Stacking Hay With Horses
Top and inset: Overshot stacker built by Bennie Johnson and Sam Schram, powered by a team of horses pulling a long rope, lifted hay above stack and dumped it so Bennie (in stack) didn't have to pitch it up from the ground anymore. The horses at right are hitched at either side of a sweep rake (horse bucker) that delivered hay to the stacker. Circa 1932.
Bottom: Jayhawk combination bucker and stacker, elevated hay 22 feet or more by winding a cable onto a wheel-driven drum (circa 1932). Bennie is, as usual, in the stack. The Jayhawk was used until 1946, with another "tractor" made from a Model A car and a Model T Ford truck rear end. The Farmall "H" took over the hay bucking in 1941; the Farmhand stacker was added in 1946.
Excerpt from Donald B. Johnson manuscript:
"Pa bought a new 'sweep-rake' or 'bucker.' It was about 12 feet wide and had a horse hooked on each side. It was a real late model and had three wheels and a seat to ride on mounted over the back caster wheel. The older ones only had two wheels and the driver walked.
"Pa had a four-tine fork with an extra-long handle for pitching hay onto the stacks and it always bothered me when he caught up and had to wait for me to bring in another buckerful, so I pushed the horses as fast as I could. It never dawned on me that he ever got tired and enjoyed a rest between loads, but Pa did lament some that with all the new machinery invented he still had to pitch. [25.166-2]
"Then Leonard and Sidney Ellingson got a new overshot hay stacker and that was the latest invention. The next spring Pa and Sam Schram built one, using theirs for a pattern, and that took care of the hardest job, which was pitching. [25.166-4]
"I would 'buck' the hay onto the stacker teeth and a team hooked to a long rope would pull it up in the air and flip it over backwards onto the haystack. After that, the hard job was in the stack, tearing those big dumps apart and spreading them, and that was Pa's job, then. [25.166-5]
"Marj drove the team on the stacker a lot before she started working in the Equity. Later we got another 'bucker' and pushed in hay with two teams. Marj drove the other 'bucker' and ran the load up or had another girl drive the stacker team." [25.166-6]
"One day a salesman came along selling a really modern invention called a Jayhawk. It was a combination bucker and stacker. That had two horses to propel it and when you came near the stack with a load on it and put it in gear, a wheel-driven drum wound up a cable and elevated it, up to 22 feet, or more. You could dump it right on the stack from any side. [25.166-7]
"Mort Teisberg bought one right away and after that he and a hired man put up their own hay. We bought one the next year and mounted the back end of it on the front bumper of a 'tractor' made with a steel wheel conversion kit and a Model T car. I was the sole engineer of that modern contraption and the common labor drove the horse buckers." [25.166-8]