DAIRYLAND DRIFTINGS

Geiser engine

Courtesy of Gil Johnson, Route 1, Frederic, Wisconsin. Pat Holtcamp's daughters at Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

Gil Johnson

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The season for this chapter takes in reunions at their height. August and into Octobers harvest talleys another years crop. It normally brings the joy of gathering in the sheaves as well as the renewing of old friendships at the many meets. Thus it was, until we received the sad word of the passing of Mrs. Ralph Shelburne (Edith to us) on Oct. 2. One gets moved compassion and in reality lost for words. To further the sad news the Shelburnes son-in-law passed away the following day from a heart attack, leaving three small children and his wife Colleen. God does so move in a mysterious way; it tests our faith, and yet grants strength and courage to carry on. To Ralph, Judy and Colleen we join their many friends in expressing our heartfelt sympathy.

The Shelburnes were among the first friends we met at Mt. Pleasant back in 1950, where they have displayed their model steam engines from that time. Edith and Judy were equally interested in steam and qualified engineers to man the throttles. No parade of power was complete without the Shelburnes from Zionsville , Indiana. Wish that I had a suitable picture to use at this time.

Now for a run down on past events. On August 21, 'the clouds of gray engulfed the day' but threshing proceeded at Stanley Petersons, Shell Lake. His 18-36 Hart Parr hung tight in the belt to his 24' John Deere thresher. Here neighbors converge annually to help, and by the time the last load was done some 1200 bushels of oats were in the bin. That was a day luck came my way. Stan let me use his spoke fly wheeled John Deere 'D' to help haul in bundles. I somehow felt an inner sensation of prestige.

The following Monday was our thresh day, using the Case 50 as usual. Jim Johnson from Park Ridge Ill., run the engine and this time we used a wagon-box load of cull yo-yos for fuel. Jim said this surpassed coal, and at a mere cost of two bucks. As an added attraction we belted our 10-20 Titan to our 24' Huber thresher for one load of oats.

Aug. 28th, to the 9th annual Pioneer Engine and Thresher show held on the Paul Marquardt farm, 6 miles west of Pine City, Minn. Ideal weather permitted a full show of activities. Joe Pangerls 11x11 Minneapolis Engine #8052 was belted to the Belle City thresher. Warren Doan's 6 hp portable Frick engine was busy with the shingle saw. Karl Marquardt's 45 hp Mogul moved about the grounds. Many live gas engines arrayed the hillside. I caught a picture of Carl Mortenson driving Alois Benches 1898 Steam Locomobile, taking passengers for free, this time it was my good friend Geo Christian who still thinks transportation comes best by steam.

Next move was to Old Threshers at Mt. Pleasant where Geo. C. again set up his tent for the 6th consecutive year in the same spot adjacent to Stienmetz 'covered wagon', from LaFarge. It is indeed a pleasure to meet the 'old gang' and meet new friends. Speaking of new friends, we met the bride of Chady Atteberry of Blackwell Okla., They were newlyweds of a week, and what an ideal place to spend a honeymoon. Congratulations! Welcome is the bride to our midst. Girls do play an important role, even at thresh Bees, and how it boosts the morale. In one thresh setting I was able to snap pictures of Pat Holt-camp's daughters from Winfield Ia. Sorry I didn't get their names. They very casually belted up their 16 hp Gaar-Scott engine to the Port Huron 'Rusher' thresher. On the thresher end was Carol McLaren, Bob McLaren's daughter from Manilla, Ia., pitching in bundles. It was very evident she had pitched bundles before this picture was taken. Thanks girls, 'you all come back now'.

I had a nice visit with Guy Sams, Rt. 1, Hillsboro, Ohio. He showed me some pictures of a model Geiser engine that he has built, now I want to see the engine. This is the only facsimile of a Geiser that I know of. Its a good thing that these men with the 'know how' do come up with a real working model; a contribution for generations of the future as well as our present.

Father to son asking for more money: 'With your experience, have you ever considered becoming a professional fund raiser?'

That almost matches the one about the student who said 'I've gone to school for 20 years, I don't know how to do anything else'.

Now for silo filling, I might say we got 'rained out'. Our locality had very little 'corn weather'. Wet weather and a killing frost Sept. 26 ended up mostly with soft corn. Had plans to use Case 50 on the silo filler but rain hampered time and again so ended up filling silo using my 20-30 Wallis tractor. It says on the instruction book 'Americas foremost tractor' and I will say that Kingston governor is really sensitive and I like the convenience of the hand clutch. We cut all our corn with the John Deere G-P and a Massey Harris corn binder.

Sept 26, headed north to Esko near Duluth Minn. It was elegant weather for the Lake head Thresher Reunion. The double cylinder 18 hp Minneapolis #4086 was belted to their saw-mil going a steady pace. A 14 hp Majestic gas engine sawing shingles, a 12-20 Oil pull on a hand feed Huber thresher, an Advance Rumely steamer on a 32 x 51 Case thresher, not to mention the drag saw and many gas engines and tractors displayed, and running. Here too was a precision built working model of a Minneapolis engine, the work of Bob Peterson, Rt. 1, Carlton, Minn. Nice work Bob.

The first weekend of October we headed south to Beldonville steam show. Lots of activity and prizes every hour. On the grounds owned by Ed Huppert is a two story school house now used as a museum. A building such as this is in itself fascinating and much like the one I attended through the first eight grades. At this show I had the pleasure to help with a Swain and Robinson self feed stationary hay baler belted to an Oil pull and placed to catch the straw from the Case apron 'Eclipse' thresher. Harold Churchills upright steamer operated an Appleton drag saw. Archie Stevens from Millville Minn., brought his fan to give the various engines a workout. Ed Huppert has an outstanding collection of Oil pull tractors and many other makes. Dan Boothe of Ellsworth had his 80 Case and 20 hp Minneapolis belted to the threshers and fan, and Harold Churchills Rumely double engine was belted to the sawmill.

Oct. 10, the Harry Schachts and us were invited to Dennie Magnusons for dinner and to play with his 20 hp Russell before backing it into the shed for the winter. We hooked up the hayrack and all rode down the road. Neighbors kids and their cousins came running across the fields to enjoy the ride. It was a tooting good time indeed and even Herbert's dog enjoyed it.

Have been out taking soil samples for farmers again. I found a 10 roll Piano corn shredder setting in an open shed, minus some pulleys. It is doomed for junk unless someone has a home for this 'odd-ball'.

Oct. 20, Bill Briden from Crookston Minn., stopped in on his way home en-route from Green Bay on a business trip. He has been busy making auxiliary rear axel wheels for sugar beet trucks. Evidently 'he's got a good thing going'.

On Oct. 30, I rode with Dennis Andres (from Duluth) to Norlander Brothers at Scandia, Minn for an afternoon of threshing. Their 30 hp Minneapolis #8117 was already belted to their 28 x 48 Belle City Thresher. Dennis got stuck with firing the engine, much to his delight. Norlander Bros, have stacked part of their grain for many years. This time the one stack of oats yielded 200 bushels of oats.

'If you are too busy to pray, you are too busy.'