A lifetime of farming on the Kansas prairies had toughened old Tom Johnson up. With eight hard-headed boys and three girls to raise, he didn’t put up with a lot of nonsense. One morning, the boys decided, being winter, there was no need for them to get up at four-thirty in the morning to start work just because that’s what Dad always did. They lay abed, thinking he couldn’t handle all of them if they stuck together. Dad didn’t say anything, just set to getting them up.
A deputy sheriff had the misfortune to show up to deliver a summons for jury duty just as as eight Kansas farm boys between the age of ten and eighteen tore the front door down followed by Tom Johnson flailing the crowd with plow lines. The poor guy was trampled, as well as flailed, trying to escape from the irate farmer intent on putting his boys back to work. Returning to the safety of town, he told the sheriff, “If you want that summons delivered, you’ll have to find someone else. I’m not going back out to Tom Johnson’s place.”