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  • Writer's pictureRochelle Gridley

Clearing the Land, 1940

Even in 1940, farmers were still clearing timberland (to grow yet more corn) in McLean County, and for some farmers it was still a back breaking labor. In April of 1940 Thomas Vincent of Cooksville was featured in the Along the Road column, breaking up a grove to enlarge his acreage. He was assisted by Virgil Shaw.

This work was made a little easier with dynamite. Thomas was removing stumps from the field (from which the actual trees had already be harvested) by planting dynamite under the stump to blow it out of the ground. This wasn't a job for amateurs or careless men. The stick had to be placed under the stump, gently.

Some stumps Virgil Shaw removed with a tractor and cable or block and tackle.

Stubborn roots had to be removed the old fashioned way -- with an axe.

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