A VARIED EXPERIENCE

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Goshen, Indiana

Some of you fellows will want to shoot this man but just wait he is a good man if he does have a bad heart. Ed.

This summer (1954) I attended the Threshers Home Coming near Ft. Wayne, Ind., and subscribed to the IRON-MEN ALBUM which I enjoy very much.

I have wrecked 55 traction steam engines of probably a dozen different types and makes. Also probably 200 tons of gas engines from 11/2 to 75 hp. I know today I wrecked quite a few that were in good condition. How I wish I would have known then what I know now. I would like to have one all painted up nice and sitting in my back yard.

I have a 7hp. Waterloo Boy gas engine mounted on a cement abutment I built especially for the engine. It is at least 45 years old. Whenever we get company we start the engine just to hear it run. Of course we have many other old things around including an 80-year-old Dog Power machine that was built in the state of Vermont. It is brand new. I found it in Cheif, Michigan, in the warehouse of an old hardware store.

After wrecking the steam and gas engines, about 20 years ago, I also took out about 60 or 70 boilers from mint distills and factory buildings and sold the castings to the foundries at Elkhart, Ind., and the flues to a firm that cleaned them and made them into sign posts. The boiler shells I sold to farmers for dredge ditch culverts and bridges. A few for water supply tanks.

Then I kind of let up on that job through an operation and went buggy hunting for the Amish people. In the last 17 years I traveled better than 400,000 miles and bought around 700 buggies and many antiques.

About 12 years ago I bought 14 tons of harness hardware and equipment machinery and all that was ever in a harness shop, in Grand Rapids, Mich., and run for about 6 years one of the most modern harness shops around. My oldest son was just as handy making a new single buggy harness as he was to eat a good meal at the Schrock table. When he got married seemingly the sport craze was over, so I sold the entire shop, or what was in the shop. Now I have 3 harness stickers again and probably a ton of new harness equipment and hardware. We have many buggie springs, wagons, surries, carts, too. We just live on one and one-tenth acres.

I came from the farm as my father, always a farmer. We lived in Oklahoma, 80 miles west of Oklahoma City, in Custer County, close by Thomas, from 1905 to 1914. So we lived in Oklahoma two years before it became a state. We had a steam threshing rig about four years.

Well, now I'm 51 years old and Saturday morning I had a light heart attack. So the Doctor says stay in bed or on a chair. One neighbor, Mr. Simon Bontregery R. D. 4, Goshen, Ind., was in to see me, and he sees the IRON-MEN ALBUM and he wants it too, so I am sending in for him.

Thank you for the IRON-MEN ALBUM.