had made all by myself. A few yellow down chickens in a pen with an old hen that had hatched the eggs I had put under her. The satisfaction of knowing I had something for my work. One little tomato seed planted will bear many tomatoes; one flower seed will have many blossoms and a tired body is rested and ready for another day’s work after a night of sleep.

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Compiling a History Database of Rural Schools

Photo of Prairie School, Gilmer Township, Adams County, Ill. 1904 photo believed to be in the public domain, made available by Joel Koch, the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County, Illinois, and the Quincy Herald-Whig (19 Nov 2011). (Minor photo restoration by

Tracking down information on rural schools that have long disappeared from the local landscape can sometimes be a difficult task. The Quincy Herald Whig (19 Nov 2011) reports on the efforts of the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County, Illinois and Western Illinois University intern Joel Koch to develop a database of the nearly 200 one-room rural schools in the history of that county.

Some of the resources which Mr. Koch turned to in order to develop the database:

  • The existing (incomplete) list of schools archived by the Historical Society.
  • School photos in the Historical Society and local library archives.
  • Consultation with the local county retired teacher’s association (which had a partial list of schools).
  • A local genealogical society.
  • A retired school superintendent.
  • Other retired educators.
  • Photos and information from others in the community.

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