Inventor and early settler born in Norway
On this day in 1843, Ole Ringness was born in Norway. He and his parents arrived in Texas in 1852 and eventually settled in a Bosque County Norwegian community. As the community's first mail carrier, Ole made a regular four-day round trip between Norman Hills, seven miles west of Clifton, and Fort Worth. In his work on the family farm, he observed a wheel of his wagon cup on the axle. As the wheel became more cupped, it moved larger amounts of mud. Thus he conceived the idea of a disc plow and disc harrow and made models of them in his father's blacksmith shop. On July 26, 1872, as he journeyed to Washington, D.C., to present his case for a patent on his inventions, he died under mysterious circumstances. The family never pursued a patent for his inventions, and similar farm equipment was patented by a plow company. A model of one of Ringness's three original disc plows is in the Texas Memorial Museum in Austin.