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Jason Holcomb Custom Harvester oral histories

  • US US kmk 2016-17.037
  • Collection
  • 1980-2010

This collection consists of 58.7 hours of audio files and the accompanying transcripts of oral history interviews with custom harvesters. Those interviewed were all from the United States except for one participant from Saskatchewan, Canada. American participants were from Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, or North Dakota. The time period discussed in the interviews ranges from pre-World War II to 2010, with first-person accounts of harvest from the 1950s to 2010. All persons interviewed were retired or working custom harvesters, yet the project has a distinct group of interviews, 21.5 hours in length, exclusively with Mennonite custom harvesters. The interviews with Mennonite custom harvesters began when Mr. Schmidt recommended interviewing Waldo and Doris Froese of Inman, KS, one of the communities in the Mennonite settlement area of south-central Kansas. Other communities include Buhler and Moundridge. Dr. Holcomb then recruited others in this area for a separate project, which included interview questions pertaining specifically to Mennonite custom harvesters. Dr. Holcomb received grant funding from the Kansas Humanities Council for the Mennonite project, with sponsorship from the Mennonite Heritage & Agricultural Museum in Goessel, KS, which he used to pay for travel and transcription expenses. There is a subject index of the transcripts of the interviews with Mennonites.

Dr. Holcomb obtained 244 complimentary photos and news articles from participants to augment the interviews. Photos were either from the personal collections of those interviewed or were taken by the research team. There are two photo keys that provide captions for the photos. All interviews were conducted between 2008 and 2010. Interview questions were in the broad categories of family history and background, labor, origins of custom harvesting as a vocation, the work of custom harvesting, identity and lifestyle, equipment, places along the harvest route, changes in the communities where they harvest, crops harvested, weather, hardships, meals, lodging, relationships, and sense of place. Dr. Holcomb asked Mennonite participants additional questions, including details about their faith, the relationship between faith and their work, pacifism, and the alternative service conscientious objectors performed.

Holcomb, Jason

Joseph M. Tucker Massey Harvest Brigade Collection

  • US US kmk 2019-20.001
  • Collection
  • 1939-1949, 2000, 2005, 2013, undated

Collection includes documents, photographs, magazines, personal records, and other materials related to the life of Joseph Maxwell Tucker and his work in formulating and organizing the Massey-Harris Harvest Brigade in 1944 and 1945 which used Massey-Harris self-propelled combines to harvest wheat and other crops in a wartime environment of both scarce labor and rationing of raw materials. The combines were used to harvest crops in the Great Plains states, Pacific Northwest states, Arizona, and California.

The Subject Series is made up of five folders and includes an organization chart for VP & GSM Sales Department, Joseph Tucker's 1941 job application with the War Food Administration, a 1943 memorandum on the organization of the Massey-Harris Emergency Harvest Brigade, the 1943 proposal of the Massey-Harris Harvest Brigade, and two War Production Board certificates.

The Printed Material Series consists of fourteen folders and includes a calendar, four journal articles, a speech Joseph Tucker gave in 1946, and seven publications.

The Don & Kay Kluck Series is comprised of seven folders. This series pertains to The Kluck Brothers: Custom Harvesters (Emil Kluck, Ray Kluck, and Roy Kluck), the combines they purchased, and a few photographs.

The Photograph Series contains four folders. There are photographs of Lawrence John Letnes, Joseph Tucker, and a photograph of the medal, Order of the British Empire give to Joseph Tucker by King George VI in 1946.

The Oversize Printed Materials Subseries consists of three journal articles, three publications, and two advertising posters.

The Oversize Photographs Subseries has two photographs: 1) Proclamation by King George VI, 1946 September 9, that nominates and appoints Joseph Maxwell Tucker “to an Honorary Officer of the Civil Division of Our said and Most Excellent Order of the British Empire" and 2) a newspaper advertisement poking fun at Joseph Tucker titled “Retribution Overdue."

Tucker, Joseph M.

Box 1

This box is made up of four series: 1) Subject Series; 2) Printed Material; 3) Don & Kay Kluck Series; and 4) Photograph Series.

Tucker, Joseph M.

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