Allen Korns on tractor, Somerset County PA

Allen Korns on Fordson Tractor, Somerset County PA.

This picture shows Allen Korns on a steel-wheeled Fordson Tractor on his Southampton Township, Somerset County PA farm. Note the Korns family farmhouse, with it's glazed white brick chimneys, above the left front wheel (at the right of the picture). Also note the barn above the right rear wheel (at the left of the picture).

In 2009, Melvin told me that his Grandpap Wilson Korns bought the Fordson. He told me that Wilson bought a new Fordson tractor, Ford truck and ford car in 1923. Melvin said he believes the cost for all three was about three hundred dollars. They used that tractor up until 1940, and in 1940 or 1941 Pappy bought a used Allis Chalmers 1938 wheeled tractor. Pappy hauled mine props circa 1941 to 1942. They were hauling from the high rocks up above the Gladdens Church (not behind Dolores' brother's cabin). One time pappy used the prop money to get a car and another time he used it to get the Allis Chalmers tractor. The Allis Chalmers was the second tractor in the area with rubber tires. They used the Allis Chalmers until 1947, then Pappy got a Ford Furgeson tractor with a three point hitch.

When hauling mine props, Pappy became familiar with an Allis Chalmers tracked tractor, and that's what he wanted to buy. I believe that Melvin said that the tracked tractor cost $1100 and Pappy only had $700, so he bought the wheeled tractor instead of the tracked one.

Other farm equipment
In 2009, I asked Uncle Melvin about when Pappy got various types of farm equipment. Melvin said that Lester Korns got a bailer in 1955, and Pappy got one in 1956. Before that Pappy used a hay loader, which lifts loose hay up onto the front of the hay wagon. It then had to be forked around the wagon, and stomped down. My mother Estalene helped with the stomping part.

Alonzo Lepley did threshing for local farmers, but didn't get around til Pappy's crop until last, at which time it sometimes had sprouted. To solve this problem, Pappy got his own threshing machine, and ran it with a belt from the Fordson tractor. They would pull the grain in using horses. Later, they got a five foot Allis Chalmers pull-type combine. Melvin says they did 200 acres the first year, using it on other farms. Because the swath was only five foot, it took a lot of times around a field to get it done.

I knew that in addition to Alonzo, Melvin's grandfather Pop Bittner also had a threshing machine. Melvin mentioned that Pop had a traction engine. Traction engines were self-propelled steam engines. Pop's son Wilbur fell on stubble, which, according to Melvin, made his tongue stiff so that he was hard to understand.

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