Ken Manson– 1986 Interview with Helen & Jimmie Dodds –Side 1B — Bill Croft and Farm Machinery

Ken Manson– 1986 Interview with Helen & Jimmie Dodds –Side 1B — Bill Croft and Farm Machinery



Thanks to Laurie Yuill for transcribing it.


Ken Manson, Interview with Helen & Jimmie Dodds, Side 1 B

Ken Manson: Well, Mrs. Mather, she got away, eh?
Jimmie Dodds: Yeah….run around the barnyard there and run out to the maple.
Ken Manson: Yeah, she sure was. Going like lightning. This would be Mrs. Johnny Mather. I was over and got a, took a picture of Agnes Yuill this morning, I don’t have a picture of her. So went over and took a picture of Aggie.

Jimmie Dodds: Well, I was starting too…you remember Harry Somerville?
Ken Manson: Yeah.
Jimmie Dodds: You’ve heard of Milton Langstaff, have you?
Ken Manson: I remember seeing Bill Langstaff, oh yes.
Jimmie Dodds: He was brought up with Bill Langstaff.
Ken Manson: Oh, you say Milton Langstaff?
Jimmie Dodds: Milton Langstaff. They lived at the, at that time, they lived at the Liddle place….
Ken Manson: Oh I see, yes, aha
Jimmie Dodds: This fella, I think it was the first day of school, the teacher after…sent us out to play at the woodshed. And this Langstaff fella, first thing he did, he climbed up the woodshed and got a piece of a broken plate and just threw it and cut McIntyre across the forehead here. And of course he howled and the teacher come out….wrapped him up the
best…could and sent him home with one of his sisters. He didn’t come back that
Ken Manson: Yeah.
Jimmie Dodds: Course, he was young enough , he was barely…it was a long way to come.

Ken Manson: Thank you very kindly. That’s nice.

Ken Manson: See there’s a method to my madness. Now I’ve got your hand writing.
Helen Powers: Why, what’s that for?
Ken Manson: Well, I like this type of thing.
Helen Powers: Oh, you do. You judge people by their hand writing. Is that it.
Ken Manson: Well, not really, no.

Ken Manson: Oh, beautiful. Thank you. Yes, well that’s nice. Very good. Oh, you’re baking bread.
Helen Powers: ….
Ken Manson: That’s right, yeah.
Jimmie Dodds: Well, you lived up in…..
Ken Manson: Yeah, uh huh.
Jimmie Dodds: Well then you moved to Ramsay?
Ken Manson: No, I was born in Ramsay.
Jimmie Dodds: Oh, I was thinking…
Ken Manson: And then we moved up here.
Jimmie Dodds: Yeah, oh yeah, that was the way…..
Ken Manson: Yeah, I was born in Ramsay.
Jimmie Dodds: Remember Harold James, he started working at…..he started to work for your father in Ramsay.

Ken Manson: Yeah, I remember him being there.

Jimmie Dodds: ….he was awful rough on them.
Ken Manson: Oh yes. Yes, he was hard on them boys.
Jimmie Dodds: …..can’t blame them too much, but.
Ken Manson: No. No. And you know he was , a, I often heard Dad say that he was a very nice lad around the place.

Jimmie Dodds: Well, I guess so. Yes Harold was…..
Ken Manson: Yeah. Well, if I shut this off and get a picture of you, there’s a supper over at Hopetown and I haven’t done my walk today yet, so I’m going to walk to Hopetown for supper.

Helen Powers: Are you?
Ken Manson: Yeah.
Helen Powers: And home again?
Ken Manson: No, no I’ll just walk the one way. Helen Dodds has just got a story she wants to tell me here. Go ahead Helen.

Helen Powers: You shouldn’t put the name in it. Oh I totally forgot.
Ken Manson: Oh, yes, certainly. Oh, we gotta have it. Sure.
Helen Powers: That wouldn’t be fair for her.
Ken Manson: Oh, well, she’ll never know, I won’t tell her.
Helen Powers: Well, you went and put my name on there. I’m not going to.
Ken Manson: Sure.
Helen Powers: No, I’m not going to.
Ken Manson: We’ve gotta have that.
Helen Powers: Not on that. I can tell you some time, but I’m not going to….

Ken Manson: Ok, you can tell me. This is where the tape…..see Jim and Helen on February 22 nd .Beautiful clear day, and I just notice today that Veryl has had her ears pierced. She said she got… And this is 1986. So I haven’t done my walk today, as of yet. So there’s a supper in Hopetown tonight, and I guess I’ll walk to Hopetown and we’ll have supper there. Well, since I’ve been on this thing, we’ve had another person pass away on this street. That’s Bill Croft, and I think it was about June the 10 th ’86 that he died. Bill was 84. He was an awful man to talk. Loved to talk to you if you could listen to him, and he looked after the museum up here quite well. But a good man to meet people because
he had all the time in the world to talk to them. He lived in a big square house next to
the cheese factory here. (2011 Concession Road 6) This has been a Croft property for
many, many years I guess. He had a, there was other buildings put up here.

Veryl Manson: Arthur Croft was his father.
Ken Manson: Arthur Croft was his father and there was a doctor Croft that doctored here when Dad was a young lad because I remember Dad saying about coming down here to get a tooth pulled, and he just latched onto it and pulled it out. That was all there was to it. There was no freezing or no nothing.

We had just got back from a vacation to Keremeos in the Okanagan Valley. We left on June the 7 th and we went to see John Marshal on our way out at Summerberry, and we picked Kelli (King, daughter to Shirley (Manson) and Bill King, granddaughter to Ken & Veryl) up at the Regina Airport. And she went out to Murray’s with us. And we were up to Kamloops and round to see Carmen and Rena and we were in that country for four days I guess. And then we came back to Marshal’s.

We stayed there two nights and one day, and then we headed home, because I wanted to
get home and have a pretty good rest before I had to go back to work again. So this is
July the 1 st , and it’s a beautiful sunny day. We’ve had a lot of rain here, hail, some wind
storms tearing chunks out of barns. And the farmers are having a problem with their
hay, and they’re talking about rain again tomorrow. 

Some people that we have missedspeaking about here is Luella Foster died. August the 4 th , 1983. She was Luella Bowes. She was Wilbert Foster’s wife. Wilbert Foster is a first cousin to Veryl. Also another first cousin of Veryl’s, George Foster of Kemptville, he died March the 21 st 1986. Also Bill Croft has passed away in June 1986. And John Lashley has passed away in January 1987. And Eldon Ireton, he just passed away yesterday, January the 14 th ’87. He lived on an arm on the 11 th line of Lanark Township, in near Floating Bridge at Taylor Lake. Eldon Ireton was 79 and John Lashley was 68. And Bill Croft was 84. And Veryl’s uncle Melvin Whiting died in August, he was 82. That would be August ’86. He was a brother to Veryl’s mother. They lived at Burritts Rapids.

This is January the 5 th 1986 a very mildday. We have had quite a bit of snow and had some colder weather, not terrible severe, but it’s sure a nice day today. This is January the 13 th 1988. We’ve had a very cold night here. It was twenty-two below here this morning. Thought I’d better catch up on the deaths again. Addie Somerville (nee Munro, born August 19, 1914 – died December 25, 1987, wife to Matthew Ernest Somerville. They lived South West at 438 Wolfgrove Road, just outside of Middleville) has died and she was 74 I think. This would be Matt Somerville’s wife and there is more on the tape, it has broke and we are recording this off of the other tape, so I guess I’ll turn it onto the other side.

This tape that I am recording this off of, it broke, the end broke on it, and I fixed it up and got it rewound again. So this was a ninety minute tape, so we will have parts of this on two tapes here.

We left, we came through to Kenora and we thought maybe we would find a motel
somewhere just beyond Kenora, but we never found a motel. So, we kept coming and
right now we’re, I guess about, six miles out of Winnipeg. And we found a place here at
Deacons Corners. They call it Deacons Corners, Winnipeg, that’s their address, so we’re
not very far out of the city. And we have came from Long Lac this morning to this
Deacons Corners here at Winnipeg. So, tomorrow morning we’re going to, I think
maybe go to Austin Manitoba and see that museum again. And then there’s a place
called Manson in Manitoba just near the border of Saskatchewan. We’re going to go up
there and see if there’s anything in there of interest. We’re out here at the car this
morning at Deacons Corners. The wind is blowing out of the south. It’s going to be a
nice day, I think, and we can see the sign over here that says 101 Winnipeg bypass and
Brandon exit two kilometers. Not far from Portage la Prairie there was a guy threshing
wheat out of the swaw. They were also working the ground up then and sowing the
wheat again. They had a lot of them just planting their wheat now, this seems to have
been wet here. This is Monday the 9 th of June ’86. The speed limit along this number
one highway is one hundred kilometers. We’re at Austin, Manitoba again here now and
when we drive in here I have counted fourteen steamers sitting here. There’s a
Fairbanks Morse, ten horsepower engine here with one enormous flywheel on one side
and a big gear wheel on the other side where a crank can be attached to it. There’s no
pulley on it. There seems to use it with an arm on it to push and pull something.
There’s a Rustin gas engine here, quite a large engine, but it don’t say what horse
power. And there’s a wagon sitting with engines over here, it says engines restored by J.
A. Gibson, Elm Creek. And there’s an engine here they call Manitoba Engines Limited,
nine horsepower. Here’s another one here, big old bugger, Rustin Lincoln Engines.
Here’s another one here, Rustin Lincoln Engine number 44448 with governors on it like
a steam engine, one flywheel, it has a pulley on it, and the pulley is driven by a gear, like
a corner gear. This is Lincoln…it says. Here’s a tractor they call Flour City and it is huge.
It’s a four cylinder, it’s a homely looking rig, and I can just put my hand on the top of the
hind wheel. Has a big square tank at the front of it for cooling. There’s another one
here, it’s a Hart Parr. It’s a huge machine too. It’s ah, they look more like the size of a
steamer. The hind wheels on this Hart Parr would be three feet wide. Here we have a
case ten twenty horsepower, a model 1919 donated by C. G. Hunter, Sidney, Manitoba,
and it is a cross mount.

I thought that Raymond Blackburn’s (Raymond lives north of Middleville at 2087 Galbraith Road. Austin Manson, and nephew of Ken’s, son of Herman and Ethel Manson now owns Raymond’s Case tractor) looked awful, but this is just terrible. It’s the worst looking thing you ever looked at. They say that it is a tractor, it has one wheel on the front, it has an arrow up front to tell you which way the front wheel is turned because you can’t see the front wheel. It looks more like a corn binder.

It has one great big wide wheel on the right hand side driven by a gear and the other
wheel on the other side just appears to be sort of an idler. You drive from the right
hand side and you sit on a seat here. What a hell of a looking rig! There must be 500
tractors here, some of them awful well fixed up. Here’s a wee lad here they call The
General. Has one wheel on the front like a car wheel. Rock Islands, Hart Parrs, Cock
Shuts, Farmalls, you name it, it’s here. Here is one here, a 55 horsepower L A M Z, Lamz
Bulldog, restored by T. Klucky and sons, Stonewall, Manitoba. This has rubber tires, it is
a big old bugger, it’s a strange looking machine. Has a smoke stack on the front of it
similar to some of the old…but this is on rubber and always has been and they’re big,
they’re very big tires. Here’s one, says Townsend Oil Tractor. Has a front end, looks just
like a steamer with a stack on it. It’s a twin cylinder up top like similar to Len McKay’s
Eagle. Here’s another thing, by the golly, it says it’s a Gray. It’s a cross mount motor on
it, it’s a Minneapolis Moline white drive drum tractor, and the drum, is like it’s all one
big wheel , it’s covered. The drum must be at least four feet wide and that is the wheel
with prongs, spikes in the wheel. Here’s another they call the Huber Manufacturing
Company, Marion, Ohio. This is also a cross mount tractor, a four cylinder. Here is the
biggest McCormick-Deering tractor I think I’ve ever seen on rubber. It’s a six cylinder for
an old lad. There’s a Sawyer-Massey tractor. There’s another old bugger, I haven’t
found a name on it yet. It’s a one cylinder. It’s a Case opposed, tall 24 horsepower, a
model 1910, donated by William I., donated by W. L. Longstaff. Here’s the Advance-
Rumely, guaranteed to burn successfully, all grades of kerosene, under all conditions, at
all loads up to its rated engine horse power. This is a good looking machine here, it runs
good I guess. A big old bugger, lots of big old lads here. They got roofs on them, like a
train coming down the track. Here’s another one they call The Pioneer. Thirty sixty,
1904 model. It is huge. When I stand along beside the hind wheel, I’m ten inches from
reaching the top of the wheel. Here is another monstrous machine. The hind wheels, I
guess, would be, oh, over three feet wide. Manufactured by Marshal Sons And
Company Limited. Engineers, Gainsborough, England, and it is an awful tremendous
looking rig. It’s got a smoke stack on it, like, somebody was making syrup. It looks to
me as if it is a three cylinder diesel with governors on it like a steam engine. There’s no
seat on the back. You have to be standing up and running around all over this cab to see
what’s in front of you I guess. They’ve got a place fenced in here with all types of
tractors. There’s some old steamers, there must by 200 old pieces here waiting to be
repaired. Here’s a Titan , a big old brute of a tractor. It looks like a four cylinder. It has
a cab on it as well. A lot of these big old lads have cabs on them. Here’s another
Rumely, oil cooled tractor, it is a big son of a gun. There’s one shed here has twelve
enormous very big oil cooled Rumely tractors, Titans and so on. We’re going to go over
into this grain elevator now. Homesteaders Village it says. Yeah, this is an old elevator
they brought in from some place I guess, and it’s all here.

The wagon is sitting here with the blocks behind the wheels. The way it was elevated up for to run the grain out that went down into the hopper. And there’s a set of beam scales here that you weigh the load on. The crank at the other end at the front wheel, opposite the front wheel , you turn that and the platform that the wagon is sitting on goes up on the front end so the grain runs out and down into this hopper here. There’s a little fanning mill here, it’s called the Emerson…oat separator. Manufactured by Hart Emerson Company Limited, Winnipeg, Canada. Oh yeah, this is his office here. The Brown-Duvel moisture tester, quite the looking thing. There’s a Fairbanks-Morse engine in here that’s used for power for the elevator. And it looks to be an eight horse maybe. It’s not so terrible big, but I think it would be about an eight horse, I doubt if it’s a ten. It looks about an eight horse.

I can’t find the number on it here anywhere. There’s a very old, old HAM set here. It
looks like a code, like you can send a code message, but it says here on this piece of
paper “Hello, Welcome to Austin Threshing Man’s Reunion. This radio station is being
operated by radio amateurs or HAM’s and is used to inform other HAM’s in the world
about the activities in the events of Austin. Thank you for stopping in.” Boy, what a
crude looking outfit, it looks like one of those outfits that the CPR sent their messages

I guess we’ll go up to the old train station now and have a little peek in there. They have
tracks laid from the station to the elevator, with a caboose sitting here. Canadian
National Railways. Public Notice, The freight, passenger and express tariffs of this
company are open to public inspection and may be seen upon application to the agent.
Northern Pacific Railway Station, built in 1893 at Baldur, Manitoba. Moved to the
museum in 1975. In 1923 the Northern Pacific and other…the Canadian National
Railway. They have caged in here, this is an amateur radio station VE4 MTR operated
from the Manitoba Agricultural Museum during the Manitoba Threshing Reunion,
making contact with other amateur radio operators throughout the world. A few
license plates here, a ’71 license plate number VE4XN Sunny Manitoba. A thousand
lakes, no, a hundred thousand lakes. They have their old hand cart here and so on that
was used on the railroad, a good display. This is in the old caboose here, “Passengers
Are Prohibited From Standing On Platform While Train Is In Motion”. It’s an old wooden
lad, boy oh boy. It’s sure getting worn too. They got some building here, shoe and
harness repair, a gristmill with the equipment, some equipment in it here….village
exhibits they call this. We’re coming up to the blacksmith’s shop. Stuff in here just
about similar to Upper Canada Village. Another barn here, Livery Feed and Sale, a horse
harness here, stalls, lantern, fork,. We’re at the general store here, a real nice setup
here. They’ve got everything , a general store for sure. All your canned goods that
came in cans. Blue Ribbon Tea, Nabob Tea, Delicious Melrose Tea, Markle Tea and Bee,
that’s cut tobacco. Old clocks, there’s scales, dishes, butter spoons, crocks, lanterns,
pails, a stove.

Veryl Manson: June the 4 th ’86, Elizabeth Moffat, Carleton Place, Ontario and Hilda Edwards, Navan, Ontario, and I guess the rest are from Manitoba.

Ken Manson: This is in the guest book that you sign when you’re here. They got a building here, McKinnon and McKinnon Barristers Solicitors. There’s a big stone here with a……. (end of side 1)



Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

  1. relatedreading

Ken Manson– Interview with Helen & Jimmie Dodds, Side 1 -“Did you ever hear the story about the fellow who was shot up Bob Pretty’s there”?

Middleville Photos — Laurie Yuill

HISTORY OF LANARK TOWNSHIP AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION –Laurie Yuill Part 3-“There is no use in my joining the Society, as I have nothing to exhibit”

Middleville School Photos- Laurie Yuill

HISTORY OF LANARK TOWNSHIP AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION –Laurie Yuill Part 4-“the proprietor of a merry-go-round was paid a bonus to bring his machine to the Fair “

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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