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to wait and mark it the other way

      This was the 3d of May, and formed one of the most joyous experiences of the year. The field’s broad acres lay out beautifully smooth and brown and warm after the final crossing of the harrow. Mr. Stewart rode cross it with the “marker” (a contrivance resembling a four-runnered sleigh), leaving the mellow soil lined with little furrows about four feet apart. The earth was now ready for the seed, for it was the custom of the best farmers to wait and mark it the other way, just ahead of the droppers, in order that the grain should fall into moist earth.
      In those days the corn was still planted by hand and covered with a hoe. Lincoln, who had been helping to make the garden, to rake up the yard, to clip vines, and to set onions, was tired of “puttering,” and eager to drop corn. “You’ll have enough of it before Saturday night,” said his father. Mr. Stewart was a lover of corn, and had set aside a larger field than any of his neighbors.

ex Hamlin Garland, Chapter 7, “Planting Corn” in Boy Life on the Prairie (Revised Edition; illustrated by E. W. Deming; 1899) : 76 : link (NYPL copy)

Chapter heading illustration, taken from a different copy/scan : link (Cornell, via archive.org)
E. W. Deming (1860-1942), wikipedia

Hamlin Gardland (1860-1940), wikipedia

9 February 2023