47 South, 13th Street, Cottonwood, Arizona 86326
After reading so many 'Soot in the Flues,' I feel I know you well enough to write a few lines. First of all, let my wishes be that you and the Album continue for a long time. I enjoy it so much. Now, for a little history
I am 65 years young, retired from the Int. Union of Operating Engineers Local #12 and started my working days when steam was on the way out (1926). I cut my eye teeth on a Penberthy injector and fired a return flue 'Minnie' for my dad on a sawmill until the summer of 1929. Then took the old 'Minnie' out and pulled a 36-60 Advance separator for a neighbor. Threshed about 1200 acres of oats, wheat and barley. All this in Knox County, Illinois. Dad traded the old 'Minnie' for a 20 HP return flue Avery and got a 36-60 Yellow Fellow separator and we threshed with this rig around Douglas, Illinois in 1930. Dad continued through 1931 and '32.
In the summer of 1931, I bought my first threshing outfit, 18 HP Aultman Taylor engine, 36-60 Aultman Taylor separator. I threshed around Maquon, Illinois (1000 acres) and in 1932, threshed the Maquon run (800 acres) and then threshed a second run at Dahinda, Illinois (700 acres). Had a #9 Birdsell Huller and hulled clover both falls (into February the first fall).
I kept the little A & T engine pretty busy with sawmilling, threshing, hulling clover, some road work and moving buildings. No grain to thresh in '33 and '34 due to cinch bugs. Traded the A & T engine for a Case 50 in spring of '35 and threshed around Farmington, Illinois that year, then sold out and went into heavy construction equipment. I spent a little time for Uncle Sam and went back into sawmill and threshing business after World War II at Oak Hills, Illinois. Bought one of the last Advance Rumelys built, 25 HP and a 36-60 Red River Special. Also a new Fisher & Davis 3 block mill. I sold all of this out in 1949 and moved to southern California and continued to work in heavy construction until I retired in 1972.
I take in most of the shows west of the Mississippi, and am a member of Pinckneyville, Illinois and Pawnee, Oklahoma. Have been to Rough & Tumble at Kinzers once and expect to go again.
I am sending this poem along and hope that it may find its way into the Album: