A TRIBUTE TO A TRUE FRIEND

Justin Hingtgen

The late Justin Hingtgen, in this photo taken the early part of June, stands on his favorite steam engine, a 40 Hp., 24 ton, 1912 Avery. Mr. Hingtgen, who died Sunday, September 21, 1969, had bought 117 acres of land especially for his engines and used ev

Douglas Melvold

Content Tools

Davis Junction, Illinois 61020

The photo was taken by Douglas Melvold and used in a feature story preliminary to Mr. Hingtgen's 1969 show.

In Memory of Justin J. Hingtgen:-People from every state in our great Country were numbed with shock and grief on Monday, September 22, when they learned that their true friend, Justin J. Hingtgen, Age 51, of La Motte, Iowa, passed away at 7:50 p.m., Sunday, September 21, 1969 at Mercy Medical Center Hospital, Dubuque, Iowa. It was almost impossible to believe that the shocking news could be true. Justin was a fine man. He was seen with his dynamic personality at nearly every steam show in the area. He attended many steam shows in other states. During Labor Day week end he was attending the steam show at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa when he became ill and had to return home. He immediately entered the Mercy Medical Center Hospital for observation and tests, and submitted to surgery on Monday, September 15. He did not rally satisfactorily from the gall-bladder operation and passed away six days later.

Justin's untimely and unexpected death brings to a close an unequaled chapter in Steam Engine History. It is the end of the era. No one can equal the vast knowledge and experience he has gained over the past twenty years. No one will ever know how many people he has helped to locate engines or parts, or just merely answered people's questions. His unfailing memory contained a vast library of names, places, dates, and all that goes with steam engine and threshing machine history. He has no doubt traveled more miles throughout the states and Canada in search of steam engines, and the hauling of steam engines than any other known person.

Justin helped organize many steam engine shows throughout the country. He held membership in various clubs and organized and operated his own steam power show on his 117 acre farm near his home town of La Motte, Ia. His show was known as the Mississippi Valley Steam Power Show. This show featured the largest collection of working steam engines in the country, and was known to many as one of the better shows. His collection of steam engines ranged from a small 6 hp. to a large 40 hp. His count of engines was many and he had engineers from all over the midwest during show time.

In addition to his steam show activities, Justin owned and operated a large saw-mill in La Motte. The Hingtgen Lumber Service was well known at John Deere and Case Co. Justin was a good business man. He had an uncanny way of getting things done. His judgement was respected by all. He always was deeply concerned about his family, and was a good husband, father, and a friend. His robust laughter will be greatly missed by his family and a multitude of friends. Many people have said, they are fortunate to have been priviledged to have known Justin J. Hingtgen as their true friend.

It is not easy to say good-bye. The memory and spirit of Justin J. Hingtgen will linger in our hearts forever. He is not forgotten, he is just away. His inspiring solemn funeral services will long be remembered. His final resting place at the top of a beautiful hill will be well taken care of by his loved ones and friends. God grant that our true friend may rest in Peace.