Content Tools

WILLIAM F. SIEVERT, 'Oil Pull Bill,' of Canby, Minnesota, died on December 16, 1993 at age 98.

Bill was born February 19, 1895 at Worth, Illinois to Frank and Wilhelmine (Benck) Sievert.

He and Marie Weseloh were married in 1931 in Blue Island, Illinois. Bill and his brother operated an auto repair service at Oak Lawn, Illinois. In 1939, the couple moved to Princeton, Illinois, where they farmed for several years. Marie passed away in 1981; in 1982 Bill was married to Amanda Benck Schmidt. He was active in Our Saviours Lutheran Church, Canby.

Bill was a member of the Small Engines Antique Club at Atkinson, Illinois. He enjoyed showing his Rumely tractor at the Atkinson and Pontiac, Illinois, shows. Bill's article, 'My Life With the Rumely Oil Pull,' was featured in the The Iron-Men Album, January/February 1992 issue.

He is survived by his wife, Amanda; granddaughter Leslee Beams Stacker and her husband David; son-in-law Delmar Beams; sister Hermine Holm; stepson Loren Schmidt and his wife Darlene; stepdaughter Aria Lage and her husband Jim; seven step grandchildren; and eight step great-grandchildren.

Submitted by Amanda Sievert, 201 7th St., W., Canby, MN 56220.

DR. WILLIAM HAROLD BAILEY of St. Louis, Missouri, died January 29, 1993 at the age of 86.

'Doc' Bailey showed his 1/3 scale steam engine (built by the late Ralph Shelburn of Indiana) for 20 years at the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. He also showed it at the Owensville, Missouri, Threshers Association, and the Mark Twain Old Threshers Association shows, among others. He also owned a full-sized Minneapolis steam engine and a scale model Aultman-Taylor gas engine (also built by Shelburn). We, the family, are very happy to report that the Minneapolis is being accepted by the Mt. Pleasant Association as a donation in his memory.

One of the best 'golden' stories of Doc's early threshing days is that of his wearing gloves throughout the threshing process on the family farm, back when he was 'kid' in medical school. He needed to protect his hands for his medical work . . . but evidently he got a lot of ribbing for them being lily-white!

Dr. Bailey's wife of more than 50 years, Virginia, who attended almost all the shows with him, has also passed away, on August 14, 1992.

Submitted by granddaughter Laura S. Neuman, 3729 Humphrey St., St. Louis, Missouri 63116.

GLENNA V. KUNTZ, 78, rural Abilene, Kansas, died November 4, 1993.

Mrs. Kuntz was born Glenna V. Sexton on August 24, 1915 at Salomon, Kansas. She and her husband had worked at the Lester Roloff Mission in Texas, and were active in distributing Gideon Bibles in New York City and Washington, D.C. They were active charter members of the Central Kansas Flywheels of Salina. Glenna worked diligently with food preparation and crafts.

Survivors include her husband Earl; two sons, Darrel and his wife Charlotte, and Dennis and his wife Diana; a brother, Ivan Sexton; a sister, Thelma Long necker; five grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Submitted by Ewald D. Lofdahl, 134 Harrison, Lindsborg, Kansas 67456.

ALFRED (TINY) BABER, Waupun, Wisconsin, died January 24, 1993. He was born September 17, 1909, son of Ernest Emil and Minnie Johns Baber. In 1933 he married Mae Tjepkema, who for several years had a column in Iron Men Album.

Mr. Baber farmed in the Township of Waupun from 1933 until retirement in 1969. He was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Waupun.

Mr. Baber was an active antique and steam engine enthusiast, collector and trader. Like so many of the men born in the early 1900s, steam was in his blood. The mix of steam, burning coal and steam oil seemed to be somewhat intoxicating. He owned a number of engines, the first being a 65 Case which he purchased in the mid-1950s. He later owned a 28 Minneapolis, 80 Case, a Buffalo Pitts, an Advance and others.

I remember the day he brought the 65 Case home. He had a head of steam when we came home from school. Being normal kids, we all had to try our hand at the whistle. Later we found approximately 75 dead pullets in the brooder house as these birds have a tendency to pile up and suffocate in corners when frightened.

Survivors include three sons, James and his wife Phyllis; John and his wife Barbara; Daniel and his wife Andrea; two daughters: Virginia Jansen; Mary Harmann and her husband Thomas; 16 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and one sister, Mildred Radke.

Submitted by Wesley Rankin, N 68 W 23784 Laurie Ln., Sussex, Wisconsin 53089.

KENNETH KIECKER, of Hector, Minnesota, died January 29, 1992.

He was interested in steam engines and gas tractors, which he collected and operated for 20 years.

Submitted by Harold Kiecker, RR 1, Box 34, Hector, Minnesota 55342-9717.

ROBERT FINIS DONALD ST. JOHN, 79, of Guntersville, Alabama, passed away November 5, 1993. Although his health had been failing during the last few years, his passing came from a massive heart attack.

Finis was well known in all the southeastern states for his participation in antique steam and gas engine shows. He was a member of a number of antique engine and tractor clubs. He enjoyed going to the shows, visiting with old friends, talking about and showing his engines, and swapping jokes.

Finis had a huge collection of engines of many kinds and makes. His knowledge of steam operation was unsurpassed by anyone that I have known. With his passing, a world of knowledge has now gone on. No longer can we fellow enthusiasts call on him for the help we sometimes need in this hobby. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, fellow collectors, and all who knew him.

Finis is survived by his wife Melba; daughters Katherine Pettus, Jane Owens, and Robbie Champion; one stepson, six grandchildren, and five sisters.

Submitted by Burton Marsh, 2507 S.W. Rockhouse Rd., Madison, Alabama 35758.

FRANCIS DAY, 72, of Andover, Ohio, passed away on August 27, 1993. Francis was one of the founding members of the Ashtabula County Antique Engine Club. He was also an active member of the Pioneer Steam and Gas Engine Society.

Francis was an avid collector of many types of items, including tools, gas engines, tractors, farm equipment, and also steam. Francis also devoted his time, knowledge, and equipment to the engine club and to various community activities. Francis and his wife of 45 years, Marie, could be found visiting shows from New York to Florida, touring with his home power washing machines.

He will be greatly missed. He enriched the lives of all he met, and his memory and love of steam and gas engines will live on for a long time to come. Thanks, Dad!

Submitted by Paul Day, 10 Capewood Rd. #290, Simpsonville, South Carolina 29681.

Avid steam engine enthusiast DURWARD G. STEINMETZ, La-Farge, Wisconsin, died October 9, 1993, seven days short of his 77th birthday.

His first steam engine, a 40 HP Case, was purchased to steam tobacco beds. That same engine, as well as a 24 HP Minneapolis and a 110 HP Case, were later used to run a sawmill.

Dad made sorghum for years, using steam from the engine piped through the sorghum pan to boil away the excess water. He had been attending thresher reunions for 40 years. Many will remember him running the shingle mill and steam engines at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

In addition to his wife, Koletta, he is survived by daughters Peggy Pasker and Jill Nale; four grandchildren; brothers Kennard and Clarence; and his father-in-law, Ernest Lawrence.

This summer Durward had his first steam engine out and running to celebrate 50 years of owning it. He planned to get it out again this fall and invite his close steam engine friends to come. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

Submitted by the Steinmetz family: Koletta Steinmetz, Peggy, Dan and Christie Pasker, and Jill, Carmen and Travis Nale.

RAY JONES, Sunman, Indiana, died September 24, 1993, at age 94. He had been president of the Pioneer Engineers Club of Indiana, Inc., at Rushville, Indiana, for 22 years.

Everyone loved Ray, as a steam enthusiast and as a friend. He epitomized the true lover of steam and did everything in his power to keep the steam memories alive. When he retired from the Pennsylvania Railroad, he helped organize the Pioneer Engineers Club.

He was a familiar fixture at the Rushville show each August, greeting old friends, pumping water, carting garbage cans, or organizing the Sunday afternoon steam engine parade, then on Monday morning after the show he was always there to help clean up the grounds.

Ray was featured as 'Iron Man of the Month' in the March/April 1973 issue of IMA. He was proud of this honor and showed everyone the article when it came out.

Ray owned several engines, the first being a Peerless Geiser which he threshed with as a boy. His favorite was a Russell, and that was the last engine he owned.

Ray will be missed very much by the members of the Pioneer Engineers Club, as he was dedicated to preserving the hard-core steam nucleus, yet welcomed the internal combustion segment of old gas engines and tractors.

He is survived by two nieces and hundreds of beloved friends, all of whom will miss him.

Submitted by Mrs. Marjorie Ross, P.O. Box 44, Paragon, Indiana 46166.