Husking Bee During the Homesteading Era

A husking bee was a seasonal event that folks turned into a big deal during the homestead days.

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A husking bee was quite an event in the homesteading days. In the fall the farmer went out to the cornfield with a corn knife and a shocking horse, which was a 10-foot pole with two legs on one end, about 3 feet tall. He would lean the corn fodder on each side of this horse until the amount was large enough for a shock, then he would throw a rope around it to pull tight and tie it with twine.

Later he would gather a wagonload of shocks and haul the corn into the barn. Then friends and neighbors would be invited to a husking bee. At the husking bee any man finding a red ear of corn was eligible to kiss his girl. The huskers would have cake or cookies, cold buttermilk and coffee, and anyone who played an instrument was invited to perform. The guests would dance and sing; the husking bee was a real party!

Robert Bishop
Nora Springs, Iowa

 


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.