SOOT IN THE FLUES

PICKERING BALL RANGER GOVERNOR

32-110 Reeves

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'I would like to comment on the steam engine photo on page 11 of November/December 1992 issue sent by Carl Alsdorf of Middletown, Ohio. I am wondering if the Nagle Engine and Baler Works could have originally been the Erie City Iron Works? Or maybe have been built by them. In Jack Norbeck's Encyclopedia of American Steam Traction Engines, the Erie steam portable engine is listed on page 35. These two engines are almost identical, with eight years difference in the time they were built, allowing for the minor discrepancies. I would certainly like to hear from anyone with information on these engines.

'Keep up the good work, Anna Mae, and may we never forget where our many blessings come from, and where our thankfulness belongs.'

The following is a very informative and interesting letter with lots of pictures you will be interested in seeing. It comes from GARY YAEGER, 146 Reimer Lane, Whitefish, Montana 59937, 406-862-7738; hope you enjoy.

'The last time I wrote anything for the Iron-Men Album was the January/February 1958 issue. I've been going to write for some time, but I'm usually too busy.

'I discovered a book written by Bob Murphy, copyrighted in 1984, for children, called Tractors. On page 36 is a picture of a 110 HP Case plowing, and I was 98% sure this was the same picture that was in the January/February IMA on page 18. There was no information available with the IMA pictures. The caption with the picture in 'Tractors' was as follows: 'A Case steamer shown in the 1911 Winnipeg plowing contest. Case took home a gold medal.'

'I am a Case owner and fan. However, I am also a Reeves fan, as my father, Joe Yaeger, used to tell me story after story about the operation of the two Reeves engines he and his seven brothers owned. They owned a 32-120 Reeves Canadian Special cross-compound (the one owned by Marvin Brodbeck shown at Wauseon, Ohio), and they also owned the only known 20 HP Canadian Special simple-double high wheeler produced by Reeves.

Gary Yaeger operating the Smolik Bros. 40-140 Reeves at Cedar Falls, Iowa, August 1992. These are both Montana citizens. The Reeves sat on the Marias River, below Tiber Dam, north of Great Falls, Montana. It ran an irrigation pump, flowing 8000 gallons per minute.

Joe Yaeger firing the only known 20 HP Reeves, Canadian Special, simple double, high wheeler, circa 1920. I remember this engine being dismantled in 1948, because it had leaky flues. Photo taken on the Yaeger Ranch, Lewistown, Montana.

Gary Yaeger operating Austin Monk's 40-120 Emerson-Brantingham Peerless. We pull a 20 bottom John Deere plow with this engine in tough pulling.

Max Tyler (left) and Earl Tyler with 32-110 HP Reeves U.S. Cross Compound #7888. Earl bought this engine during the Depression for $10, and says he worked several weekends for that $10 too!

Mike Tyler, age 13 (left), and Gary Yaeger, age 12, on the 20/70 Nichols & Shepard at the Yaeger ranch in 1955.

1958 photo of Gary Yaeger with 32-120 Reeves cross compound, Canadian Special #7181, owned by Tyler Bros., Moore, Montana. Note power steering.

Gary Yaeger beside the Tyler Bros.' 40 HP Gaar Scott, the only one in the United States. Photo taken in 1958.

'I'll try to keep this roundabout story as short as possible. In 1958 I had the opportunity to attend a steam show at the Cattle Congress Grounds at Waterloo, Iowa, and the next weekend a show at Cedar Falls, Iowa. At both of these shows was a young engineer by the name of Dean Bellinger. We were both the same age and young! I'd lost track of Dean over the years, but I reestablished contact in 1990, while my son, Michael, was at Officer Basic Course at Fort Knox, Kentucky. My plan was to fly to Fort Knox and drive back to Montana with Michael, making a detour past the Antique Acres showgrounds at Cedar Falls. I'd heard stories and seen pictures of the big 40 HP Reeves back into the early '50s, and I wanted to put my hands on it. I also wrote to Ray Smolik, who was going to see to it that my dream was realized. I related my Reeves heritage to him and he assured me if I ever came to their show, I'd get a ride on it. Anyway, Dean Bellinger encouraged me to come back to a show and last August was it. Dean also arranged with engineer Randy Schwerin for me to actually get to run this magnificent piece of Montana history around the grounds. I shall never forget August 27th, 1992, or the magnificent bunch of friends I made there, as long as I live!

'All of that to say this. When I saw the picture of the 110 HP Case in the ALBUM and in Tractors, I thought of the Smolik Bros. 110 HP Case, as they were equipped identically with four foot extended drive wheels, 20 inch wide front wheels and butt strap Canadian boilers. Warren Bellinger, engineer of the Smolik Bros. 110 HP Case, asked me to fire for him, one round plowing. So again, I got the same rush when I saw this picture.

'And does that Smolik 110 run! It pulled 159.25 HP on the prony brake, disappointing Warren, since it broke 160 HP the year before!

'Anna Mae, it thrills me to see the articles printed in the ALBUM from young people. If we don't encourage young enthusiasts in our hobby someday there will be no old enthusiasts.

'In 1954, at age 11, I got to open the throttle on the Nichols & Shepard my dad traded our 32 Reeves for. Now that I am an older second generation steam nut, I really appreciate the fact that my dad, Charlie Tyler and sons Max and Earl, and Walter Mehmke and son Carl all gave me that break. I still draw all of the wisdom and knowledge I can from my good friend, Austin Monk, whom I'd adopt if our society had such provisions!

'Many of you know Austin from the many steam shows he attends. As I write this, he is in his last week of radiation treatments in Seattle. He and I have many more rounds of unfinished plowing to do. I have been blessed with the opportunity to assist him in operating his 40-120 HP Geiser (Emerson Brantingham) Peerless at the Barnes Family Steam and Power Show at Belgrade, Montana. If you have never witnessed a steam engine pulling a 20 bottom 14' plow in some tough Montana topsoil, you should plan to attend this show. It will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck!

'Anna Mae, please keep up the good work, as I and many of my best friends look forward to our next Iron Men Album. It's the best piece of mail in the mailbox!'

Before I say goodbye until next issue, I have a writing that I know many of you will appreciate it is called 'What Jesus Is.'
To the artist, He is the One Altogether lovely.
To the architect, He is the Chief Cornerstone.
To the astronomer, He is the Sun of Righteousness.
To the baker, the Bread of Life.
To the builder, the Sure Foundation.
To the carpenter, the Door.
To the doctor, the Great Physician.
To the educator, the Great Teacher.
To the farmer, the Lord of the Harvest.
To the engineer, the New, Living Way.
To the florist, the Rose of Sharon.
To the geologist, the Rock of Ages.
To the horticulturist, the True Vine.
To the judge, the only Judge of man.
To the jeweler, the Pearl of great price.
To the lawyer, the True Advocate.
To the newsman, Tidings of Great Joy.
To the oculist, the Light of the Eyes.
To the philanthropist, God's Great Gift.
To the philosopher, the Wisdom of God.
To the preacher, the Word of God.
To the sculptor, the Living Stone.
To the servant, the Good Master.
To the statesman, the Desire of Nations.
To the student, the Incarnate Truth.
To the theologian, Author of our Faith.
To the toiler, the Giver of Rest.
To the sinner, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
To the Christian, He is the Son of the Living GodThe SaviorThe RedeemerThe Loving LordThe Great High PriestThe Great IntercessorThe soon coming King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

1909 J.I. Case 15 HP, serial number 21743, threshing in September 1989 near Kalispell, Montana, celebrating Montana's Centennial. Engineer Michael Yaeger, with Austin Monk in dark hat.

32-110 Reeves cross compound, #7888, U.S., owned by Max and Earl Tyler, pulling a 40 foot wide chisel plow. The Reeves didn't seem to know it was there! Earl Tyler engineer, Gary Yaeger steerman.

Yaeger Brothers plowing with 36' of Emerson Brantingham disc plows and the 32-120 HP Reeves cross compound, Canadian Special, circa 1930. Joe Yaeger (my father), engineer. The Yaegers plowed through '38 with steam.

Two scarce Reeves engines: front, Yaeger Bros. 20 HP Reeves Canadian Special high wheeler (the only known specimen); rear, Alva Stevens' 32-120 HP Reeves Canadian Special, simple double (possibly the only one left), #6813, now owned by the Kolars. The high wheeler was scrapped in 1948.

Well, my dear IMA family members, I guess that about covers it for this time. Please keep your letters coming. I do have some yet for next time, but am watching the mails for more of your letters for our hobby magazine, but don't forget you have many other interesting things to make our readers look forward to. Yes, engines and relative items are the first priority, but we all are interested in other aspects of farming, your activities, your good 'yarns', something about your families, now or in the past, inspirational articles, recipes, poems, jokes, or anything you might think I would like to insert in 'Soot in Flues.' Love ya all!

P.S. A letter arrived just before we went to press, and I thought it should be included this time, so I'm popping it in here.

EDWIN BJORNEBO, 384 Front, Cottonwood, Minnesota 56229, writes to say, 'I am well past four score years, and will be selling my home and moving to a new location. I have a large collection of Albums, and would like to give these to some of the younger generation that would appreciate a few of these old magazines.

'Write and tell me a bit about yourselves and your interests; I will answer all letters. I hope there are some girls that are interested in this offer also.'

STEAMCERELY, Anna Mae

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