ELLERY'S ENGINE

Case steam traction engine

ON DISPLAY in front of the Apollo Trust Co. is this 1927 model T Ford and a Case steam traction engine built between 1920 and 1923. Both pieces of equipment are owned by Marlin Crownover and are being displayed in conjunction with the 100th Anniversary Ce

Marlin Crownover

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1442 Lincoln Drive, Flint, Michigan 48503.

Ellery's an Ivory a Hadley Ivory. And Hadley is about 20 miles cast of Flint, Michigan. Just a little crossroads town of about 300 folks or so. It almost was 140 years old but turned out to be only 130 years of age. It's like this. Around 1830 some folks settled west of Hemingway Lake, near what is now called Greenes Corners. Stayed a bit but lost their enthusiasm for one reason or another. They had problems getting good wells. Ground directly around there was quite light and sandy. But, most of all, they couldn't get used to the manners of the Indians. So far as I know the Indians were never violent they were just inquisitive. When the men went out in the fields or woods to work the Indians wandered around in town looking in the windows or doors to see how the palefaces were doing. Seems the white folks got a bit nervous and moved out. About ten years later some folks began a settlement east of Hemingway Lake about a mile along a creek which was soon backed up to form a pond. And there was power for the grist mill. Later, of course, a boiler was installed, then, later a 25 hp. Fairbanks-Morse. Used to start that with a wooden match. And then came electricity and now nothing.

Hadley remained quite a town even though both the railroad and the inter-urban both missed it. Were a number of quite prosperous and ambitious families around there, one of which was the Ivorys. Mainly, the Ivorys were farmers, and good ones but farmers often had other projects too. Ivorys had a small plant or shop to make brick and tile and such from clay. Bricks with the stamp on them show up every now and then when someone tears down an old building.

For power they used a Huber Steam Engine. According to a book now owned by Carl Goschke who lives in St. Louis, Michigan, which lists all the Hubers sold in Mich., it had a locomotive type boiler, No. 4547, was 16 hp., and was sold in 1898. That engine, of course has long ago gone to its melters.

Now, let's jump ahead a bit of time. Sometime in the mid 30's I felt I should know something about photography. This was depression. We were farmers and way out in the country. What I did know was that Una Bartenfelder, who had the name of Ivory before marriage, took lots of pictures, developed her own, and in those days knew more about the subject than anyone else around there. Una got me on the road to pictures. And cameras have been mighty important to me ever since even paid my way thru college.

Some few years later Una passed on and Les, her husband, gathered up most of her picture stuff and gave it to me. At the time, I was rather busy so packed the boxes away upstairs. Only a few weeks ago I dug them out. Interesting was an old box camera that used glass plates. And in good workable condition. Further down were some glass plates developed. And then up came the plate, a negative of course, in an envelope marked 'Ellery's Engine'. I could hardly wait to get downstairs to the darkroom, put a 3 inch lens and condenser in the Omega and blow it up. Made a pretty good print. I get a crossing of opinion from whatever old-timers there are left around Hadley as to whether the fellow in the picture is Ellery. I'd like to think it is. The Engine was a 16 hp. Huber, No. 9033. Return flue, of course. One thing bugs me tho. I thought that from sometime before 1900 all the tractors came out with the belt pulleys on the right side. I note that Ellery s is on the left and 1 didn't print the picture wrong side up. The lettering is correct. Maybe someone will drop me a card and set me straight.

No. 9033 is apparently gone too. I find no trace of it around here. I used to think it was the one that Roy Miller had, but his turned out to be smaller and newer. Dan Max field once had a second Huber but that was sold for scrap for the war effort around 1940 along with our Model F Rumely Oil Pull. I say 'our'. Really, it and several tools were owned by a group of five farmers. Folks from a couple miles around knew when we began filling silo or husking corn. Had its own peculiar sound, and lots of it. Can you imagine we sold that Rumely for a hundred bucks. And drove it 12 miles to the junkyard. I rode.

I find in the Huber book that the Ivory Brothers also bought two separators. A No. 5261, type SS, 32/54, in 1898. This was called a 'humpback' in farmer language. Then another, No. 9583, type PL, 32/42 in 1909. There is no end to stories when one gets looking. One thing leads to another or another person and that leads to another story. Carl Goschke is a steam man, was a thresher and sawmill man from the old days and a whale of a mechanic. At present he is a gas engine collector and restores them beautifully. Dan Maxfield threshed and sawed a-round our country has several steamers yet. Not unlikely for him to grow a field of oats, limber up the old binder and thresh any summer. His farm is right across the road from our old family farm. He threshed all of ours.

I just hope and hope that as these present couple of generations move on someone will come along to run the old engines and tractors that if possible someone will come along to love the old machines. That's something for the clubs to concern themselves with keeping the kids interested and involved. It's not easy, I know, but I think that's the whole secret of the kid problem today involvement. The kid with enough to do that is important to him and including his dad isn't likely to grow up bad. Awful easy for dads to get too busy isn't it?

But Ellery's engine is long gone and Ellery too but, by golly, what a great part of America.