In the pioneer days of any community there was a person who was in the highest demand, the blacksmith. No community could call itself a community unless they had a blacksmith because these men single handedly filled so many needs.
If you needed a tool built, nails made, a hinge for your door, a lock for your desk, a shoe on your horse, a gate latch, a pan mended, a kettle handle reattached or an iron fence built you went to the local blacksmith. He was a mender, repairer, fitter, inventor and designer all in one person.
The advent of the automobile did not totally remove the blacksmith from the scene either. Wagon wheels still needed built and repaired, metal objects were always in use and needed repair and horses still needed to be shod. All of these things the local blacksmith still attended to. Some built carriages, some went into the repair and construction of vehicles, trains, and buses or became mechanics or contractors. others became coach builders and some still did horses and ran livery stables.
A blacksmith was one of the hardest working and most revered men in any community especially when something needed to be made or mended. it was said during the settlement of the state of Nebraska that without a blacksmith a town could not be made or continue to exist. So important was this one man to a community.
Photo courtesy of: McKaso Photo Art