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June 13, 2019

1960s – Rice Farming – Steve Kole Farm

These photos are from the book titled: The Photo Story of The Kole Farm & Family 1935-1968. The book can be purchased at this link,

Bogged John Deere “105R” Rice Combine “Doodle-Bug” Winch Cable Rescue 1968. Repeated Maneuvers with the “Doodle-Bug” advanced the “105R” Combine to better ground. Donald Broussard is the operator on the “Doodle-Bug” while winching on his “105R” Combine to assure no damage is done to his Combine during the winching process.

Bogged John Deere “105R” Rice Combine “Doodle-Bug” Winch Cable Rescue 1968. Repeated Maneuvers with the “Doodle-Bug” advanced the “105R” Combine to better ground. Donald Broussard is the operator on the “Doodle-Bug” while winching on his “105R” Combine to assure no damage is done to his Combine during the winching process.

John Deere Model “105R” Rice Combine Bogged-Rescued via Winch Cable 1968. Harvesting rice under adverse muddy conditions in 1968 with a John Deere “105R” Combine. The “Doodle-Bug” winch cable is being hooked on to “rescue” the combine. John Kole is the “swamper” hooking up the “Doodle-Bug’s” winch cable to the bogged-down John Deere “105R” Combine.

The “105R” Combine belonged to Donald Broussard who was farming rice on Dudley Franzen’s, Franzen Farms, land located between Stowell and Winnie. Donald Broussard and Kole Farms traded equivalent combine time in 1968 in helping with harvesting each other’s crop. Individuals “Riding Shotgun” in the grain hopper of the “Doodle-Bug” are (L-R) Kip Koons, Claire Kole and our first cousin, Donna Kaye Kole.

John Deere “95R” Combine Harvesting Rice Blown Flat by “Hurricane Cindy” in 1963. This photo shows the “95R” Combine, operated by Steve Kole while unloading the rice into the hopper of the “Doodle-Bug” operated by Bee Guillory. While the “95R” was unloading, I took this close-up photo of flattened rice.

John Deere “95R” Combines and our Farm’s “Doodle-Bug” Harvesting Rice 1963 Charlie Jones, Jr., is operating the “95R” on the left, while Steve Kole is running the “95R” on the right. The self-propelled grain cart was referred to as the “Doodle-Bug”. Bee Guillory is the operator on the Kole Farm’s “Doodle-Bug”. Note that Kole Farms and Jone’s Farms traded equivalent combine time in order to facilitate the harvesting of each other’s crop.

John Deere “95R” Combine Unloading Hopper of Rice into Our Farm’s “Doodle-Bug” 1963 Filling the “Doodle-Bug” with Rice. (L-R) Tommy Kole is operating the “95R” with Peter Kole “Riding Shotgun”. Bee Guillory is operating the Kole Farms GREEN and YELLOW Self-Propelled Grain Cart (Doodle-Bug). The “Doodle-Bug” was built on Kole Farms by cannibalizing the farm’s old 1949 “KB-7” International Truck.

John Deere “95R” Harvesting Rice 1963 Tommy Kole Operator-Peter Kole “Riding Shotgun” A second shot of the rear of “95R” after it passed by. This is harvesting rice in ideal dry conditions. Note the Kole Farms Homestead, Shop and other buildings, in the left far-away background, that were all completely destroyed and wiped out by “Hurricane Ike” on September 13, 2008.

John Deere “95R” Combine Harvesting Rice Blown Flat by “Hurricane Cindy” in 1963 Adam LaBove, Sr., KF foreman, is the operator of the rear “95R”. Our Farm’s twin “95Rs” are helping our neighbor, Jones Farms, in harvesting their flattened rice crop on Barrow’s Ranch Land. The entire 500-acre rice crop was flattened due to “Hurricane Cindy” and later proved to be unsalable.

John Deere “95R” Combine Harvesting Rice 1963 Tommy Kole Operator-Peter Kole “Riding Shotgun” This was Steve Kole’s first crop after having assumed the responsibility for the farm after his father’s death the previous year. Just prior to my Daddy unexpectedly passing away, after his being in the hospital approximately four weeks, Mr. Bailey, the elderly and very gentlemanly Field Salesman for the local John Deere Dealer out of Beaumont, TX suggested that maybe we should consider financing the purchase of these two new “95R” Combines through John Deere Credit rather than our local Production Credit Association Bank in Beaumont.

Prior to going into the hospital, Daddy had already made financial arrangements with PCA in Beaumont for the financing the purchase of two new “95R” John Deere Combines. In addition Daddy had also arranged for PCA to finance a “Doodle-Bug” Self Propelled Grain Auger Cart manufactured by a Specialty Machine Shop also located in Beaumont, TX.. Mr. Bailey made this suggestion because he knew Daddy did not have any Life Insurance because of his Diabetic, etc., health conditions which prohibited the Insurance Companies from selling any Life Insurance to Daddy.

Mr. Bailey informed us that if we financed the two Combines through John Deere Credit that we could obtain $10,000.00 of Credit Life Insurance. That way if something happened to Daddy, the $10,000.00 Credit Life Insurance proceeds would be applied to the outstanding balance we owed for the purchase of the two new Combines. Mother took the Credit Life Insurance paper work to Daddy who was in the hospital in Galveston an had been in there for at least three weeks.

She explained everything to Daddy but at first he objected and didn’t want to go along with the idea. She finally convinced him to go along and sign the papers.. The policy had just cleared John Deere Credit Life Insurance when Daddy unexpectedly died. John Deere paid the $10,000.00 and applied these proceeds to the outstanding balance on the two new Combine which was like us getting one of the Combines for free because at that time the price of a “95R” Combine was approximately $10,000.00

I later told people that the ink was not yet dry on the on the John Deere Credit Life Insurance Policy when my Daddy unexpectedly died and John Deere went ahead and paid out the $10,000.00 Credit Life Insurance proceeds with no questions asked.

Two John Deere “5010s” and a “5020” with Cab Water Leveling-Franzen Farms 1968 Two “5010s” and a “5020” with cab, working in unison to level land. The fluid mud was moved to low areas until everything was level, which aided in keeping the water level over the entire cut. Level water also meant straight boundaries reducing the need to constantly turn and back up machinery during harvest. Tractor operators are (L-R) Donald Broussard, who is farming on Franzen Farms Land near Winnie-Stowell, TX, Dudley Franzen, Sr., and Daniel Broussard.

Model “5010” John Deere Tractor Unloading Pulled Rice Auger Cart 1965 Tommy Kole is standing on the left. Louis Kole (the tractor operator) is seated on the fender. In the background (L-R) Tien White, long time employee of Jones Farms, is standing on top of his fully loaded truck of rice. Larry Bollich, an employee of Kole Farms, is working at the discharge end of the auger in helping to load the second truck.

John Deere “5010” Pulling Antique Allis- Chalmers Model “110” Road Grader 1965 This photos shows a John Deere Model “5010” Tractor pulling a late 1930s-era Allis-Chalmers Road Grader. A nine-horsepower Wisconsin Engine ran the grader gear box. The extra-wide 18-inch Grader Wheels were made by welding sections of steel pipe over the existing wheels, necessary to keep the heavy grader from making ruts in the farm road.

Steve Kole is operating the grader, while Brother Tommy pulls it with the “5010”. Our farm really needed a Self-Powered Motor Grader but we couldn’t afford to spend that kind of money so that is why I set my heart on searching for an old Pull Grader that I could now pull with our new “5010” This Late 1930s Era Pull Grader and my “Doodle-Bug” Self-Propelled Grain Auger Cart, were my pride and joy as far as our Kole Farm farm machinery went, not counting how proud we were of our new John Deere “5010” Tractor.

Once we had acquired the new “5010” in 1964 when I was 24, I went immediately searching for one of these old Pull Graders that had been designed to be pulled by Crawler Track Tractors. Now that we had a wheel tractor such as the “5010” that could pull equally or better than a Caterpillar Model “D6” Crawler Track Tractor is what motivated me to go to searching for one of these large Rolls-Royce type Antique Pull Graders.

I first called the Allis-Chalmers factory in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and they stated they thought three of these Pull Graders were still in existence in Texas somewhere. They told to check with their dealer, Brown and Fogle in Houston and that they could probably tell me where those three remaining Graders were located..

I did call Brown & Fogle, the Allis-Chalmbers, etc., Construction Equipment Dealer in Houston they provided me with 3-names but they told the info was old and may no longer be valid. When I called these 3-names, two of them were dead ends. The third turned out to be a winner because he was located in Libery County which of the 3-names I had called he was by far the closest to me. In addition, he was a rice farmer thus we had something in common. His name wad Frank Duke and he agree for me to come and pay him a visit.

At this point, my research had convinced that this was the only surviving Allis-Chalmers Model “110” left in the state of Texas but I didn’t let Frank know that is my conversation. Not knowing for sure what he wanted for the Grader, I had brought $2500.00 which I willing to pay for I knew it was the only one left in Texas. When I got to Frank Duke’s Rice Farm in Liberty, TX there the Grader was parked at the end of his farm’s air strip.and it was in excellent condition.

Unknown to me was that Frank had purchased a Self-Propelled Motor Grader and was now trying to sell this Antique Allis Chalmers Model “110” Pull Type Grader. In fact Frank Duke had gone so far as to run an ad in the Liberty Paper advertising this Grader for sale at a $450.00 price. Again this was all unknown to me when I visited and viewed the machine and it found it in excellent condition and I inquired with Frank if he would consider selling it.

He responded affirmatively and I asked how much would it take for him to sell it. He pondered for a few moments and said he needed $750.00. When he told me that, I could not hardly believe my good fortune and thus could not retrieve the $750.00 cash out of my pocket fast enough to pay him and close the deal before Frank changed his mind.

Anyhow, later I went around Winnie telling everybody how I snookered Frank Duke from Liberty on him selling me his Grader for $750.00 when I had $2500.00 in my pocket and would have willing given it all to him for knew that his Allis-Chalmbers Model”110″ Pull Type Grader was the only one still surviving in Texas. Well the other half of this story is, Frank Duke went around Liberty telling everybody how he snookered Steve Kole from Winnie, TX into buying his Grader for $750.00 when at the same time he was running an ad in the Liberty Newspaper offering it for sale for $450.00. Now this is an example of a perfect trade wihen both parties are happy because they think they have snookered each other.

John Deere Model “5020” Tractor with Dozer Blade Powering a Howard Rotavator in Dry 1966 This photo shows a “5020” Tractor powering a Howard Rotavator, which is being utilized in preparing a seed bed in dry ground conditions. The “5020” Tractor is also equipped with a “Waldon” wraparound Dozer Blade. Note in the distant background you will see the large two-story Kole Farms Cattle Barn which was completely destroyed by “Hurricane Ike”.

Preparing Rice Field Seed Bed in Mud John Deere Model “5010” Tractor 1966 Model “5010” preparing the rice field seed bed in the mud, a technique called “mudding in”. The purpose was to help the rice get a jump on the grass by dropping pre-sprouted rice from an airplane into shallow water, where it would then sink and settle on the prepared bed.

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