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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Friday, January 20th, 1860

I this day contracted with Mr. WHITLEY for 2 yoke of oxen with yokes bows rings & steeples and 1 chain all for the sum of [$150?]. Mr. WHITLEY left for the oxen which are to be delivered in a week. still clearing. done a pretty fair day's work.

FYI . . . Oxen YOKES were made to fit the needs of a particular team. The design depended upon the shape and size of the oxen. . . . The average yoke was more nearly 45 inches wide. Beneath the yoke itself, two BOWS for the necks of the oxen were attached. The bows were usually hickory because hickory bends easily without breaking. The bows were seasoned. . . . A metal STEEPLE, usually iron, was nailed into place at the bottom of the center of the yoke. Two RINGS, one smaller than the other, were attached to the metal steeple. CHAINS, leatherstrips or, more commonly, hempen ropes were tied to the rings for pulling. All the woodwork was rough hewn with an ax or a hatchet and then smoothed with a drawing knife. The yoke was drawn on one block of wood. . . . Susie Dewey