Some of My

Early Memories









 Milton A. Hetrick, Sr.


April, 2005

















Memories Before Age 10  (1918-1928) 4

The Original David Hetrick Homestead in Sandusky County, Ohio (c.1864) 4

Remodeling the Home. 7

Delco System... 8

Christmas. 8

Chores. 9

Early Transportation.. 9

Paving State Route 19. 9

Swimming Hole. 10

Haircuts. 10

Blacksmith Shop. 10

Rail Fences. 10

Carroll’s Birth.. 10

Children’s Games. 11

Radio.. 11

First Car.. 11

Home Made Ice Cream... 11

Fishing.. 12

Memories After 10 Years of Age (1928-1941) 12

Great Depression (1929) 12

School days (1924-1931) 15

Food & Shelter.. 16

Dinner Bell. 16

Watkins Man.. 17

Threshing day.. 17

Butchering day.. 21

Making Ice Day.. 21

Apple butter day.. 22

Income – earning money.. 23

Fun activities. 23

4-H Club (1930) 24

New Bicycle (1930) 24

Trip to Toledo (1928) 24

Growing up on a Farm... 25

Sleds – Important Farm Equipment.. 26

Making Wood.. 27

Boyhood Dreams. 28

Thankfulness. 28

More Memories.. 29

Remembering Decoration Day.. 29

A Day at the Sandusky County Fair (1924) 30

Christmas  (1924) 31

Trip to the Ohio Agriculture Experiment Station (1925) 31

Hay Crop (1925) 32

Producing a Crop of Corn (1925) 34

75 years later – 2000. 36

Producing a Crop of Wheat (1925) 37

75 years later - 2000. 38

The Oat Crop (1925) 38

75 years later - 2000. 39

First Day hunting (prior to 1941) 39

My First Date with Garnetta (1937) 40

My First Car (1940) 41

My Solo Flight (1971) 41

Nicknames. 43

Food on the Farm... 44

The Apple Orchard.. 46

Going Barefoot (After age 10) 47

Farm Truck Memories (1939 – 1985) 48

Pickup Truck Memories (1939 – 1985) 49

Tractor Memories (1928 – 1982) 51

The Beginning of Military Service (1940) 59

Appendix A     Descendants of David Hetrick.. 65

Appendix B   Determining how much lumber could be sawed from a log. 66


List of Figures


Figure 24   Old Wooden "Lunch Box" Used for Family Outings. 30

Figure 25  Hay Mowers - Horse Drawn  (Typical) 32

Figure 28   Cultivating "Checked" Corn - one row at a time. (Typical) 35

Figure 29   Cutting Corn by Hand with a Corn Knife. (Typical) 35

Figure 30   Starting a corn fodder shock using a corn buck. (Typical) 35

Figure 31   Binding a corn fodder shock using a rope/pulley tool. (Typical) 35

Figure 33  1941 Chevy  Farm Truck - c 1942 (Ida, Vin, Abner Hetrick, Dean and Larry Nickel) 48

Figure 34   Milk Trucks – c 1955 (Mike, Terry Hetrick) 49

Figure 36  1951 Chevrolet Pickup (typical) 50

Figure 38  1973 Dodge Pickup (typical) 50

Figure 39  The International Mogul. (Typical), 1914-1917.   (Ref: The Classic American Farm Tractor). 51

Figure 40   International Harvester 8-16.  (Ref: The Classic American Farm Tractor.) 51

Figure 41  Fordson 1920 (Typical).   (Ref: The Classic American Farm Tractor.) 52

Figure 42   1941 John Deere A with original steel lugs -c 1939 (Ronnie, Janet Nickel and Abner Hetrick) 53

Figure 43   1941 John Deere A – c 1945 (Vin, Milt Hetrick Jr) 53

Figure 44   Silver King - c 1943 (Howard Hetrick, Carroll Hetrick) 54

Figure 45   Silver King - c 1943 (Carroll, Milt Hetrick, Jr) 54

Figure 46   1946 John Deere A   (Garnetta, Milt Hetrick, Jr.) 55

Figure 47   B. F. Avery – c 1946 (Milt Hetrick, Jr.) 56

Figure 48   1950  8N Ford with front end manure loader - c 19?? (Vin Hetrick) 56

Figure 49    1967 860 Series Ford - c 1967  (Milt Hetrick, Sr.) 57

Figure 50   Oliver 70  (Typical) 57

Figure 51   Allis Chalmers Flat Top (Typical).   c1938. 58

Figure 52   Allis Chalmers WD45 (Typical) 58

Figure 53   Allis Chalmers 190. 59

Figure 54   Army Mess Lines at Camp Shelby, Mississippi - 1941. 60

Figure 56   Birthday - March 23, 1941 (Herb Nickel, Abner,Thelma, Ida, Milt Hetrick Sr. ) 61

Figure 57   Family Visit in July -7-18-1941 (Earl, Dot, Carroll, Milt Sr., Mildred) 61

Figure 60   Keen Kutter™ Doyle scale for Estimating Board Feet in a Log 66

Figure 61   Log cut from farm of Abner Hetrick.  Leroy (Pat) Hetrick is shown next to the log.  The Doyle log scale was added to depict how it was used to estimate “board feet.”. 67



More Memories [19]


Remembering Decoration Day

When I was small and growing up, May 30th was a very special day in our lives.  At that time it was observed as Decoration Day [20] – always on the 30th of May and considered a Holiday.    The day was meant to honor fallen veterans of all wars, and was observed by flags, flowers and decorations being displayed through out the country.   I recall Dad having 7 small flags in a cluster that was mounted around the radiator cap of the car to be flown that day.  Almost all cars displayed flags of some sort.  After Decoration Day, the flags were put away, and again displayed on the 4th if July. 


We always observed Decoration Day as a holiday, and I don’t think work was done on that day; also it was a special day to go fishing. After the morning chores were completed, the picnic box was packed and often we went to aunt Bertha’s for the day.   Uncle George and Aunt Bertha owned a farm along the Sandusky River with a small dock and a row boat.  Usually Dad and Uncle Thed would go in the early morning to set the trot line using the boat.  A trot line was a small braided rope line that was placed across the river, anchored on both shores.  The line was suspended by floats, so it was suspended 4 to 6 feet under the surface of the water.   About 20 ft from shore fish hooks on about 1 foot leader line was attached to this trot line about every 6 feet, continuing along the length of the line.   The boat would be used to pull yourself along the line to bait each hook.  Dew worms or night crawlers were used as were chicken entrails or leeches as bait, and were especially good for catfish.   About every hour the line would be checked – or as Dad would say, “time to run the line – I recall being able to ride in the boat and how exciting it was to see the fish that were hooked and brought into the boat.   Sometimes a run would result in one or two fish, but maybe the next run would bring in a dozen.  Those fish were all cleaned and made a lot of meals for us.  At noon the table cloth would be spread under a tree along the river bank and the big food box would be opened. Fried chicken, ham, potato salad, baked beans, deviled eggs, along with ice cold lemonade in 2 quart cans – with lemon slices in the cans – plus pie and cake.  And almost always it was ended with slices of watermelon.


The tradition of displaying flags in remembrance and going fishing with a picnic remained in our family well after the WW II.


An episode I recall about running the Trot line – one Decoration Day, Russell Burro and his wife Pauline, from Toledo joined the group for the holiday.  On one of the times Dad and Uncle Thed were running the Trot line, they started on the opposite side of the river.  As they progressed along the line, they noticed the line starting tugging really hard.  Uncle Thed became very excited and wanted to go faster – he was quoted as saying, “Ab, we’ve really got a big one on this, so hurry up so we can get to it before it gets away.”   He wouldn’t take time to re-bait the empty hooks; he just wanted to get that big fish.  Dad had often said Thed almost fell out of the boat, he was so excited.  When they came close enough to the shore to lift the whole line clear of the water, with no fish, Russell called out asking how the fish were biting. He had attached a line to the Trot line and had hidden behind a bush on the river bank, so he could keep yanking on the trot line.  Dad had spotted him about half way across the river, but Uncle Thed did not. That was the high light of the day and remembered many years after.

A Day at the Sandusky County Fair (1924)

When I was about 6 years old, I remember a day we had scheduled to attend the Fremont Fair, or better known as the Sandusky County Fair.  This was an event that was a highlight in our lives and looked forward to for weeks.  It was held starting Labor Day weekend at that time.  I recall waking up early, still dark and hearing it raining outside – what an unwelcome sound.  We rushed downstairs, wondering if the Fair day was called off, but Mom and Dad said we would do the chores and maybe it would stop raining – we had no weather forecasts then.  It was still raining


Figure 24   Old Wooden "Lunch Box" Used for Family Outings


when the chores were finished, but since the big lunchbox was packed and ready, the folks decided we’d head for the fairgrounds and maybe it would let up.   I’ve often thought they knew better, but couldn’t stand seeing the disappointment we kids showed.  So we loaded the big box and piled into the REO touring car with the side curtains down and started out.  It rained all the way to Fremont and seemed to rain harder when we drove in the parking area.  At that time the people parked their cars – and a few horse and buggies – on the west side of the fairgrounds along Rawson Ave.  Now that parking area contains all the 4-H buildings, plus flower building, Log Cabin area and livestock barns.  We sat in the car for sometime with no rain letup, along with some other families that also decided to take a chance the weather would break.   Finally Dad said we’d better get out of the parking lot now, or we’d end up getting stuck.  It was a grass area and I remember a lot of water starting to collect.  So we went home with a carload of really disappointed kids.  This was a Thursday – the day everyone gathered at the fair, to visit not only the Fair and exhibits, but to meet with friends and neighbors for a special day in everyone’s life.  I don’t recall going back to the fair that year.   Sandusky County schools opened at that time, the week following Labor Day weekend.


Christmas  (1924)

A special episode I remember was when my youngest brother Carroll was born.  It was Christmas Eve day in 1924 – a typical Ohio winter day, with lots of snow and cold temperature.  That afternoon Dad told us he and Mom would not be going the Christmas Eve service at Church that night, but not to worry because Uncle Thed from Toledo would be coming and he would be take us to the church service.  This was the night I looked forward to for weeks, and probably the most important night of the year.  Dad said Mom wasn’t feeling well.  I remember thinking what a lousy time to get sick at Christmas.  Uncle Thed came that afternoon, and after eating supper we were helped to get ready for the big night.  We then loaded into Uncle Thed’s model T Ford for the trip to church.  I remember a large Christmas tree with lots of decorations and real candles burning.  After speaking our pieces in the program we each received a box of hard candy and an orange – a real treat at that time.  When we returned home and drove in the lane, we saw Dr. Kreilick’s car – he was our family doctor – and I recall thinking maybe Mom was really sick.  Dad met us in the kitchen and told us we were to go directly upstairs to bed.  He said Mom was sick and that we could open our presents – one for each of us – in the morning, and have our popcorn balls then.  A popcorn ball was also a special treat at Christmas.  I remember being so disappointed to wait until morning to get that special present – how could I even go to sleep.  Again I thought why Mom didn’t wait until after Christmas to get sick.   But we never talked back to Dad.   After going upstairs with a coal oil lamp and complaining to each other we tried to settle in.  A short time later my oldest sister Mildred went to the stairway door, and soon came back, telling us she thought Mom had a baby because she heard on e cry downstairs.  My sisters always told me later, I said who wanted a dumb baby, I just wanted my present.  A few days later I changed my mind.    .



Trip to the Ohio Agriculture Experiment Station (1925)

When I was about 7 or 8, I remember a trip to the Agriculture Experiment farm at Wooster, Ohio.  This farm was owned and operated by the State of Ohio, where experiments with test plots and fields were conducted with all the latest seed varieties, weed control and rotation of crops were tested, also livestock breeds were maintained with the results evaluated on the different feeds, breeding and housing available.   Wooster was 90 miles from our home and situated in a rolling scenic part of Ohio.  Our trip started about 6:00 AM after early morning chores were completed.  Dad had a 1924 REO touring car, and I recall we did not use the side curtains, since this was in August and warm.   Henry and Pearl Garner, our neighbors also went with us in their touring car, and I believe a couple of my sisters rode with them.   The trip to Wooster required almost 3 hours on all 2 lane narrow roads, most of them gravel, passing through quite a few towns.  I believe I remember one flat tire – I don’t remember if it was on ours are on Henry’s.  There were no public rest stops, so if a stop was required, a corn field or wood lot was used.  I remember how excited we kids were as we went up and down the rolling roads – hills to us – seeing all the different farms and livestock.


After arriving at the farm, we went to the different test plots, and listened to the experiments and results of the different varieties of crops and hay given by the Experiment Station personnel.   At that time I remember it being rather boring, and was looking forward to the noon break.  Mom had packed the tan wooden box with the usual chicken, potato salad, baked beans, pickles, even jello plus some cookies and pie.   I believe we had lemonade also.  The big table cloth was spread out on the ground, with all of us sitting around enjoying the food and conversation.  We had parked in a field close to the Station, with large trees around the edge, which we were parked under.

In the afternoon we visited the different livestock operations consisting of the dairy barns, feeder cattle, hog buildings, also some sheep.   This was the part of the day I enjoyed most.  I recall it being a very hot day, but being farm kids we didn’t mind.  


I think it was sometime around 3:30 or 4:00 when we started the trip back home. Again a very exciting trip and I remember wondering how Dad and Henry ever found their way over all those roads without getting lost.  But as always, time goes on and days end.  After getting home, everyone changed clothes and pitched in to get the evening chores done.  I relived that trip many times after.


Hay Crop (1925)

To produce and harvest hay, a crop of hay around 1925 was another labor intensive chore.   The seed was planted usually in the spring of the year in a young wheat field.  The seed was spread on the wheat by a small “cyclone” spreader that was carried over the shoulders.  The seed was placed in a bag container, and spread on the wheat by turning a fan operated by hand, as the seeds were dropped on it.  The distance spread would be about 20’, so many trips were required to seed a field – this was usually over a soft field in the spring.  Sometimes mud was encountered.  The seed germinated and grew in the wheat, but was harvested the following year.   I only remember red clover at that time with sometimes Timothy mixed in as the hay crop.


The hay making year started about June, after all crops were planted.  A horse drawn mower was used with about a 5’ or 6’ cutting bar – a bar with a sliding knife to cut the stalks. 


Figure 25  Hay Mowers - Horse Drawn  (Typical)

After the cut hay was allowed to dry a couple of days, a side delivery hay rake was used to place it in wind rows.  


A typical hay making day started in the morning, enough hay was mowed, that was thought to make probably about 4 wagon loads of loose hay.  The hay could be mowed early, while the dew was still on.   After mowing, the horses were then hooked to the rake – this was usually around 9 o’clock – to rake the previously mowed hay that was now dried – this would take until noon – after the noon meal - dinner – the horses would be hooked to the hay rack to go to the hay field to hook on the hay loader.   The hay loader was attached to the rear of the wagon to lift the hay up to the wagon.  

Text Box: Figure 27   Hay Rake - Horse Drawn 
Text Box: Figure 26   Hay Loader - Horse Drawn (typical)



This part of the hay making required three people in the field – one of us kids would drive the team of horses that straddled the hay row pulling the wagon and loader.  One of us would be at the back of the wagon to move the hay forward around the load as it came from the loader.   The other person worked the front of the wagon to distribute the hay as the hay was loaded onto the wagon, working the corners and building the load to about 6’ or8’ in height.   When this was accomplished, the loader was unhooked and we headed back to the barn.  


Now Mom and another one of us kids would be involved.   After the wagon was taken inside the barn, the horses would be unhooked and taken outside to again be attached to a double tree that was hooked to a hay rope, strung through several pulleys.  A steel hay track ran the length of the barn that was mounted in the top of the inner barn roof.  A hay fork or sling was used to attach to the rope that hung from the hay track.  The horses then pulled a load of hay up to the track that could be sent to either end of the barn.   A rope was attached to the hay carrier, so it could be tripped, dropping the load in the mow.   Two of us were in the mow to distribute the hay evenly over the area.  A really hot, dusty and hard job, especially if the temperature was 90 degrees as it often was.  In the mow, it was said to reach 100 degree.   After each load, Mom would turn the team around to get ready for the next sling.   One of us always had to pull the loose rope back so the horses wouldn’t walk on it.  


After the wagon was empty, we were always glad to get into the open air and head for the field. As mentioned before 3 or 4 loads in an afternoon was a long day.  As the old saying went – “You make hay on a sun shining day” - Hay had to be cured and dried in the field before placing in the hay mow.  If the hay had much moisture, it would become moldy; losing its feed value also could cause spontaneous combustion, sometimes setting a barn on fire.  


Later field balers came into operations eliminating the hay loader, also the storage space required for loose hay.  Our first baler was a Case, wire tied.   This still required a tractor driver, two people on each side of the baler to insert wires from one side, while they were knotted on the other side, also a person to pile them on the wagon as they came from the baler.   A couple of years later we had the baler converted to an automatic string-tied operation.    This eliminated two people but was never very successful.  We then purchased a new “International Harvester 45” also a string baler that was much better but missed tying a lot of bales.  We ended up with a “New Holland 50 “that worked very well.


The year 2000 – The hay was now cut with a haybine, a machine with a 10’ header that cut, crushed and wind rowed the hay in one operation through the field.  By crushing the stalks, the hay would be ready for harvest the next day.  The baler then picked up the windrows, making larger bales and dropping them back in the field.  A truck operated bale loader followed picking up the bales, stacking them on the back of the loader – a loaded wagon would be about 100 bales – and then taken to the barn or hay shed.  The load of bales were then stacked without any further handling.

Two men – one operating the baler, the other the bale wagon – could harvest 20 acres or more in an afternoon.  In 1925 it would have required at least four people, 2 weeks to handle that much hay.   Also at that time most hay was Red Clover, with one cutting per year.   Today most hay is alfalfa, with at least three cuttings per year expected.  In 1925, all the hay produced on the farm was fed to livestock with the manure returned to the fields.  Today almost all of the hay produced is sold off the farm.   Commercial fertilizer is now applied to give the crops their needed nutrients. 


An added sidelight – one time when Vin and I were loading hay on top the wagon an event happened we still laugh about.   I was at the back of the load, throwing the hay forward from the loader – Vin was up front.  It was a very hot day, so we both removed our shirts.  As I threw one forkful forward, I remember a scream form Vin.  When I turned to look, he had jumped off the top of the wagon- about 8 feet up and was running across the field.  I think he ran about 100’ before he stopped.  After asking what happened, he said a big snake was in that forkful and had hit him square in the chest.  Since we were at the top of the load, we unhooked the loader and headed for the barn.  I’m not sure if Vin rode on the top of the load to the barn or walked.  We do know that big black and yellow snakes occasionally ended up in the haymow.


Producing a Crop of Corn (1925)

The ground was first plowed by team and a 12” walking plow.  Hopefully plowing could be started in March and was a sod or hay field from the previous year.   About 2 acres plowed in a day was considered good.   After the ground was turned over, it was left to dry for a few days.  A home made steel toothed drag was used to help level and break up the soil.  After that the land roller was used – also home-made – to level and break up the soil to a finer consistency.   After the rolling, the field had to be dragged again to make the soil finer and also to help level the soil.  Almost always it required another trip with the land roller, before it was ready to plant.    Plowing and fitting 10 acres would require about 8 to 10 days of work.  We were able to stand on the drag – the roller had a seat on top to ride.


Now it was time for the seed corn.  First we went to the corn crib to select the largest most uniform ears.  Then each ear was shelled by hand at each end to remove the smaller uneven kernels.  The corn was then put through a hand sheller to remove the kernels form the cob and then run through the fanning mill to remove the small pieces of cob and silk.   It was now ready to plant and required about 1 ½ bushels of corn for the 10 acres.


The corn boxes on the planter were then filled, and you went to the field to prepare for planting.  First the check wire had to be laid across the field.  This wire had rings located every 42”, to trip the planter to drop 3 kernels each time.  Along one end of the field a rope line was strung along the fence, so that each time the stake holding the wire was moved it was placed against the rope to keep all hills of corn uniform.   The planter had 2 planting shoes that entered the ground placing the seed about 2” deep.   The shoes were 42”apart.   This method was called “checking the corn” so all hills were uniform across the field, lengthwise or crossways – allowing the farmers to cultivate both ways in the field to control weeds.  After the field was planted, the wire had to be coiled up and the end rows – 4 total – had to be hand checked.  All this required help from some one other than Dad.


Now that the field was planted, all drainage ditches had to be opened, requiring more help.   Mom would drive the team, Dad would hold one end of the wooden scraper and a couple of us kids would ride on top to hold it in the ground.  This required probably another ½ hour or more.   All told to plow, fit and plant 10 acres would consume about 2 weeks.


After the corn would come up, we would go over each row with a hand planter to fill in if a hill didn’t come up or maybe only had 1 stalk to the hill.


When the corn was about 2” to 3” high, cultivating would begin.   The corn was always cultivated at least three times- one row at a time.   After the last time we would have to go around the end rows of the field to straighten up and try to salvage any hills knocked down by the horses.  Since no pesticides or herbicides were used, we always had Canada Thistles patches to hoe out each year – they would come up after the last cultivation.  This was usually done in late July or August.   No commercial fertilizer was used other than animal manure spread prior to plowing.  This manure originally came from the farm and was recycled through the farm animals.  


Figure 28   Cultivating "Checked" Corn - one row at a time. (Typical)

Figure 29   Cutting Corn by Hand with a Corn Knife. (Typical)

Figure 30   Starting a corn fodder shock using a corn buck. (Typical)

Figure 31   Binding a corn fodder shock using a rope/pulley tool. (Typical)



In the fall – about Sept – it would be time to start harvesting the crop.  The corn was all cut by hand using a corn knife.  A saddle was formed by bending over 4 hills of corn and tying them together.   Then 64 hills of corn were cut, carried to the saddle and piled around it, creating a shock.  The shock was tied by 1 stalk of corn at the top.  The corn was cut about 8” to 10” above the ground, leaving neat rows of corn stubble through the field.  After the corn was removed, these stubbles were cut down using a home made stubble cutter pulled by 1 horse, 2 rows at a time.  These stubbles were then allowed to decompose forming humus for future crops.  


After the corn dried in the shock in a few weeks it was time to husk – removing the ear from the stalk and husk from the ear.  The newly husked corn was tossed on a neat pile where the shock had stood, and the now husked stalks were tied into bundles to again be piled up into fodder shocks.   The fodder shocks were about 6’ to 8’ in diameter, and left in the field to be hauled into the barn for cattle feed in the winter.   The husked corn was then gathered up in bushel baskets, hauled ito the corn crib, where it was shoveled into the corn crib for more drying. This corn was then ground up for the cattle or fed whole to the hogs or shelled for the poultry.  Any excess was then hauled to the elevator in Oak Harbor on a wagon for a cash sale.   Often times when a load of corn was taken to the elevators, wire fencing, posts and barb wire were brought back in the wagon to replace a section of the rail fence and sometimes a block or two of salt was added for the livestock.   The total time spent to produce and harvest 10 acres of corn could add up to 2 weeks of labor.

75 years later – 2000

We now rented our farm land out, and it was farmed by Larry Hineline, a lifetime friend.  We had 2 fields to be planted to corn – one was 36 acres field, the other was 37 acres.  Larry started in the 36 acres field about 6:00 am, using an 8 row no till planter.  No till, meant the ground was not prepared before planting, but the seeds were placed directly in the ground leaving the residue from the previous crop still on the ground.   Commercial fertilizer had been applied to these acres a day or two before, by a Floater truck, from the local elevator, requiring about 1 hour’s time. That same day about 7:30 pm Larry left the second field with 71 aces of corn planted.   The elevator was hired to spray these acres with an herbicide to prevent weed growth, so there was no cultivating needed.   No drainage ditches needed to be opened, as the field now had drainage tile installed.  When the corn was about 12” high,   Larry applied Liquid Nitrogen that was knifed into the soil between each row.  This required about 8 hours.  These fields were then left to grow and mature until harvest time, probably in October, Larry then moved in with his self propelled combine, with a 6 row corn head, equipped with AC cab and radio to shell the corn.  The stalks and corn cobs were run through the combine, shredded and returned to the filed, left to decompose for next year’s crop.   The shelled corn was augured into his truck to be transported to the elevator for further drying and sale.   During this crop period, the corn was never required to be touched – the seed was purchased, dumped from the bag into the planter, removed from the cob by the combine and delivered to the elevator with no human hands required to handle it.


These aces were all planted and harvested by one man, in comparison by a family being involved 75 years earlier. At that time 25 bushel per acres was considered good, now 150 bushel would be expected.  Corn was then harvested as ear corn and sold by the 100# weight for cob and corn.  Now everything is shelled and sold by the bushel – 56# per bushel.  Most farms today have no livestock, so all grain is usually transported directly to the elevator for storage or sale.


Cost Comparison – Farming in 1925 & Farming in 2000



Team of horses, harness, corn planter, corn knife



Tractor, Planter, Combine, Truck, Sprayer


Fertilizer for 75 acres


Animal manure



Commercial fertilizer, herbicides, insecticides


Seed for 75 acres









An 80 acre farm was average for a family



One man can operate 1000 acres alone, or 2 to 3 thousand with some hired help.


Crop Yields


Corn:                  25 bushels / acre

Wheat:        20 – 30 bushels / acre



Corn:                150 bushels / acre

Wheat:                90 bushels / acre


Crop Prices



$0.90 / bushel



$2.75 / bushel


Producing a Crop of Wheat (1925)

The ground was basically prepared prior to planting, the same as corn.  Corn was planted in the spring, whereas wheat was planted in the fall, wintered over in the ground, and harvested in the summer – usually July.   Corn ground was normally followed after a hay crop, with wheat following oats.   After the oats was harvested, the ground was plowed around Aug 1st to be prepared for wheat sowing around the end of September.   The seed wheat was taken from the bin, run through the fanning mill to remove small kernels and other foreign materials.  It was then bagged and taken to the field on a sled to be distributed along the edge of the field to fill the grain hopper of the grain drill.  The drill I remember had about 8 hoes spaced about 9” apart.  Tubes from the grain hopper went into these hoes to drop wheat into the ground again 2”or 3” deep.  Chains were attached to each hoe in the rear to help drag ground over the wheat kernels.   It took many rounds through the field to plant – usually all day for 10 acres. Again no fertilizer was used other than animal manure.   No cultivating was required although many times it was needed to go over the field with hoes in the spring to hoe out the Canada Thistles and Sourdock.  Around July, the Grain binder was brought out of the binder shed where it had been stored since last July and made ready for the new year’s harvest.   Grain canvasses had to be placed in the binder, twine in the twine box, plus greasing and oiling for all wear points.   Before entering the field, a rather large area had to be cut by hand, using a scythe – the wheat was placed in bundles and hand tied. This area was used to get the horses and binder in the field and set up to cut the grain.   The first round to open the field required the horses to walk through the wheat.  The first bundles on this round were dropped in the standing wheat. Someone had to follow and carry these bundles to a place along the fence row.  The next round going in the opposite direction, the binders cutting platform was lowered as near to the ground as possible to salvage the grain that knocked down by the horses on the first  round.   As the field was cut, the grain bundles had to be shocked.   About 8 to 10 bundles were placed on end, grain top up – to form a shock.  After forming the shock, a cap was placed on top to help keep the rain off.  This was accomplished by fluffing or spreading the bundle top out and laying flat on top the shock.   The shocks of wheat were left in the field to further dry before threshing time – usually a few weeks.  We never liked to see storms about this time, because it meant going over the field , replacing the tops and shocks that may have been blown over.   T his usually was a family event and could require an hour or two.


I recall Dad always hoping to get the wheat cut and shocked prior to the David Hetrick reunion on the 4th of July.  


A wheat yield at that time was almost 20 or 30 bushel per acre.   75 years later in 2000, 90 bushel per acre has been reached.  In 1925, the seed was taken from the bin, with no commercial fertilizer used.   Now the seed is purchased, are of hybrid varieties plus a lot of commercial fertilizer is applied per acre.


I’ve described the threshing of grain before so will go in no further detail.  Wheat was a crop that required almost a year to produce – plowing in August and threshing about a year later, again in August.

75 years later - 2000

Most wheat is now planted following soy beans.  A no till drill is used by some farmers, planting the wheat directly after combining the beans.  A few framers may go over the combined field of beans prior to sowing wheat, using a disc harrow 20feet wide with fold up wings for transport from the field to  field.   The grain drill maybe at least 16 feet in width, allowing up to 40 acres planted per day.   The fertilizer is applied by the elevator, usually in li1uid form.  In the spring, an aerial application of nitrogen can be applied.   When harvest time arrives, the self propelled combine – 24foot header – combines the grain.   The wheat is augured directly into a truck to be delivered to the grain elevator, or shipping g port.   The straw is shredded, for return to the field or left in a wind row to bale.    If the straw is baled, the baler goes over the windrows, dropping the bales in the field. A self propelled bale truck then gathers the bales, stacks them on the truck to be delivered to the barn or storage shed.    At the barn the bales are automatically stacked again, with no human hands touching them.  Also round bales may be used, rolling the straw into rolls of several hundred pounds..


The Oat Crop (1925)

Producing a crop of oats was basically the same as wheat.  Ground preparation, selecting seed and planting with the same drill was similar.   After that they were different.  Wheat was planted in the fall, oats was planted in the spring or soon as the ground conditions allowed.  Dad always said March seeded oats was the best.   I can recall a few times oats after planting, was covered with a late snow storm.   Oats was almost always raised for feed on the farm, seldom to be sold as a cash crop, unless it was surplus.  Oats required a lot of weed control with many trips through the fields to hoe out Canada Thistles, Sourdock or Burdock, also sometimes Bull Thistles.


Oats was usually cut about three weeks after wheat, again using the grain binder, and placed in shocks.   If the threshing crew arrived at the farm late, the oats was threshed along with the wheat.  Sometimes the oat bundles were hauled into the barn, piled on the barn floor and then threshed later.   As the years went by less oats were planted, due to the fact , a crop failure often occurred because of the bad spring weather, also because the cash value for a bushel of oats was low and since it was used primarily for feed, after the livestock became less on each farm, the crop was substituted for other crops.  Soybeans were starting to replace the oat crop in the late 30’s and early 40’s.


Oats was an important part of the horses’ diet or feed, usually fed whole to the horse, whereas for cattle, hogs, and poultry, it was ground and mixed with other grain.   There used to be an old saying “you must be feeling your oats“ that referred to how well horses responded to plenty of oats.  When the straw was blown on the straw stack, the cattle used to eat a lot of it.

75 years later - 2000

In the year 2000, I only remember one field of oats being planted – it was a small field, cut with a grain binder, shocked and threshed, primarily to bring back memories again.  Now days, it would be seeded in a once over operation, harvested with a combine and hauled directly to the grain elevator.


First Day hunting (prior to 1941)

Having been born and raised on a farm, hunting, fishing, trapping, playing and working were almost always an outdoor activity, and made up almost all my growing up time.

Even though fishing rated high in my life, hunting was also very important to me up to the time before entering the military service.


I recall as a small boy, Nov 15th was an important day.   On that day hunting of rabbits and pheasants became legal to take as wild game.  I remember Uncle Thed always came down from Toledo, to hunt with Dad.  He would arrive when it was still dark outside, which meant Mom would have a breakfast ready for everyone before it became light enough to start walking to flush out the wild game to shoot.   The season opened officially as soon as you could see to shoot.   Shotguns were the order of the day – mostly 12 gauge.   Dad had a 12 gauge double barrel; Uncle Thed had a 5 shot single barrel pump gun.   The hunting day usually started by walking through the orchard next to the house and always 2 or 3 nice fat rabbits would be bagged., before starting out through the fields.   I remember walking the fields on our farm, sometimes going in to the woods, also walking the railroad track and along ditch banks – neighboring farmers were never off limit, so several miles would probably be covered in this morning.  At noon we would end up at home to unload the hunting coats, eat a big noon meal Mom had prepared and then back to the fields again.   Later that afternoon, the hunting day would end.  Even though a bag limit of 5 rabbits per hunter was allowed per day, I don’t recall anyone ever stopping once they had the 5 rabbits.   The county had a game warden but I never saw one.   All hunters kept their game for their food, and rabbits were always plentiful so no limit was ever enforced to my knowledge.   2 pheasants per day were allowed – cock birds – but usually a hunter was lucky to get one a day in our area.  To finish the first day of hunting, the game had to be cleaned.  The rabbits were skinned and made many good meals – fried rabbit with mashed potatoes, gravy and noodles.  Mom also canned many rabbits for later use.  The game was usually fat and as many as 25 or 30 rabbits were bagged the first day.  A side light I’ve always remembered was the one time on the first day of hunting, that Uncle Thed had 5 flat tires on his Model T Ford on his way down from Toledo.  At that time everyone carried a jack, the pump and a supply of tire patches.


I received my first shotgun when I was about 16 years old.  Dad and a friend from Fremont purchased a 12 gauge, double barreled Steven’s from a second hand store in Sandusky.


I also remember being taught to clean my gun every day after use.  Never would you use your gun during the day, and then leave it for another day or sometime – to clean it.  We were also taught never to bring a loaded gun into the house.  I received a BB gun for Christmas, when I was about 12 years old.  I remember coming into the kitchen one time, thinking my gun was uncocked.  I pulled the trigger, and to my surprise it fired a BB into the kitchen ceiling.   Dad happened to be there and as a result, my bottom received a good warming, also the gun was taken away from me for some days. I not only learned a lesson, but the sparrows and blackbirds were safe during this period.


During my growing up years at home, wild game was plentiful.   The fields were small with a lot of cover left for the winter; also many fence rows and ditch banks for the game and wood lots to live in.  Also neighbors hunted on each others property which was expected.


Today all fences are gone, only a few woods left, very little cover left in the fields, also herbicides and insecticides are used extensively, wiping out young nests if there are any.


Today if someone asks how hunting is on our farm, I always answer – excellent – you can hunt all day but you probably won’t see 1 rabbit.


Squirrel season opened on Sept 15th at that time.  To hunt squirrel required patience.  You went into the woods, found a good tree to set under and then waited for the squirrel to show up.   Whereas with rabbit and pheasant, you walked to flush them out.  A limit on squirrel was also 5, but usually a hunter didn’t get his limit.


My First Date with Garnetta (1937)

As was the custom as we were growing up. Saturday night meant going to Fremont for some shopping and also to visit and to see your friends.  It was the “high light” of the week.   When I was 19, ice cream was a favorite part of the Saturday night trip.   One night someone mentioned they heard Englers’ ice cream store on the east side of town made their own ice cream, also had the biggest double dip around.  A few of my friends and I decided to check it out.  We found the ice cream to be really great, and the dips were the largest we’d found.  After that it was one of our favorite stops when going to town.  A few trips later, I noticed an attractive girl, with natural curly shoulder length hair, a great smile and personality always neatly dressed that was working there.   About that time, I not only went for the ice cream but also to see if this girl may be working.  “Englers” was run by Ralph and Ellen Engler, and always known as “Mom and Pop.”   It became a favorite gathering place for our gang, plus a number of other young people.   After asking “Pop” this girl’s name – Garnetta – a name I had never heard before, I then started wondering if she had a boyfriend.   Shortly after that as we were heading for Englers, Dwight Hetrick said he was going to ask Garnetta for a date.  I had always been rather shy around girls but right then decided if Garnetta was going to the show with anyone, it would be me.  Upon entering the store, Pop was at the back preparing ice cream mix, so I went directly back and asked him if he thought Garnetta would go to the show with me if I asked.   Pop’s replay to me was “a faint heart never won a fair maiden” and then turned and walked away. As I walked back to the front of the store, I met Garnetta on her way back to ask Pop a question.  My thoughts were, “Now or never.”   I then asked her first if she was working Sunday night, and she told me she had Sunday off.  At this time I asked if she would like to go to the show with me Sunday night.  Her response was “Sure, I’d like to.”  At that point I was on Cloud Nine.


Sunday afternoon I asked Dad if I could use the car at night – Dad never refused me, but I always asked.   Also could I have a little money?  I picked Garnetta up at 7:30 – she roomed with the Englers – for our first date to go to the show at the Paramount Theater in Fremont.  After the movie – I don’t recall the picture shown – I suggested we go to “Don’s Diner” – a popular spot in Fremont for a breaded veal sandwich and a coke.   My cost for our first date was $.98.   ( $.68 for the show tickets, and $.30 for the coke and sandwiches.)  


Through our love for each other and God’s grace, that first date developed into a relationship lasting 60+ years and still going strong.


My First Car (1940)

My first car was a 1938 Studebaker purchased used in Feb 1940.  It was previously owned by a Catholic priest from a neighboring town, and in excellent condition.  It was a State Commander model, meaning it was equipped with two tail lights, two windshield wipers, chrome around the radiator grill and also chrome on the hood and side panels, all extras over a standard model.   My cost was $400.00 - $200 cash that I has plus $200 my Dad loaned me.   It was tan in color, with large chrome hub caps, and white side wall tires. 


1938 Studebaker State Commander - 4 Door Sedan (Purchased 1940 by Milt Hetrick)


1938 Studebaker Commander Advertisements



Soon after getting the car, I added mud guards on the rear fenders, twin fog horns, a chrome radiator bumper guard in the front, plus a side view mirror on the passenger’s side of the car and electric air horns.  The horn button was very prominent in the center of the steering wheel.  Today I’m not sure what part of the steering wheel to press to find the horn.   We always sounded our horn when passing a car going in your direction, also some times used as a warning to someone approaching from a side road or street.  It was important to use our horn when seeing people we knew or someone in another car as we passed.  I remember well how often the horn was used as we cruised the main street in town on a Saturday night.  I also added a used radio, installed by a friend – causing a few dead batteries.   My future wife also surprised me by having a clock installed in the dash, when I left it at a car dealer to have serviced.   Back in those days, we would feel very good once we were able to get 15,000 or more miles from a set of tires.  Also we had bragging rights if we could say we drove a 1000 miles before adding oil to the crank case.   Now I’m guilty of not checking the oil level, between 5000 mile service procedures.   That car served us well, and after 100,000 miles we sold it to my wife’s younger brother for $100.  He paid $10 a month.  We purchased our first new car in 1948 – a Chevrolet costing us $1642.


My Solo Flight (1971)

As a young boy growing up I was always interested in airplanes.  When a plane was heard, we always followed it as it flew overhead or in the distance, dreaming what it would be like to be a pilot and fly a plane.   I recall riding my bicycle east of Oak Harbor one time, when Norm Hetrick (a relative) landed his biplane in a farmer field to give rides.  Also that day an airship came for a few hours for people to view.


In 1971, after Mike graduated from college and had joined the Peace Corps. Netta and I decided it was time for us to do something we had as dreams, and could never afford, now that the kids were all through school.  Netta always wanted to go to college, so she enrolled in a branch of Bowling Green University, in Fremont.  My choice was to learn how to fly.   I signed up for Flight School at Progress Field in Fremont, requiring 20 hours of ground school before flying. The classes were held at night and taught by Gene Damschrouder the owner of the airport.   After completing ground school and taking the FAA test – I passed – we then started flying.  When I could find time we would go to the field, hoping a plane was available for an hour of flying. Along with working at Brush Wellman full time and the farming, my flying training was really spread out – sometimes it would be several weeks between flights. 


One Sunday after Church, I told Netta I would like to go to the airport and see if a plane and Gene – he was always my instructor – was available.  Netta said she would go home with Vin and Tillie.  Gene was at the airport; also a new Cessna 150 was available.  After about 15 minutes of flying, I told Gene I would do some “touch and gos” – landing on the strip, then again take off without stopping.  The second time down, Gene said I should stop, because I had made a mistake. After braking to a stop, he opened the door and jumped out – he said my mistake was that he was with me, and to get back in the air.  Just for an instant, I wasn’t sure, but then thought this was what I wanted, so quickly gave the plane power and took off – alone.  I’ll always remember those first few minutes flying alone. After landing I taxied up to the hanger, where Gene and his wife Lu were waiting. First Lu took my picture by the 150, and then Gene pulled out my shirt tail and cut it off – a tradition for a student’s first solo flight.   Had I known I was going to solo that morning I would have worn an older shirt to Church.  


Netta earned enough credits through the Bowling Green branch, then she was admitted to the campus as a full fledged student.  Therefore we both reached the goal of one our dreams.  


When I was growing up nicknames for people were very common.  Some were dropped as they grew older and yet many remained for their lifetime.   These are a few I remember –


Vincent (Vinny or Vinegar)


Carroll (Catsy)


Harold (Slugger)


Glendon (Check)


Gerald (Leave em )


Howard (Humpby)


Lyle (Spider)


Noman (Jeff)


Richard (Sam)


Wayne (Wiener)


Lowell (Butch)


Carl (Chich)


Clifford (Clip)


Dwight (Gudlup)


Garold (Finegan)


Herbert (             )


Howard (Shorty)


Milton Jr. (Junie)


Michael (Pic)


Terry (Guncher)


Vernon (Pete)


John (Baldy)


Lyle (Louie)


Cleo (Jim)


Leon (Joe)


Howard (Rip)


Earl (John )


Franklin (Fat)


Wendal (Sleepy)


Calvin (Mike)


Earl (Squezzem or sometimes Heazall)


Gilbert (Fuzzy)


Lamar (Pete)


Lamar (Spin)


Larry (Butch)


Al (Cannon Ball)


Lyle (Lefty)


James (Yardbird)


Richard (Itchy)


Food on the Farm

As a farm family we grew up more or less self sufficient. Almost everything came directly from the farm.  Almost all meals consisted of meat and potatoes. Often times even for breakfast.


Our meat supply came from pork, beef, and chickens plus many wild rabbits, pheasant and fish.  The hogs were butchered in the fall and processed to last during the summer.  A good portion was consumed fresh, although sausage, bacon, hams and shoulder were cured, smoked and hung in special bags stored in a mouse proof granary in the barn.  They would be brought in during the winter and following summer for use.   I t was not unusual to bring in a ham or a slab of bacon covered with mold.  The mold would be scrapped or cut off before slicing into real hickory smoked country bacon. Side meat was rendered and then packed in large crocks covered with lard from frying.  When needed for a meal, Mom would send us to the basement to dig out a few pieces, including some of the lard.  Some fresh pork and some sausage were canned in glass Mason jars.  During hunting season excess rabbits were cold packed for later use.   Squirrels were usually eaten whenever Dad would get them and made into a meal with home made pot pie.  Chicken was enjoyed year round usually on Sunday unless it was prepared for a special event, like a reunion or special picnics or our annual day at the Sandusky County Fair.  Our usual Sunday dinner was fried chicken that Mom fried in a big black cast iron skillet on the wood stove.  A large platter would appear on the table, along with home made noodles, mashed potatoes and gravy plus fresh baked pie or cake.  You can’t buy chicken today that tastes like the range fed chickens of our childhood.


It was difficult to obtain eggs during the winter when I was a youth because chicken coups were not heated making it difficult to raise chickens.  Excess eggs from the summer were placed in large crocks between layers of salt and stored in the fruit cellar to preserve them for use during the winter.


We ate a lot of fish starting in early spring with the first suckers seined from mud creek, followed by many bull head and cat fish lasting until about late June.  Some carp were caught and often smoked.


Vegetables came from the garden, usually fresh, we had a lot of lettuce – my favorite was sour piled on top of boiled potatoes.   Fresh peas with new little potatoes were always good, as were radishes and vine ripened tomatoes.   Sweet corn in season was also always plentiful on the table.


Potatoes were dug in the fall and stored in a large potato bin in a dark unheated room in the basement.  This bin probably held 30 or 40 bushel supplying us all year.  In the spring, we often had to take the sprouts off, but we made them last until the first new potatoes could be dug – most likely sometime in June or July.


When the folks remodeled the house, Dad made a large fruit cellar under the front porch.   This room had a brick floor with sand underneath, and was dark and always damp.   Shelving ran along one side of the wall, and by the end of summer the shelves were lined with glass cans – a truly colorful sight.   The quart jars contained beans, tomatoes, corn, plumes, pears, peaches and lots of pickles, just to name a few. At one end of the cellar, crates of apples were stored as many as 20 bushel of different varieties – also the other end had a rack that held at least four 50 gallon barrels of cider and vinegar.     I remember a 50 gallon barrel of sorghum, molasses in the cellar one year – the sorghum was grown just south of the house.  A large crock of sauerkraut would also be stored there, made from cabbage from the garden.  I recall one year Dad made 5 barrels of pickles – 30 gallon each barrel – and they were in the fruit cellar.  Pickles were almost always on our table for two meals each day.  Another large crock would be filled with carrots with the tops left on – also turnips would be in the cellar for a short time.  Another memory I have is the year we had a bumper watermelon crop.  Almost 20 large melons – long green stripped – were piled along a wall.   I wish now we would have had a camera to picture this special room.  


I also remember the many fruits and vegetables gathered to supplement our daily needs.   Wild asparagus was picked along the ditch banks in the spring.   Dandelion greens were also gathered to place on our potatoes with ham for a meal.   We kids enjoyed wild strawberries along the railroad or roadside that grew in small patches. – the berries weren’t taken home for the table, but canned on the spot.   Sour cherries we’d get from Aunt Bertha. We almost always went to Aunt Bertha’s to pick wild blackberries in the summer.  Elder berries were picked to mix with other fruit for pies – sometimes we’d place them in a bowl and eat them with milk.   We had 2 rows of grapes south of the house that would be gathered for pies, plus juice and jam.  I remember gathering wild raspberries along the rail fence along the lane.  We would eat these when we went down the lane to take the milk cows to the woods, also when we would get them home again in the afternoon. I also remember all the jams and preserves that mom made to supplement our meals.  Apple butter was made and canned for our meals and lasted almost a year.   Mince meat was another special food. It was made with meat, usually from the neck of a steer, ground up and mixed with ground apples, raisins, and cider.   After it was cooked, it could be canned and used for many minced-meat pies over the holidays.


Sugar beets was one of the crops raised on the farm.  When a farmer had a contract with the G-W company in Fremont, he was granted the privilege to purchase sugar from the factory at a discount.  I remember going with Dad one time to pick up five 100# bags of sugar – the bags were heavy white paper with a big G-W on the outside.  This sugar was stored in the closet by the steps going upstairs. 


Also stored in the closet were bags of flour – again about 500#.   I can remember one fall day, helping Dad clean and bag at least six or eight bags of wheat – each bag held 2 bushels of wheat – 120# each.   The bags were loaded on a two wheel trailer pulled behind the REO touring car for a trip to Perrysburg.   We went to a mill there that would grind your wheat into flour already ground.  I think Dad just made an exchange.  This flour was added to the storage closet.   Also in the closet you might find at least one bag of salt – again 100 # per bag.


To summarize these memories, you can see we were almost self-sufficient - the few things purchased from the grocery store – brown sugar, yeast, baking powder and soda etc. – were usually done by the barter system.  Eggs, butter and cream were exchanged for these items.  Our years of growing up on a farm gave us special privileges I’ll always be thankful for – we grew up as a close family, knowing what work was, learning to share, Also always had plentiful food and clothing.  We may have been considered poor, although I don’t think we knew or even cared.

The Apple Orchard

My first memory as a small boy was waiting for the first apples to ripen on a certain tree in the big orchard west of the house.  Dad must have started the orchard soon after getting married and taking over the farm from his father, David.  The 5 acres orchard consisted of many varieties of fruit trees including apple, pear, cherry, and plum.   There were also two rows of grapes on the east end south of the house.   This plot of trees served as a natural wind break against storms coming from the SW-W-NW, but more importantly, provided our family with plenty of fruit and a source of income for Dad.  


Some of the variety of apple I remember include Baldwin, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Northern Spy, Grimes Golden, Greening, McIntosh, Maiden Blush, American Blush, Strawberry Crab Apple, and an early variety called Transparent, that we eagerly awaited each year for our first apple.  There was also a sweet apple that was used for apple butter, also a quince used for jam and jelly.  I recall 2 varieties of pear trees, also at least three varieties of plum.  The pears and plum filled many jars in the fruit cellar for enjoyment throughout the year. This orchard was also a haven for wild life, a number of fat wild rabbits came from the orchard.


Maintaining this orchard required a lot of time and work.  During the winter months many a mud boat of manure was hauled to the orchard to give each tree extra nourishment.  About early March, each tree had to be pruned or trimmed.  Water sprouts, dead branches or limbs, and any limbs that would cross each other or were too close together were removed.  When the trimming was completed, usually on a Saturday when Vin and Carroll were home from school, all the trimmings were gathered up for a huge fire in the lot in front of the house.


When the fruit trees started new leaves and buds started sprouting, the spraying started.  We had a special spray rig mounted on an old wagon frame.  It had about a 100 gallon wooden tank with a pressure pump mounted on the back.  Power to this pump was supplied by a Hit and Miss gas engine.  This engine has been restored and probably runs as good and looks better than when Dad purchased it new.


Text Box: Figure 32  Hit and Miss Gas Engine used on the Apple Orchard Sprayer

My job was to help fill each tank with water from the water trough, add a gallon of special liquid to each tank and drive the team pulling the spray tank through the rows of trees.  This usually required ½ day for each application.   Even today I can remember sitting on top the tank driving the horses and hearing the Hit and Miss behind me.  Dad always sprayed at least six to eight times each year.  He was known for having some of the best fruit in the area.  One year a truck came from Cincinnati to get a load of apples.


Picking all this fruit required significant hand labor each fall.  Many bushels and crates were hauled to a shed for sale and storage.   The final trip to the orchard was made after all the fruit was picked.  We then went to gather the few apples left on the trees, also to pick up good fruit that dropped on the ground.  This meant one or more trips to the cider Mill to fill barrels of cider.  A lot of the cider was left for vinegar to be used, given to friends or sold. 


I believe the orchard was discontinued during the war years, as a source of income, due to lack of help.  Vin and Dad were busy operating the farm during this period.


Going Barefoot (After age 10)

When I was small and growing up, summertime was very special. It meant no school, free time and good weather, and most important going bare feet.  When we came home from school for summer vacation, one of the first things we’d ask Mom was, “Can we go bare foot?”   She would usually say, “If it’s not too cold on your feet, go ahead.” 


Our shoes would come off and we would start to condition our tender feet for a shoe-less summer.  At first we would walk very tenderly, but in a few days the bottom of feet would become like leather and we didn’t notice the stones and rough ground.  Sometimes when we had Canada Thistle patches to hoe we would wear a pair of tennis shoes, but that was about the only time.  Many days during the summer we never wore shoes.  We did wear shoes of course for our weekly trip to town on Saturday night and to church on Sunday.


We often stubbed our toes or would get a minor cut, but the quick treatment for that was to find a fresh cow paddy to step in.  When it oozed up between your toes it soon felt better.  I remember one summer when we were cleaning the manure yard to get ready for threshing, Dad said if we kids worked hard he would drive us down to Gem Beach in the evening.  As we were thinking about this, Vin inadvertently jammed the manure fork between his toes pinning his foot to the manure.  I guess the manure juice helped his foot to feel better soon.  One of the things I remember Mom was always asking at bed time – Did you wash your feet?


One of our chores during the summer was to drive the milk cows to the woods above the rail road track, each morning and then to bring them home again late afternoon. We walked the rail tracks about 40 rods, both coming and going.  In the afternoon when the temperature was in the high 80’s or 90’s we would see who could walk the longest on those hot rails.  Even though the bottom of our feet was like leather, we never made it all the way.


When I was small, I remember our trip to the Red Goose shoe store in Fremont, around the 1st of September when the folks would buy us a new pair of shoes to start the school year.  I also remember the tablet we would get and the new pencil with the Red Goose imprinted on it.  I believe a new pair of shoes was under $2 in the 1920’s. Those were great growing-up days.

Farm Truck Memories (1939 – 1985)


The 1st truck I remember on the farm was a 1934 Chevy 1 ½ ton purchased in 1939.  This truck had been used as a gas truck delivering gas and fuel oil in the farming community; therefore it had many miles on its odometer.   It had a new paint job and a flat bed.  We used it to haul tomatoes and sugar bets to the factories in Fremont, plus other farm related jobs. 


Figure 33  1941 Chevy  Farm Truck - c 1942 (Ida, Vin, Abner Hetrick, Dean and Larry Nickel)


In 1941, Dad decided we needed a better truck and purchased a new 1941 Chevy 1 ½  ton.  This truck served us well on the farm again hauling tomatoes, beets, grain and making many trips to the Cleveland livestock yards with hogs and cattle.  This truck was also used to haul stone for the farm and logs to the sawmill.  One special memory I have was the night our friends gave us a “belling” or “schwerce” after our wedding.   The stock rack was placed on the truck.  Netta and I were placed in the back with a load of friends and paraded through the streets of Oak Harbor with a lot of horn blowing.  In 1959, this 1941 Chevy was replaced by a 1955 Dodge 2 ½ ton truck that we had used on one of our milk routes.  Dad then sold the Chevy Truck to a migrant laborer who used it to return to Texas after the beet harvest.


Figure 34   Milk Trucks – c 1955 (Mike, Terry Hetrick)


In 1950, Carroll and I purchased a can milk route.  We hauled raw milk from the farm to the Pet Milk Plant in Fremont using a 1949 Chevy 2 ton truck.  In 1951 we expanded the milk route requiring another truck.   So we bought a 1951 2 ton Chevy.  In1954 we traded the ’49 truck on a new 1954 Dodge 2 ton.  The ’49 had over 150,000 miles and needed to be replaced.   In 1955, we purchased a new 2 ½ T Dodge.  In 1959, we bought a new Dodge truck retiring the ’55 truck for farm use.   Shortly after getting the new truck in 1959, we sold the truck and route to a young fellow from Tiffin, Ohio.    Carroll and I purchased a new 1975 Dodge 1 ton truck in 1997 to replace the old milk truck we had been using on the farm.    We sold this truck to a neighbor in 1985.


Pickup Truck Memories (1939 – 1985)

My first pickup was a 1939 used ½ ton Ford that was well broken in with 100,000 miles on it.  I picked this truck up on Friday afternoon from the L.D. Wheeler Ford dealership in Fremont. Saturday morning I loaded the pickup with corn and oats to have ground into hog feed at Lindsey.  As I started to drive out of the barn, there was a loud bang and the truck stopped abruptly – the transmission went out.  After a call to the Ford dealer to come pick the truck up, I transferred the load to our old two wheel trailer so I could get my feed ground. The pickup’s transmission was replaced with a used set of gears at no cost to me. 
Text Box: Figure 35   1939 Ford Pickup (Typical)  
We used this pickup without further problems until 1951 when I traded it on a new 1951 Chevy.
Figure 36  1951 Chevrolet Pickup (typical)  
 In 1962, the ‘51 was traded on a ‘62 Chevy. 
Text Box: Figure 37  1962 Chevrolet Pickup (typical)  
A new ½ ton Dodge pickup was ordered in 1973 and the ‘62 Chevy was sold to a young fellow so he could transport his racing motorcycle to racing events.  

The truck ran well but rust took it toll.


We ordered a new Dodge pickup in 1978 – the last pickup I owned. 

Figure 38  1973 Dodge Pickup (typical)  


Tractor Memories (1928 – 1982)

My first memory of a tractor was a Mogul, owned by Uncle Chet.  It was one of the first tractors in our community, and as a small boy I remember watching Uncle Chet as he would plow with it.   It made a lot of noise and exhausted a lot of smoke.  He used the tractor to plow for Dad once, as I recall.








Figure 39  The International Mogul. (Typical), 1914-1917. 
(Ref: The Classic American Farm Tractor)
[21] . 


The Brunner boys of Rice Twp., Sandusky Co., Ohio, George and Jay, had an old International Harvestor.  I remember watching them when we'd go down to the other place.










Figure 40   International Harvester 8-16. [22]  
(Ref: The Classic American Farm Tractor.)


About 1928, Dad bought his first tractor.  It was a Fordson, and purchased from a dealer in Oak Harbor – I don’t recall who.  The tractor was used mostly for plowing and to provide belt power to the corn shredder.  It had no individual wheel brakes, so it was hard to turn if pulling a load.  Often times Dad would end up in the fence at the end of a row, if the plow failed to raise in time. 





Figure 41  Fordson 1920 (Typical) [23] . 
(Ref: The Classic American Farm Tractor.)

Starting was also a problem, especially in the winter time.  I recall we boiled a lot of water in the kettle, carried it out to the tractor and poured it over the engine to warm up the oil.  We spent many minutes of hand cranking to get it started.  Dad once hitched the team of horses to the tractor in an attempt to pull it to get it started.  That failed because the oil was too stiff, and the horses couldn’t even pull it.  I recall a story that a neighbor once piled corn fodder bundles under his Fordson, ran kerosene on the bundles, stepped back after lighting the bundles with a match and watched as the fire warmed the engine oil.  Unfortunately the fire also burned all the wires off the plugs and magneto.   That particular tractor was also noted to have a fatal tendency to flop over backwards on a hard pull.  Because of the Fordson, Dad vowed he’d never own another Ford product – he never did.


In 1937, Dad decided we needed a bigger and better tractor.  We had a Case and Co-op come to the farm along with a John Deere A for a demonstration.  After using all three to plow a few rounds in at stubble, the John Deere was selected.  The John Deere remained in the family until around 2001, when it was sold in a public auction.  Don Sours of Green Springs (Garnetta’s brother) purchased it to pull floats in the local parades.



Figure 42   1941 John Deere A with original steel lugs -c 1939 (Ronnie, Janet Nickel and Abner Hetrick)


Figure 43   1941 John Deere A – c 1945 (Vin, Milt Hetrick Jr)


At that time Dad said it was my tractor to use and maintain – he never did learn to really drive the John Deere, because he did not like the hand clutch.   It was a very dependable and economic tractor and served us well. 


While I was in the military service, Dad bought a Silver King tractor that Vin used but when I came home Dad had sold it.  The tractor had a fast road speed, but I guess didn’t have muscle power.


Figure 44   Silver King - c 1943 (Howard Hetrick, Carroll Hetrick)



Figure 45   Silver King - c 1943 (Carroll, Milt Hetrick, Jr)

In the spring of 1946, after returning from overseas, I decided to return to farming and purchased a 1946 John Deere A with money Garnetta and I had accumulated during the war.  It was equipped with rubber tires self starter, lights and fenders for a cost of $1632.   This tractor never seemed to have much power, and developed a distinct knock when under load.


Figure 46   1946 John Deere A   (Garnetta, Milt Hetrick, Jr.)


In 1950 the 1946 A was traded for a new 8-N Ford and mounted plows. I also ordered a set of dual wheels, plus a two row cultivator attached to the rear of the tractor.  The Ford was easy to mount and dismount, could turn in small areas, and also had a number of tools to make quick attachments to the 3 point hitch.  We kept this tractor until the year 2000, at which time we sold it for 3 times what I purchased it new for.


When Carroll returned from military service, he joined Vin and I in farming and he then purchased a new B.F. Avery with a front mounted cultivator.  This tractor worked well for cultivation plus other light work but lacked in power.  About 1949, Carroll and Jim Leaser hauled the Avery to Sandusky to place on a consignment auction sale.  Carroll bid the tractor back because it failed to bring the price he had hoped for.  It was left overnight, and when Carroll and Jim went to get it in the morning, the battery was missing.  About 2 weeks later the Avery again was placed on a consignment auction at Kingsway, conducted by Fat Longanbach – our local auctioneer.  Again the tractor failed to bring what Carroll wanted; therefore it made the trip home again.  A couple of weeks later Carroll and Jim hauled the tractor to Archibald, Ohio for another consignment sale.  This time it was decided that three times was enough so the Avery found a new home. I don’t remember what it sold for.



Figure 47   B. F. Avery – c 1946 (Milt Hetrick, Jr.)




Figure 48   1950  8N Ford with front end manure loader - c 19?? (Vin Hetrick)


About the time we decided we needed a tractor manure loader.  Cleaning the manure yard each summer to make ready for a new straw stack required a lot of hard work to load horse drawn manure spreaders by using manure forks, pitching it on by hand.  Also a few days of continuous hauling was needed.  We purchased a used Ferguson tractor with a front end loader.  This saved a lot of time and hard work with one big drawback that after the old Ferguson got hot and would stall, we really had a tough time to start it again.  We finally decided to trade the outfit off on a W-D6 International tractor because we needed more power.  The W-D6 would pull three 12” bottom plows.  Also at the time we purchased a new front end loader for the Ford 8N that could be mounted and removed rather simply.


Figure 49    1967 860 Series Ford - c 1967  (Milt Hetrick, Sr.)


Our farming operation now consisted of several farms that were about 4 miles apart so to help in moving a tractor back and forth so often, we purchased an “Oliver 70” used.  


Figure 50   Oliver 70  (Typical)


This was a six cylinder tractor and worked well for ground preparation.  We had been using a pull type 1 row corn picker but decided to get a 2 row mounted picker to speed up corn harvest.  We now purchased a used two row mounted corn picker on an old Allis Chalmers tractor.  The picker would remove the corn ears from the stalk, but not many husks.  Also this tractor was hard to start, plus drive.  


Figure 51   Allis Chalmers Flat Top (Typical).   c1938.


So after a year, we traded it on a new picker, mounted on a newer Allis Chalmers WD45 tractor.   This picker was much more efficient also the tractor had more power and was able to pull three 12” plows that were mounted. 




Figure 52   Allis Chalmers WD45 (Typical)


In 1962, we decided it was again time to upgrade our farming operation so traded the WD6 International on a new D-17 Allis Chalmers with a mounted 3 bottom plow equipped with power steering.  We added dual rear wheels to this tractor and considered it one of the best tractors we ever owned.  It was kept until we retired from farming


We also purchased a used 860 Ford tractor with mounted manure loader plus other attachments which we still had after our farming operation ended.  The tractor was used for snow removal plus many other tasks around the farm.


Our last tractor was a 190 Allis Chalmers purchased new with a 4 bottom plow.  This was also a 6 cylinder tractor with lots o power and a great tractor to operate.  We installed a new cab and again after quitting farming kept it for snow removal plus other farm related tasks.


Figure 53   Allis Chalmers 190


In summary it all up, I think I drove my first tractor when I was about 12 – the Fordson – and ended up on the Allis Chalmers 190 when I was 82 – a period of 70 years – Great memories.



The Beginning of Military Service (1940)


Back in the late 1930’s Adolph Hitler was becoming aggressive in Europe.  As a result, President Roosevelt and Congress decided the U.S. should be concerned about our military strength.  A selective service system was established, requiring all male citizens from the age of 21 to 35 to register for a possible one year service of training for military duty.  On Oct 16, 1940 this registration was carried out throughout the United States. 


I registered at the Rice Twp. House that morning on my way home from delivering a load of sugar bets to the plant in Fremont.  Each person was assigned a number from one to one hundred fifty.  These numbers were placed in a huge fish bowl in Washington and were drawn at random to select the first trainees.   Two weeks after I registered I received a letter from Washington with President FDR’s letterhead – stating “You have been selected by your friends and neighbors to serve one year of active duty in the U.S. Military,”    A questionnaire will follow. A few days later the mail brought me those papers.  A friend of Garnetta told her that he wanted to help fill out the questionnaire, because he knew he could have me exempted from duty because I was helping my Dad farm.   Garnetta and I went to see him – he helped me complete the questionnaire, and I mailed them in.  One week later I receive my order to report for one year of active duty. 


I was scheduled to leave in December, but because of volunteers each week, they kept postponing my reporting date.  Finally in February I too became a volunteer and was inducted on the 11th of February.  Again a friend of Garnetta’s family who had served in WW I told Garnetta to tell me to apply for the artillery or transportation corp because of my background with tractors.  He said to stay out of the infantry and especially not to get in a machine gun company.   After reaching Camp Shelby, Miss. I was assigned to the 37th Infantry Division and the machine gun section of Company F 148th Infantry.   We had no choice, as we were now just a number – so much for the well meaning of friends.


Soon after joining F Company, I entered my first line – the mess line.

Figure 54   Army Mess Lines at Camp Shelby, Mississippi - 1941

This was the first of thousands of lines in the military over the next few years.  To this day I avoid lines whenever I can.  My next line that day was the line to be issued our government clothes.  Included in my first issue was a pair of denim size 46” waist by 36” inseams – my normal size at the time was 30” x 30”  I also received a C.C.C. Jacket and a WW I steel helmet.   I think we last recruits were real “Sad Sacks.”   About a week later we were given the real army outfit, and we looked like soldiers.


In March over my birthday, Mom and Dad, Thelma & Herb and Garnetta came down to Camp Shelby to visit me.  It was a weekend I’ve always remembered, and hard to describe my feelings as I watched them drive away from Camp to return to Ohio and home.














Text Box: Figure 55   Army Issue (Willie Laiplay, Milt  Hetrick) - 1941





Figure 56   Birthday - March 23, 1941 (Herb Nickel, Abner,Thelma, Ida, Milt Hetrick Sr. )


Again in July, Dot and Earl, Mildred and Carroll along with Garnetta, drove down for another weekend.


Figure 57   Family Visit in July -7-18-1941 (Earl, Dot, Carroll, Milt Sr., Mildred)


In August, I was given a 10 day leave to go home.  It was during that time, Garnetta and I decided we would get married on my next furlough scheduled in Oct.  It has been said that “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” and it was certainly true for us.   Already there were rumors that our one year of service may be extended.  When I came home in October, Netta had made all arrangements with Pastor Schick.  After a trip to Toledo to purchase a pair of wedding rings – a cost of$12 for both – we were married on October 15, 1941 at 4:00 pm in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. 


We had an overnight honeymoon at Ypsilanti, Michigan, followed by an old fashioned “belling” and reception on Saturday night.   On Sunday afternoon we left for Miss.  Our sole possessions were in one suitcase and $58.  At the time we had no idea where Garnetta would stay or what lay ahead of us.  Two fellows from Fremont went back with us to Camp Shelby, so they bought the gas, also a tire for $2 – we had 2 blowouts on the trip down.


After arriving in Miss., we stopped at Laurel, a town 42 miles from Camp Shelby.  Vince and Randy then caught a ride back to Camp while Netta and I looked for a place for Netta to stay.  I knew that trying to find a descent place to live close to an Army Camp would not be the best.  After first going to the Chamber of Commerce, we were directed to a small one room apartment owned by a Mr. & Mrs. Eberle.  The room had a bed, gas hot plate, a couple of chairs and a shower stall.  It was clean, built on the back of the garage and rented for $25/ month.  My base pay at the time was $54 a month as a Corporal ranking.   This turned out to be a very good choice, as the Eberle’s had no children and treated Garnetta as a daughter.  As Netta often said she received more attention than at any other time in her life.  I was awarded an “Honor Pass.” Meaning I was free to leave camp after 4:30 and return at 6:00 am the next morning, also was free to leave at 11:30 Saturday and report back at 6:00 am Monday.   To help pay for gas, I would pick up guys going into Hattiesburg (the closest town to Camp) for which they always paid $.25  Therefore five guys at a quarter each, paid my gas bill.  The Eberle’s were a couple in their late 50’s.  Mr. Eberle was a lawyer for the Turpentine Text Box: Figure 58   Wedding at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Rice Twp., Sandusky Co., Ohio (10/15/1941) (Milt Sr., Garnetta)plant in Laurel, and drove a new car every year. Often on Sunday afternoon, Netta and I would be invited to join them in a drive throughout the area. 


One Sunday, Mrs. Eberle with the help of her maid prepared a special dinner for us. It was roast duck with all the trimmings – a meal I can still remember, Mrs. Eberle was of French background and prepared her food “Cajun” style.   Meaning a lot of wine was used in her cooking.  It was truly great.


On Sunday, December 7th 1941, we were with them for our usual drive.  First we stopped to buy pecans, and then another stop at some market before going to a farm of their friends to get butter and a chicken. As we drove up to the house, a woman came running out telling us Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese.  My first thoughts were “where is Pearl Harbor?”  She was very excited, saying we were at war, that all military bases were under alert and that all troops were ordered back to their bases immediately. On the way back into town, Mr. Eberle turned on his car radio and of course it was all about the attack in Hawaii.    They were stressing the point that alltroops report back to their bases.  I of course planned on returning to camp, but Mr. Eberle suggested for me not to get excited, and Text Box: Figure 59   Eberles - Mississippi - 10-1941report back as usual Monday morning.  Garnetta and I had a lot of all plans we had would now change. discussion that evening, knowing that



When I returned to Camp on Monday morning, our entire unit was under alert with everyone having full packs made and ready to move out.  Even our field kitchen and company supplies were all loaded.  About 9:00 that morning we were told to resume normal activities until further notice.   


The 37th Division remained at Camp Shelby until Mar of 1942.  At this time we were moved to Indiantown Gap in Pennsylvania with an address of APO#37  New York, NY.  It was intended for the 37th to go to the European Theater.  Soon after moving to Pennsylvania, the luxury ship Normande – it had been converted for troop transport – caught fire and burned in the harbor.  Sabotage was suspected. 


We were at Indiantown Gap until May at which time our address was changed to APO #37, San Francisco, California.  About May 12th our Division boarded troop trains and snaked our way across country to assemble at San Francisco.  Netta had again been able to join me in PA where she had a room in Lebanon, PA  She again had a wonderful widow landlord and we were able to spend valuable time together, because I was able to have our car there and was given an “Honor Pass.”   Little did we know when we said goodbye that 12th day of May that we wouldn’t see each other for more than 3 ½ years.  Netta was pregnant and thoughts went through my mind as to when or if I would see our first child. Netta returned to Ohio the next morning.  She too must have had the same thoughts going through her mind as I did.  


Our Division was split up - transported across the U.S. in a number of troop trains – and came together in San Francisco arriving about the 18th of May.    I remember cold nights and hot days during our stay there.  We did a lot of marching, close order drill and a lot of exercising while we were there to stay in condition.  On the 28th of May, our Division boarded 4 troop transports to be shipped to the South Pacific war zone where that was we didn‘t know. 


Our convoy was escorted by the Navy consisting of 1 large battleship plus a number of destroyers and other Navy ships.  We again snaked our way across the Pacific for security reasons and about 20 days later docked at the Suva base in the Fiji Islands  We were there only a couple of hours at which time we again set sail to go to the other side of the Island to Latauka.  It was here we finally were able to touch ground again and where my 3 ½ years started in the South Pacific War Zone.


Editor’s Note: The author never talked about his 3 ½ years of military service in World War II.   He did mention recently that if someone wants to know what went on, Stanley A. Frankel was in the 37th Infantry Division and his book, “Frankel-y Speaking about World War II in the South Pacific” document those years. Frankel’s book is also available online:   


Notes about the Author

Milt Hetrick, Sr. is a resident of Sandusky County, Ohio where he was born 23 March 1918 on a farm in Rice Twp.   A few years ago, at age 83, he decided to write down a few of his early childhood memories, that are recorded herein simply for the enjoyment of his family and friends.     



Appendix A     Descendants of David Hetrick


1.       David7 Hetrick  (Peter6, George Philip5, John Nicholas4, Christopher3 Heydrich, Johann Adam2, Goedtmann1) was born January 22, 1833 in Sandusky County, Ohio, and died July 24, 1916 in Sandusky County, Ohio. 


He married (1) Caroline Walters November 13, 1853 in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Sandusky Co., Rice Twp, Ohio by Rev. H. Lang.   Caroline was the daughter of Ephraim Walters and Elizabeth Kline.  She was born January 22, 1832, and died April 06, 1868 in Sandusky County, Ohio. 


Children of David Hetrick and Caroline Walters are:

        2                 i.    Martha Ellen8 Hetrick, born February 02, 1855; died February 25, 1927.  She married John Wesley Boyer November 02, 1880 in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Sandusky Co., Rice Twp, Ohio by Rev. H. Althoff; born November 17, 1858; died March 03, 1931.

        3                ii.    Alcena Susannah Hetrick, born August 14, 1856, died November 14, 1881.  She married William H. Slemmer February 21, 1878 in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Sandusky Co., Rice Twp, Ohio by Rev. H. Lang; born Abt. 1860.

        4               iii.    Ephraim Alfred Hetrick, born July 13, 1858 died October 26, 1927.  He married Clara Ellen Boyer August 17, 1878 in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Sandusky Co., Rice Twp, Ohio by Rev. H. Lang; born Abt. 1858.

        5               iv.    Emma Luella Hetrick, born November 16, 1860; died May 08, 1863.

        6                v.    Cyrus Peter Hetrick, born February 26, 1863; died July 05, 1920.  He married Winnie Fallen January 28, 1890 in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Sandusky Co.,  Rice Twp, Ohio by Rev. P.S. Slevin; born Abt. 1860.

        7               vi.    William Henry Hetrick, born April 18, 1865, died May 14, 1924.  He married Margaret Isabell Smith October 06, 1887 in by Rev. G.W.Y. Kieset; born Abt. 1860.

        8              vii.    Wealtha Ann Hetrick, born June 18, 1867; died October 23, 1954.  She married John Peter Hasselbach June 18, 1885 in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Sandusky Co., Rice Twp, Ohio by Rev. H. Althoff31; born December 11, 1863 in Washington Twp, Sandusky County, Ohio; died October 30, 1918.


He married (2) Mary Catharine Crowell October 24, 1869 in Sandusky County, Ohio by Rev. H. Lang, daughter of Samuel Crowell and Rebecca Remsburg.  She was born April 14, 1845 in Sandusky County, Ohio, and died June 04, 1924 in Sandusky County, Ohio.


Children of David Hetrick and Mary Crowell are:

        9                 i.    Estella May8 Hetrick, born September 07, 1870; died September 10, 1948.  She married Frank Raehrs October 21, 1890 in by Rev. H. Lang; born March 11, 1865 in Sandusky Co., Ohio; died April 08, 1948.

        10              ii.    Clara Belle Hetrick, born August 18, 1872; died December 27, 1962.  She married Noah Kiser March 28, 1895 in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Rice Twp., Sandusky Co., Ohio by Rev. W. A. Bowman; born July 28, 1869; died March 24, 1950.

        11             iii.    Chester Royell Hetrick, born May 12, 1874 in Sandusky Co., Ohio; died January 02, 1952.  He married Elizabeth (Lizzie) Gressman February 25, 1896 in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Sandusky Co., Rice Township, by Rev. W. A. Bowman; born in Oak Harbor, Ohio.

        12             iv.    Bertha Viola Hetrick, born November 25, 1876; died June 09, 1965.  She married George Ottermat March 10, 1898 in by Rev. W. A. Bowman; born October 07, 1872 in Fremont, Ohio; died November 12, 1949 in Lindsey, Sandusky Co., Ohio.

        13              v.    Abner Isaiah Hetrick, born January 15, 1881 in Rice Twp., Sandusky County, Ohio; died May 29, 1965 in Rice Twp., Sandusky County, Ohio.  He married Ida Catherine Gahn April 17, 1907 in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Rice Twp., Sandusky Co., Ohio by Rev. W. A. Bowman66; born January 27, 1888 in Salem Twp., Oak Harbor, Ottawa Co., Ohio; died February 05, 1974 in Fostoria, Ohio Nursing Home.

        14             vi.    Theodore J. Hetrick, born November 17, 1883; died January 17, 1969.  He married Verna May Waggoner September 11, 1909 in Toledo, Ohio by Rev. C. N. Crabbs; born October 11, 1887.



The early photo provided in Figure 1 appears to be David Hetrick’s family from his first marriage to Caroline Walters.   No names were recorded on the photo.  The children shown would be Abner’s half sisters and brothers.  


Eight people can be observed in this photo that was taken looking north from a vantage point just south of the house.  The photographer appears to be elevated a bit off the ground – either in a tree or perched on a step ladder.   It appears to be about mid morning based on the shadows, in either the spring or the fall since there are no leaves on the trees.   In front of the fence there are three young people - two girls and one boy.    A child can be seen through the open gate in the picket fence holding the hand of a woman.   Behind the fence, we can see 2 females, and 2 men side by side.  The man with the dark shirt appears to have a full beard.  The other male could be a boy in his late teens but is probably an adult.


Of the five children, the youngest, holding the hand of the female, may be a boy or girl between 1 & 2 years old.   The second youngest child appears to be the girl in the white clothing, who may be around 3-4 years old.  The third youngest child is probably the boy in dark clothing and then the young girl in a dark coat who is holding a doll or a small pet in her arms or the girl behind the fence on the right side of the photo.   


The “split rail” fence in the foreground was very common at the time.  In the background of the original photo, one can see a barn and a straw stack just east of the barn.


David and Caroline’s fifth child, Cyrus Peter was born in 1863.  If we assume the photo was taken in the fall of 1864, Cyrus would have been about 1.5 years old.   Let’s assume Caroline (who would have been 32) was holding Cyrus’ hand.  Emma would have been nearly 4 and is perhaps the young girl in front of the fence in light colored clothing.   Ephraim would have been about 6 and is probably the boy in front.   Alcena would have been 8 years old and is possibly the young girl to the left holding the doll or pet.   Martha would have been about 10 and is possibly the young girl behind the fence on the right side of the photo.    If we assume David (who was almost 32 years old) is the man with the dark beard in the dark shirt, it is possible that the other male is one of David’s seven brothers.   His father, Peter Hetrick, also lived nearby and would have been 58 on Oct 5, 1864 but probably would have had a gray beard at that time.  



Appendix B   Determining how much lumber could be sawed from a log.


The size of a log was often expressed in terms of the “board feet” it contained.  Because boards were traditionally sawed to be 1 inch in thickness, a board foot is a piece of wood 1 foot wide x 1 foot long (and 1 inch thick).  Thus a board 1 foot wide and 10 feet long would be 10 board feet.  


How did they estimate the amount of lumber that cold be harvested from a log?  Abner had a Keen Kutter™ log scale (Doyle Scale) as shown below.


Figure 60   Keen Kutter™ Doyle scale for Estimating Board Feet in a Log [24]

The left end of the log scale was hooked over one edge of the tree.

 The diameter of the tree measured at the other side as depicted in the figure below.

The log shown was said to contain over 1000 board feet..  We estimate that it was at least 10-12 feet long.  


Figure 61   Log cut from farm of Abner Hetrick.  Leroy (Pat) Hetrick is shown next to the log.  The Doyle log scale was added to depict how it was used to estimate “board feet.”


Based on the estimated height of Leroy (5’-8” to 5’10”), we believe the log was between 40-45 inches in diameter.    As indicated in the figure below, the 40” mark on the narrow edge of the log scale corresponds to 1027 board feet (on the bottom row of the top side) assuming the log was 12’ long ( a standard size at the time).  









Therefore if this log was on its way to the saw mill, Abner would have expected to come home from the sawmill with over 1000 board feet of lumber -for example, about 84 boards that measured an average of 1 foot wide by 12 feet long (84 x 1 x 12 =  1008 BDF).  

[Editor’s note: Today’s price for Sycamore lumber is $7.50 per BF.  The log shown above would provide lumber valued at $7500].

[1] Written January 2001

[2] Photo provided by Carroll Hetrick. The identity of the family members is discussed in Appendix A.   In this photo, the “front entrance” appears to be the one facing south.  Upon entering the front door, there would have been a staircase leading to the upper level.  The kitchen was on the north side of the home.  The barn and a straw stack appear in the background.   A good example of the rail fences that were used at that time is illustrated in the foreground.   


[3] Rain that fell onto the roof of the house was collected in the rain gutters and then channeled down into the cistern  via downspouts.  Cistern water was used for washing-up before meals and for washing clothes.  Unlike well-water that contained iron and other minerals, the rainwater was “soft” and ideal for washing.

[4] Ida Gahn Hetrick had a number of relatives who moved to Lansing, Michigan, so it is possible that Abner was able to get a ride with a visiting Gahn relative.    The Hit and Miss stationary gas engine that Abner used for his apple orchard sprayer was also purchased from the United Company in Lansing, Michigan.

[5] Chrome radiator, chrome headlights, jack, and folding seventh passenger seat.

[6] Around 1924.  Probably after Mary Crowell Hetrick’s death.

[7] This later became the Farmers Mercantile Elevator and is currently owned by the Gordon Lumber Co.

[8] See the early photo of David Hetrick’s house.

[9] This Christmas tradition remained unchanged for another 30 years and was still practiced when St. Paul’s Lutheran Church merged with the Four-Mile House becoming Faith Lutheran in the early 1960’s. 

[10] Milton was 4 years old when Vincent was born.

[11]  Written March 2002


[12] The smooth steady power delivered by the steam tractor kept alive the demand for these powerful machines long into the age of gas power.  

[13] Four years after introducing the 40-80, Avery still was introducing steam tractors - evidence of the conservatism of the industry and the surprising competitive efficiency of steam

[14] Notice the water wagon next to the steam tractor

[15] I think Charles Miller had one of these to run his Threshing rig, when I was very small.

[16] Carroll Hetrick now has the old copper kettle.  

[17] See Appendix B for a more detailed discussion of the how they determined the number of “board feet” in a log.

[18] At the home of Milt Hetrick, Jr.

[19] Written June 2002

[20] Proclaimed on May 30, 1868 by General John Logan and first observed on May 30, 1868

[21] When International Harvestor, McCormick and Deering merged, the 20-hp Mogul was the showcase tractor of the McCormick distributors. 

[22] This is the forerunner to the 10-20 International tractor.

[23] As successful as they were, the Fordson had a sometimes fatal tendency to flop over backwards.  It was not until the introduction of the Ferguson system that this problem was alleviated. 

[24] (owned by Abner Hetrick – still in the family)