Some really great guess on this piece of equipment for sure and some were on the right track. Thanks for all the responses! I think this is a pretty neat piece of history and thought I would share it with you guys.
It's indeed a Sled Corn Lister/Cultivator also known as a "Go-Devil" not to be confused with what was known as a Lister and Drill which had two moldboard plow shears (back-to-back one right and one left) used to open the soil for planting corn with a drill that followed in the furrow planting corn. In semi-arid parts of the United States such as Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado it was found that if the corn seed was planted deeper in the soil the roots of the young plants could gradually be covered with soil by continued cultivation using a Lister/Cultivator and the corn plant would be more resistant to drought as it grew up and out of the furrow. As the corn starts to ground itself within the furrow the stalk is gradually covered by riding the Lister over the rows disking gradual amounts of soil into the furrow while protecting the corn with the rear shield. The one I was given straddles the corn row and was pulled by two horses – one down each side of the corn row attached to the Lister with a singletree harness.
Several implement manufactures introduced "Walking Listers" by 1905. In 1906 John Deere and Company introduced the "Go-Devil" Lister which operated like the first riding cultivators. It came in a single and double row model. Now, some I've seen pictured are of the wheeled kind whereas prior I believe they were the sled type like the one I was given. It's my researched understanding Mr. Edwin F. Cheney was the man to whom the Corn Lister/Cultivator credit should be given. Mr. Cheney had a blacksmith shop on his 480 acre homestead farm southwest of Ainsworth, Nebraska where he fashioned the first riding "Go-Devil" Lister/Cultivator. In that year, 1906, Mr. Cheney sold his "Go-Devil" patent to John Deere and Company for $300 which he then used the money to build a fence on his homestead. John Deere and Company made millions selling the "Go-Devil" Lister/Cultivator in the years to come.
Parlin & Orendorff (P&O) Implement Co. of Dallas Texas made quite a number of Sled Lister/Cultivators as well. You can tell a P&O Lister, by the stenciled P&O on the sheet iron on the side of the runners or on the rear furrow shield. The crusher boards are designed differently as well. On the P&O the crusher boards are designed in an arch shape whereas on mine they're straight. The Go-Devil I was given doesn't have sheet iron on the side of the runners and the rear shield doesn't give any indication that it could have been P&O made but it does have the words, which I can just make out, "Moline Illinois" on the left crusher board (side wing plates). Some time ago I contacted Mrs. Peterson at John Deere's corporate office sending her pictures to find out if this was a John Deere but looks as though to John Deere it's not. According to John Deere it looks to them to be a Moline Plow Company Sled Corn Lister. The casting numbers I was able to find doesn't match any numbers John Deere used at that time period.
This particular Lister/Cultivator was given to me by my neighbor Charles W., an elderly wheat farmer who did indeed use a "Go-Devil" just like the one he has given me when he was a young man. Before he used a Go-Devil he listed corn with a team of four horses and a gang of four spike tooth harrows while standing on a 2 x 6 spanning the harrow gangs when he was 7 years old. The Corn Lister "Go-Devil" he's given me is mostly all there it's only missing the adjustment lever handles that tilt the disk blades horizontally. Not sure if you can see it or not but the disk gangs have wood bearings which you pour oil into in order to lubricate.
Here's one of the images I sent to John Deere along with several others and why I thought it might be a John Deere.
Here's a drawing I made of how corn was planted years ago and how the Corn Lister was used.
Here's a picture of, Charles W., the farmer that gave me the Lister. Charles is the one in the black cap. One of the nicest men you'd ever want to know. He turns 91 tomorrow, farmed the family farm on his own since he was 14 years old. I help him on the farm when I can and always enjoy working with him. Since both my grandfathers past away when I was very young he's like the grandfather I never had. We'll work for 10 minutes and talk for 20. It's great to talk about the "old days" and how farming was done then - what a book of farming knowledge! He's taught me a lot. No that is not me with him in the photo. I'm the one behind the camera.