R113 Hwy U Edgar, Wisconsin 54426
ERVIN E. STENCIL, 71, born January 21, 1929, died September 4, 2000. Erv will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Erv was born in Watersmeet, Michigan, son of the late Anton and Rose Stencil. Anton was a logger who had a crew of approximately 100 men, so Erv grew up in the woods of upper Michigan moving from camp to camp until he was eight years old. Then Anton and Rose and their family moved back to Edgar, Wisconsin where they purchased several farms and started dairy farming. At that time, Anton had two threshing machines. They would thresh grain for others.
Erv married Susan Knoll on June 19, 1954. They had two children, a daughter, Pamela (Thomas Balz) and a son, Richard (Pamela Murkowski).
In 1957, Erv and his younger brother, Wally, purchased their first self-propelled Massey Harris combine with an eight foot head. In the fall of 1962, they traded it in for a Case 600 with a 10 foot head.
The cover of this issue features the late Ervin Stencil getting Advance Rumely #14987 in line for a parade at the Edgar, Wisconsin, steam show. His wife, Susan is on the back of the engine. Ervin's son Rick pays tribute to his dad, who died in September of last year,
My father probably would not have owned a steam engine if it weren't for me. I was already very interested in steam engines at the young age of six or so. On our way to visit my maternal grandparents near Stratford, Wisconsin, we would go past Rock Oil Refinery, where an Olds steam engine sat. I would always ask my dad to buy that engine so we could fix it up. Dad never bought that engine for me, but the Christmas of 1965, when I was seven, my parents gave me a model steam engine that worked with water and fuel tablets. I still have it now.
In October of 1977, I married Pam Murkowski. My wife never knew about my interest in steam engines until the fall of 1987, when I purchased a ** scale Case steam engine. I then joined the North Central Wisconsin Steam and Gas Club of Edgar, Wisconsin. From that time on, my dad got so interested in steam engines that he told me that if I could find a big engine, he would go half on it. In the late summer of 1989, my long time dream came true. My dad and I purchased a 1917 22-65 Advance Rumely engine #14987 from the Kolbe brothers, Arnold, Ervin, Walter, and Herb, of Wausau, Wisconsin. That engine was purchased new in 1918 by my wife's great grandfather, Mike Nowicki and her great-uncle, Leo Murkowski from Athens, Wisconsin, in the town of Reitbrock.
Ervin painting the boiler. Note the cleats on the wheels worn down from traveling on town roads threshing and pulling the clover hauler.
Threshing crew ready for work: Leo Murkowski in center front row with the hanky on his neck. Pete Nowicki sitting on engine center. This is an Advance Rumely threshing machine. Note the bucking pole on the thresher.
The work then started in the spring of 1990, but it was fun work. It was something that both of us would be proud of when we finished. That kind of experience will never be forgotten. The memories of the time we shared will never be forgotten. Erv was not only my dad, but my best friend.
Jut a week after the 2000 North Central Wisconsin Steam and Gas Engine Show in Edgar, Wisconsin, Dad passed away. We would never have guessed that it would be our last show together. Dad had many friends, and it showed at his funeral. Dad touched so many lives in so many ways.