By Ralph Chain
In 1935 and 1936, when we used to work a lot of mules, my granddad and dad decided to build some mule barns. So, in 1935, we built the first barn where my dad lived and in 1936 we built a barn where my granddad lived. All the work on these barns was done by hand, back before we had cement mixers and the conveniences of life. The work was done by hoe or shovel.
Our neighbors, Sale and Dwight Bennett, and their dad, Claude, helped build the barns. The old man who laid the tile on the barn was Bill Hopper. He was an old bachelor and where he came from or where he went I do not know. But he stayed with my mother and father all during this time while building the west barn. It probably took two or three months to build a barn. He was particular about what he ate. My mother always had to cook for him, and she was glad to see him leave. He also laid the tile for my granddad’s barn. My grandmother cooked for him while he was building that barn.
We used the barn for mules until the late 1940s or early 1950s, when tractors took the place of our mules. I remember my dad trading a team of mules for a D John Deere tractor, which had steel wheel lugs on the back wheel, and you cranked it by hand. I think John Deere built these tractors and called them Argentine, because they were built for sale in Argentina.
Pick up the September issue to learn more!