A few common elements symbolize the long-gone ways of 20th century farming: a brick-red barn, a corn crib or hen house, a lot for the hogs, pasture for the cattle, an old John Deere or IH tractor and a windmill to pump the well water.
Karl Harris and his family, who live on an 11-acre acreage at 13259 O Ave. near Bouton, installed a vintage windmill Wednesday, with some help from the experts at Great Plains Windmill Service of Kinross, Iowa.
Unlike many boutique windmills that ex-urbanites raise purely for effect, Harris’ restored 1915 windmill is not purely for looks, he said. He plans to use it to pump water from the 175-foot-deep well on his property.
The tower, which stands about 50 feet to 60 high, was installed in Wednesday’s light rain. An Altec digger derrick was used to dig the footings and then place the tower in position.
Phil Gehman, son of Great Plains Windmill Service founder Daryl Gehman, said the company installs about 250 windmill in an average year.
“That looks real nice,” said Harris, who works for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and is a captain on the Bouton Volunteer Fire Department as well as keeping busy as a farmer and cattleman.
With the tower in place, the multi-blade rotor will wait for another day, Harris said.
“For now, I’m putting up a lighted American flag that will be visible from 141 to the south and 169 to the west,” he said.