HENRY BRANNOLTE died at his home in Wisner, Nebraska on November 17, 1980 when his house was destroyed by fire.
In 1926 Henry purchased a used airplane named 'Travelair', manufactured in Wichita, Kansas at a plant which later was bought out by Cessna. The light blue plane was number 1800 and had an all steel framework fuselage. He had. a commercial license and took passengers for rides.
Henry started barnstorming in 1927 as well as stunt flying in Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota.
Henry sold his airplane in 1928 and devoted his entire time to blacksmithing and carpentry. At times he made intricate machine parts that were hard to buy. He owned several automobiles but preferred to ride a motorcycle.
Henry began collecting old machinery and antiques that people had discarded. He preferred to trade his work for old things folks were not using any more, but would charge reasonable rates when necessary.
He owned two Reeves engines, #7381 and #7720, both of which were 20 HP, simple. They are pictured and described on pages 73 and 74 of my book 'Historical Stories about Reeves Engines.'
Henry bought these steam engines in his own neighborhood in the 1930s and drove them home. I offered to buy his engines at one time and he replied that he couldn't sell them as his cabin was anchored to them to keep it from blowing away. He worried during World War II that the government might confiscate his steam engines for scrap iron.
When I went to the sale of his antiques in December, 1980, I found that Henry had wrapped his Reeves engines in oil and boxes, protecting them from the elements to the extent that they were about as good as new.
Henry liked living along among nature in his later years and enjoyed showing off his antiques to all interested. He never believed in the new fangled things of today.
It is strange to say that this man who courted disaster in the skies of his youth found it in the peace and quiet of his own home when it was destroyed by fire.
Submitted by Haston L. St. Clair, Box 140-A, Holden, Missouri 64040.
JOHN FLOYD KING, 70, Kings, Illinois, died March 28, 1981, at 9:45 p.m. from a massive heart attack at his lifetime home where he was born. His sudden death came as a great shock to his family, neighbors, friends and steam show associates. He was a member of First United Presbyterian Church of Kings, and a charter member of North Central Illinois Steam Power Show, which he helped organize. The annual steam show was held on the King farm several years prior to 1974, at which time the annual show was moved to a permanent site at Hickory-Oaks Farm, two miles east of Davis Junction, Illinois.
Mr. King, commonly known as Floyd, was a lifetime farmer until his retirement from farm work about four years ago. He was the fourth King generation farmer tilling the King Centennial Farm. His son, Dale King, is now farming the ground. Early in life the King families farmed with steam engines and did their threshing that way. Floyd always enjoyed the sound of steam engines and the whistles. He was the operator of George Hedtke's 50 HP Case steam engine annually at steam shows since 1962. Floyd will be greatly missed by his family members, the North Central Illinois Steam Power Show membership group, and others who learned to know him through steam show reunions throughout many states.
Submitted by Emit Svanda, Box 111, Davis Junction, Illinois 61020
CURTIS B. CORBIN, 66, died March 16, 1981 after a short illness. A native of Adams, Kentucky, he was a retired truck driver for Time/D.C. He was a member of the Methodist Church and the Tennessee-Kentucky Threshermens Association. After retiring, Curt drove the lowboy and hauled the engines for our show. He was one of the best in the business and a great help in operating the engines and keeping them running. He was raised on steam as his father owned a 13 HP Nichols & Shepard engine. He lived on a farm until starting to work for the trucking company. One time he was 22 hours hauling a 65 Case engine to the show because of break downs. After unloading the engine he was helping at the saw mill. He was truly an iron man. He was a Mason, member of both York and Scottish Rites, the Eastern Star and Al Menah Shrine Temple. He drove the van for carrying crippled children to and from the Shrine Hospital at Lexington, Kentucky, which was close to his heart. As the Shriners say, 'No man ever stood so tall as when he stoops to pick up a crippled child. He will be missed by his family, to whom he was devoted, his church, his Masonic affiliations, this association to whom he gave so much and his many friends.
Submitted by Billy M. Byrd, 369 S. Harrig Street, Madisonville, Kentucky 42431.