The Scott-Carver Old Thresher's Association

Case steam engine threshing

Case steam engine threshing at Living History Farms Grain Festival, August 4 - 5 1973. Engine is owned by Walter Krouse of Boone, Iowa. He is assisted by Cliff Peterson of Huxley, Iowa. Courtesy of Art Dickey, 306 W. Anthony, Corydon, Iowa 50060

Art Dickey

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1511 Iglehart, St. Paul, Minnesota 55104

On August 11th and 12th, 1973, the Scott-Carver Old Thresher's Association held their annual Gas and Steam Engine Festival.

The show site is located on a fifty-acre tract of land owned by the association about two miles out of Jordan, Minnesota on Highway 169. This year it is estimated thirty acres of rye and six acres of oats were threshed.

When I attended the show, rye stack threshing was in progress using a 32x54 Case separator, with wing feeder, operated by a heavy-geared 22 HP Advance engine. This fine rig is owned and operated by Bill Olander, who with Ermin Morrell organized the first threshing show at Jordan in 1964.

This year, Jim Mollenhauer, a young engineer, was running Mr. Olander's engine. At the moment, his water supply was low. Ermin Morrell said, 'Give these sharp blasts with the whistle'. He did. People ducked and cringed, but it got results. Bill Sebiech, the water supply man, soon arrived with the tank wagon.

Dennis Ames was the engineer on Ermin Morrell's 22 HP Advance engine. This engine came new to Strous ford, N.D. in 1902. Plowing Dakota land, Mr. Morrell's father used the engine when he plowed two sections of land every year for twelve years. In 1964, Mr. Morrell talked with Tony Baumgartner and Jake Bauman, sons of the original first owners, who couldn't believe the engine was still in operation.

Oats were threshed with a Gopher thresher. This machine was built at New Prague, Minnesota in the 1920's. Although they did a satisfactory job of threshing, competition with the big companies eventually caused the factory to close.

The lumber saw, protected from the weather by a new roof built over it, was busy during the two days of the show. Frank Boehne was in charge of the sawing. Power for sawing was supplied by Florian C. Karl operating Ermin Morrell's 16 HP Advance, Joe Sully with his 22 HP Advance, besides other engineers who wanted to use their engines.

Ralph Kerkow's steel Rosenthal corn shredder, husked corn and blew the fodder in a pile. His 10-20 McCormick Deering tractor ran the shredder. Earn corn from the operation was shelled in an old wooden sheller owned by Ray Harris. It was then ground in a burr mill owned by Arlen Petersen. The sheller and the mill were both powered by gas engines.

Rueben Boettcher's shingle mill was operated by Arlen Petersen.

Several steam and gas tractors took turns pulling an 8-bottom John Deere plow in a nearby stubble field. Among the tractors used were John Schoening's 35-70 Minneapolis gas tractor, Walt Zimmerman's 65 HP Case steamer, and Bill Olander's 1910 Advance steamer.

About sixty gas engines were on display by members of the association and independent collectors. Some of these were used in various demonstrations. One of these was log cutting with a drag saw.

A total of seven steam traction engines were available to furnish: power at the show. Comprising the list was Erwin Morrell's 22 HP Advance, his 16 HP Advance, a 1906 Russell formerly owned by the late Art Krueger of Belle Plaine, operated by Rudi Adams, John Schoneing's 50 HP Case, Joe Sully with his 22 HP Advance, Walt Zimmerman's 65 HP Case, and Bill Olander's 22 HP Advance.

In the steam model exhibit, Walter Dehn of Rogers, Minnesota, brought his 8-24 Model Case steamer. Eisner Machacek of Northfield was there with his scale model of a 1915 65 HP Case.

The Jordan steam fire engine of 1889, now completely restored, was operated both days.

In a new building housing stationary steam engines, is a stationary center, crank 110 HP Leffel engine, two 10 HP vertical Troy engines, a 1 HP German made engine, a steam-powered centrifuge from a creamery which is really a milk tester, and a small model steam engine, all run from a common steam boiler. The Leffel, the Centerfuge and the model steam engine are owned by Reuben Boettcher of Jordan, who is also the chief engineer of the building. Inside this building was displays of brass and iron oil cups along with others. There were also working displays of soap making, quilt making, wood turning, etc. While Ray Lins and Jack Strand said they were firemen for the 30 HP boiler, they intend to obtain steam engineer licenses soon.

In the gas and oil tractor exhibit, one of the highlights was John Schoening's 35-70 Minneapolis gas tractor. It is newly restored and shown for the first time. There was Ray Harris's 8-16 International gas tractor and several other John Deeres, Allis-Chalmers and Farmalls. Ralph Altenweg of Dayton brought his 14-28 Advance-Rumely Oil Pull. Other tractors were Marvin Boettcher's 30-60 Aultman and Taylor, Mike Kovich's 1928 Lauson, Frank Boehne's 1937 Allis-Chalmers, Ray Pearson's 1924 Nichols and Shepard, Ralph Kerkow's 1927 McCormick-Deering 10-20 and many others.

The participation of many members of Anoka Branch 12 of the 'Early Days Gas and Tractor Association' was very much appreciated by the Scott-Carver group. Among those who worked and displayed items at the show, were Walter Dehn of Rogers who brought his 8-24 model Case steamer, Ralph Altenweg of Dayton who brought his 14-28 Advance-Rumely Oil Pull tractor, and George Benson, Ernest and Marvin Zepfi, Adrain Milless, Ron Westphal and John Altenweg who brought gas engines and worked at the show. Ralph Kinser also of Anoka Branch 12, brought his 1915 Standard tractor and cultivator.

The Bill Hennes family was all there in early 1900 dress. They brought their 1925 Model T fire chief's car, their 1938 Dodge sedan, and their Standard Twin garden tractor, as usual.

Other cars and trucks included the 1928 Mack .owned by the association, a 1916 GMC truck owned by Erich Schuft of Brownton, a 1930 Model A pickup, owned by Bill Schoening and several others. Lee Bundy had a very nicely restored 1951 two-ton GMC truck with an operating Tom Thumb gas engine and a display board of old tools on it.

Bill Sebiech, besides hauling water to the steamers, brought his F 14 Farmall and operated his WITTE drag saw.

Fred Spear of Belle Plaine drove a beautiful team of horses hitched to a high wagon.

Tractors, both steam and gas, took turns belted to the Baker fan and balancing on the teeter-totter. I saw Joe Sully doing a near perfect job with his 22 HP Advance on the latter.

Barrel racing with Shetland ponies and Roman Chariot racing was enjoyed by all on Sunday afternoon. This event was put on by the Belle Plaine Prairie Charioteers. The spirited ponies and colorful costumes of the drivers made a good show.

Live music on Sunday afternoon was supplied by Lenny's Concertina Band of New Prague. Arlen Petersen announced the parade each day. A demonstration of an old time Western gunfight quick-draw shooting was put on each day by a group sponsored by the Stage Coach Inn of Savage, Minnesota. The Minneapolis Aqua Jester Clowns visited the show on Sunday afternoon.

We have all heard the expression, 'The show must go on', and we realize that everything sooner or later comes to an end. This of course applied to our stay on this earth. So I was shocked when Florian C. Karl told me of two deaths that occurred during the last year. One was Arthur Krueger of Belle Plaine, a long time member of the Scott-Carver Association. His kind personality is missed by all who knew him. The other was Tom Zahratka of Montgomery, a long-time associate of the late Joseph T. Rynda Jr., (Steam Engine Joe); he became one of the leading steam hobbyists of the midwest shows. I know that the members of the Scott-Carver Association join all of us who knew these men in a tribute of respect, as well as our heartfelt sympathy for their loved ones left to mourn their loss.

Officers of the Scott-Carver Old Thresher's Association are: Marvin Boettcher of Lydia, president; Ron Scott of Jordan, Vice president; Reuben Boettcher of Jordan, treasurer; and Arlen Petersen of St. Louis Park, secretary. There are fifty-one active members.

The Saturday attendance was approximately 1500 and between five and six thousand on Sunday including all of the kids.

Registered in the guest book were peopleĀ from Nebraska, Connecticut, California, West Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois, Washington, Saskatchewan, Oregon, New Mexico, Arizona, Puerto Rico and England.

The Scott-Carver Association considers the show very successful and are looking to the future with optimism.