Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Ox Yoke

The Ox Yoke
The following was text with the ox yoke in the Elsie Historical Society Museum. Copied in 1991

This ox yoke was built about 1857 for my father, LaMott George Bates by Mr. Andrew Rockwell at Elsie, Michigan. It seems that Grandpa Bates had given his son LaMott a pair of steers so with the aid of the yoke the boy was able to train the animals to be a good driving team. He told of taking his sister Lizzie to school on a bob-sled then driving back home, putting out the animals and wading alone through the snow to his classes. But what was a son's young steers turned out to be a father's oxen as poverty decreed. Father often wondered what became of the yoke. Then years later a farmer friend delighted father by bringing him the treasured keepsake.
Bion L. Bates

Note from Kathy -- in 1991 Dad (Derryl Leon Rockwell) and I (Katherine Fae Rockwell McArthur AKA Kate) took an overnight trip to Elsie, Michigan. When Dad discovered the ox yoke built by his great-grandfather Andrew in the Elsie Historical Society Museum, he was tickled to death. It is the small one on the bottom.



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