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when the proprietor left with some of the equipment and moved to McCallsburg in the very late 1890's. There was a blacksmith shop at the “Amil Twedt” (of the 1950's) farm in the southeast corner of Sec 3 in the 1880's.

Pea Vinery Site

Before the Second World War, and up until about the time of the Korean War, there was an “English Pea” hulling site in the very northwest corner of Sec 23 on the Ted Molde farm. The product from this site went to the Marshall Canning Co in Roland. 1944 was the last year that peas were canned in Roland after they had begun canning peas in 1923. Eleven of these vining stations had been built for the Roland plant and it seems accurate to say that 1944 would have been the end of the Milford site pea vinery. The facility was razed almost immediately and by the early `50's only some concrete floors remained and they were gone by the `70's.

The shelled green peas were hauled to Roland sometimes in a wagon box behind a farm tractor. Most folks who remember this plant mention the extremely sour odor that arose and drifted downwind from the rotting and fermenting pea vines and hulls on the concrete pad just to the east of the moderately sized building that contained the machinery that separated the peas from the rest of the plant. The Roland facility was closed when it was bought by Lenore Corporation in 1958.

Arrasmith Service Station

There was a filling station, owned by the Arrasmith family, across the road south of the Milford Twp school. This station was in operation for a few years shortly after WWII in the 1940's. Although the teaching staff didn't like it to happen, some “older” students would cross the road at recess and get a candy bar or a soda and, for some, could put these treats on their parent's tab. It had a small degree of danger in crossing the road as vehicles, particularly gravel trucks, were often going way too fast and the large cloud of dust “chasing” these vehicles would impair visibility. See page 279.

Milford Twp is the Center of Iowa

Milford Twp was officially declared to contain the geographic center of Iowa in 1986. The exact location was placed about a mile and a half east of Milford Twp School on the south side of E-29. It is about 150 feet west of the creek and 200 feet south of the road. This would be in the northwest quarter of Sec 23. Loren Book, who farmed this piece of land at the time, had his picture in many newspapers. In 1979 there had been a study by a couple of college students that showed the center to be just a few feet from where the Official center was placed. Loren was quoted as saying the place was the site of their best cocklebur patch and the newspapers really liked that. Loren's Dad didn't. It was logical though as the spot was in the flood plain of West Indian Creek and when the creek overflowed it would bring in a nice seeding of cocklebur seed.

Ol' Milford Farmer observe: Many winners were losers who wouldn't give up.

Below: In about 1939 Clayton Clifford's Dad, Hermus, poses with a new looking John Deere 25 corn picker. It may be a ground driven unit which makes one wonder if one were to backup with the tractor, did the picker run backwards or was there a one-way clutch on the unit. On the other hand, perhaps the extra wheels are simply to carry the extra weight. (Research has shown it was PTO driven)
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© 2012 Mark Christian
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