BENH. CROMMETT of Varwich, North Dakota, passed away on April 28, 1978 at the age of 88. He started running steam at the age of 15, doing a lot of threshing with an 80 HP Case steam rig which he owned. He was engineer on a large Case, 110 HP engine with a large plow, helping break up virgin prairie in the early days. He was a very active member of the Central North Dakota Steam Threshers running a steamer every year since the show started. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Submitted by Filo Henssler, McHenry, North Dakota 58464.
ERNA D. WRIGHT, 63, of 410 Guy Street, Linwood, Michigan, passed away June 13, 1978 in Bay City Hospital after a long illness. She was a steam engine fan, and was a long time member of the National Threshers Association and the Old Time Threshers and Sawmill Operators. She also attended many of the other steam shows. She will be greatly missed by her many steam friends. Submitted by Mae Phipps, Box 76, Palmyra, Michigan 49268.
BERNARD KLEINSCHMIDT, born in Calumet, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, on September 19, 1901, passed away at his home at 196 South Seymour Street, on July 11, 1978. He worked at the sheet metal trade for 55 years and had his own sheet metal business at his home for 40 years. Formerly active in the Wisconsin Steam Antique Engine Club, he had his own show at his farm for 8 years. He was the proud owner of many gasoline engines and had a Minneapolis steamer and thresher, and also a five sweep horsepower which he restored. He had quite a few antique cars, including a 1911 Model T and a 1913IHC High wheeler, also restored by him.
He will be sadly missed by his wife and many friends. Submitted by Clarence Mirk, 2362 North 85th Street, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin 53226.
HARRY W. PIPHER, 74,ofR. R. 1, Orleans, Indiana, suffered a fatal heart attack while working in his motorcycle and tractor shop on July 11, 1978. His father had owned and operated a Huber steam engine and Harry was always a faithful assistant at sawmilling and during threshing season.
The morning of July 11, Harry had just posted the Rushville, Indiana Show posters and had planned to attend the following Sunday. He had been working on restoring a L. C. Huber tractor. The Iron Men Album magazine was always his favorite. Submitted by Mrs. Harry W. Pipher, R. R. 1, Orleans, Indiana.
CHARLES SPRINGER, 63, died in Seattle, Washington, on August 6, 1978. Born on December 30,1914 in Sioux City, Iowa, he came to Peshastin, Washington while quite young. At the time of death, he was owner-operator of a Peshastin garage and was an excellent mechanic and was quite familiar with gas and steam engines. He also built a battery powered electric 0-4-0, 12' gauge locomotive engine. It was patterned after one of the Burlington-Northern type engines. Submitted by Walt Thayer, Box 2175, Wenatchee, Washington 98801.
ALF L. ELDEN, rural Oslo, Minnesota passed away at age 78, on July 30, 1978, after a short illness.
Alf spent many years developing a collection of antique machinery, most of which are in operating condition. He also built the Elden Museum located on his farm and operated the Red River Steam Threshing Bee from 1954 to 1972. He was the author of a periodical article, 'Red River Valley Kernels' the first of which appeared in the July-August 1966 issue of The Iron Men Album. He was always very interested in threshing bees and talking about the events in 'the old days.' He had an unusually good memory of details. After the last threshing bee held on the farm, he kept himself occupied with one project or another in the restoration of his collection. One of his favorite past times was operating his Norwegian sawmill single handed!
In fact, the day he became ill for the last time, he was sawing lumber for a building to house a much larger sawmill which he purchased some years ago.
Thanks to all engineers, threshing bee and museum helpers and other friends who helped make his hobby so enjoyable for him. Submitted by son, Ole A. Elden, Route 1, Oslo, Minnesota 56744.
LOTS OF STEAM
The largest steam locomotives ever seen on American railroads were introduced by Union Pacific in 1941. The engine and tender combined weighed a million and a quarter pounds and were more than 132 feet long. Called 'Big Boys,' these engines could pull freight trains 5 miles long, says the National Geographic Society's book, 'Railroads: The Great American Adventure.'