STEAM ENGINE IN RETIREMENT

Jim Bogard fires Tooter

JIM BOGARD fires Tooter for a demonstration. (Citizen Staff Photo)

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R. R. 3, Linton, Indiana 47441 and with the courtesy and permission of the local newspaper, the Linton Daily Citizen. 'Copyright 1969, The Los Angeles Times - Reprinted with its permission.'

'I'm ready for retirement,' the little steam engine, which we shall call Tooter, said as he huffed and puffed and tooted merrily away at his retirement home on the farm grounds of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Bogard two miles north of Linton on highway 54.

Tooter could tell of a long, busy exciting career if he wished to take time from retirement pleasures to do so. He arrived in this world about 1908 through the courtesy of the American Hoist and Derrick Co., just at the time when steam engines generated the power used for jobs of all kinds from running locomotives to threshing machines and were the principal source of power for this work.

One of the highlights of Tooter's career was the time he moved an eight-story 11,000 ton structure in Indianapolis. This happened in 1930 when the main building of Indiana Bell was moved from its original Meridian street site to its present location on New York St. Larger buildings had been moved before, but never one of such size in which business as usual went on during the move. Some 600 employees of the company reported for work daily and even the elevators kept running, although they didn't descend below the first floor. The power of Tooter moved the building on the special rollers which were used. This feat gained recognition around the world and was written in Hix's 'Strange As It seems' column. Tooter has used his power on many construction jobs as he exerted a lot of force after having his stomach filled with fuel to fill the boiler full of steam.

A few years ago, the late Tom Wilson of rural Linton purchased Tooter and brought him to his farm near Linton. After Mr. Wilson's death, Jim Bogard, who is a steam engine man of long standing and who worked with steam engines for many years and now wants to play with one, purchased Tooter and moved him the short distance from the Wilson farm to his.

Now Tooter spends his time reminiscing over past glories and on occasion huffing and puffing until he builds up enough steam to toot his steam whistle for visitors who drop by the Bogard home to see how a steam engine works. So - if you should happen to hear a steam engine whistle and want to watch the engine operate, hurry out to the Bogards and see Tooter strut his stuff.