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Milford Township and Proud of It

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In early February of 1956, Mr and Mrs Harold Matters of Ames, parents of Fred Matters `44, etc, took the Story County Boys Basketball Champions, Milford Bulldogs, to a supper at the Breese House in Ankeny. Coach and Mrs Cochran and the Milford Cheerleader attended.

The Matters, who used to live in Milford Twp, had five youngsters who graduated from Milford. All but one of the five played on previous Milford Teams. The Roy Bortons would also occasionally have suppers for the teams of the early and mid `50s.

On 7 Jan 1955, in a regular season game against Maxwell at Milford, Jurine Borton `56, who lead the Girls' scoring, was held to just one field goal for the entire game, however she scored 21 points simply from the free throw line for an evenings production of 23 points. She fouled out with "charging' fouls. Hazel Horness `56 had 20 points on 8 field goals and 4 free throws Milford won both games that evening. This also was the evening Dale Hughes `55 set his personal career high scoring record of 37 points on 11 field goals and 15 free throws, making 11 in a row at one point. He spent the last 2 1/2 minutes on the bench because Coach Cochrane was afraid he would be injured by the strong, concentrated, hostile defensive attack. See page 103.

Shelling Corn, Neighboring, and Rats
by Dale Hughes `55

Before the invasion of the combine in the mid sixties with its ability to harvest and shell in one operation, there was a process of shelling ear corn from the corncrib. This involved a man with a corn sheller and a crew of fellows to pull the corn into the drag which put the ear corn into the machine. My brother, Loyd, and myself had such a machine and for a few years in the early sixties we shelled corn for many of the neighbors. The self propelled combine went from being a relative rarity in the very late fifties to complete domination by the mid sixties. This shelling season was one of the times in which the fellows got together and "neighbored"; you'd help one neighbor and he'd help you when the sheller man got to your place. Typically there'd be a crew of 4 to 6 fellows to feed the drag, a truck driver or two and the shellerman. Rarely it was that money exchanged hands. The sheller man got paid but most of the labor was "swapped". Most often the lady of the house would prepare a meal for the crew but occasionally the farmer would treat the crew to a meal in town. Once in a while two or three ladies would get together and prepare a dinner (noon meal) for the crew but this was not too common.

Anyhow, one summer's day in the early sixties I was at Jeffrey Jacobson's farm shelling corn. Jeffrey lived on the east side of Sec 8 and his corncrib was across the road in Sec 9. After we got set up and started the operation he and I were visiting and standing about 7 or 8 feet from side of the crib. He turned and started walking away to do some task and I stood there for about three seconds, turned a little to walk toward the front of the machine. I'd moved about two feet when I saw a black object fly by and hit the ground right where I'd been standing. It was a large rat that apparently had been up on the siding or perhaps on top of the crib and he'd jumped for the tallest object and I'd moved. Before I could react he'd recovered and scampered out of reach under the drag. I've had rats run up on my legs and one got up to my waist on my back but that would have been the first to ever have landed on my head or shoulders.

Jeff Jacobson 1940

A few days later we were up at Si Thompson's (on the south side of Sec 4) and Si had a crib that sat right on the ground rather than up on a foundation. I noticed when we were setting up there didn't seem to be any rat sign around that one would have really expected to see under the circumstances. Jeffrey Jacobson `33 was up helping and was back in the crib with a corn rake pulling corn down so others could shovel it into drag. I was up near the machine and heard a lot of excited voices and then I got a whiff of the odor that had everyone so vocal. Jeff had sunk his rake, which was nothing more than a four tine pitchfork with the tines bent over at a 90 degree angle, into a civet cat's (spotted skunk) living room and he'd let Jeff have a spray. Talk about strong. About a minute later Jeff emerged from the crib and he really looked "green around the gills". Jeff was a good sized, very strong looking man and a person would think that nothing could have made him look the way he did, but this sure did. As the work was about 3/4 done, he went home and it, apparently, took him three or so days to "recuperate". Anyhow, this family of civet cats had really done a good job of keeping the rats away.

Rex Hughes 1940

This all reminds me of when my brother and I were about four and five years (`42 or '43) of age and Emory (or Amos) Jacobson, the shellerman from Roland with his green John Deere 6 sheller mounted on a red truck chassis, was down shelling my Dad's corn. Dad had very low cribs at the time (He built the very nice round-roof crib in 1948) and so it was a rat's haven. Before they got started in the morning I heard Dad tell my Mother- I don't want the boys down around there with that machinery running, but when they come down there you take and tie shoestrings around their pants legs. Couldn't imagine why, but that's what he said. Dad didn't say it very often but he was a great one for saying to us boys, "I don't want you to do (such or such), but when you do- .........". Well, my brother and I waited until the men were about done and the noise had abated and then we snuck out

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Page 307 of 354

© 2012 Mark Christian
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