1912 Account of a Farming Accident in Sargent County, ND


     For thirty years Mr. Anderson has been around the threshing rigs more or less, most of the time with a rig owned by himself. He has been inside, outside
and on top of the thing, until one would think it was impossible for him to become in any way entangled in any of its parts. Yet, this is what happened to him
on Monday morning just as the rig was starting for the hum of the day.
     Mr. Anderson was at the Fadness for about two and-and--half miles of Milnor with his outfit. Since the rain on Thursday evening, he had repaired the
machine until Saturday afternoon, when a little threshing was done. The thing worked fine and so on Monday he contemplated a good day for the rig and was
on the ground early to get it started off. Just as the machinery was put into motion, Mr. Anderson noticed that the weigher belt was not on the pulley.
His separator man was on the other side of the machine and not wishing to disturb him, and being so thoroughly acquainted with the machine himself, put the belt on. It so happened, as is always the case in circumstances of this kind, the sleeve of his jacket was unusually loose. It was a new blouse, too. Just as he placed
the belt, the set screw on the pulls caught one of the buttons on the sleeve of the blouse, and immediately the cloth commenced to wind up on his arm. It all took place in a second or so. Mr. Anderson does not really know himself how he managed to extricate himself from the fearful condition in which he had been drawn. Somehow, before he could think he was thrown violently against the weigher, and wears a bad gash on the side of the face as a result. Then came the twisting
and drawing as the cloth of the jacket was wrapping itself about the set screw of the pulley. Just one thought seemed paramount in the mind of the victim, and
that was that very soon he would be whirling in the air and dashed to pieces. He made one tremendous lunge for freedom, succeeding in ripping the jacket, shirt and under shirt from off this portion of his body, and was picked up fully a rod from the separator, yet not without very serious injury.
     He was hurriedly brought to town and an examination made by Dr. King, who found that he had broken the bones of the elbow. The arm had been twisted
to some extent, also, that the cords and muscles offered considerable injury aside from the fractured bones. The arm was considerably out of joint when the physician was called to examine it. It is a source of some thankfulness on the part of Mr. Anderson that it was the left arm.
     The accident is a very unfortunate thing for Mr. Anderson at this time. He has much to do in looking after the rig and some grain which he has yet to take care of. Then he has many business affairs which demand his attention, yet, at the present he is helpless. However, he feels deeply grateful that the affair did not prove more serious, and above all, that he escaped with his life.

Source: Cayuga Citizen newspaper, September 12, 1912.
Submitted by Jerry McQuay Pierre, SD (Jan 2006) csk

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