The Rough and Tumble Engineers, of Kinzers, Pa., oldest organization of its kind in the East, will mark its 35th anniversary this summer with special recognition of Arthur S. Young, who led in its formation.
R&T began as a 'thresher men's reunion' in 1948 on the grounds of Young's farm equipment sales establishment on the Lincoln Highway. Those attending had so good a time they decided to keep getting together for an annual event, and later formed the Rough and Tumble Engineers Historical Association.
Art Young is credited with saving many an antique engine from the scrap heap, as well as convincing federal authorities not to pull in the old iron for World War II scrap drives.
When Young kept the ancient steamers on his grounds, someone spotted them from a train on the main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad and reported them to the government. Officials descended on Young to demand answers why was he keeping the engines from being converted into wartime material?
He took them around his grounds, telling them how he had supplied parts from these aged machines to keep wartime engines running. He also noted that old angle irons from engines had been taken to the Armstrong Cork Co. plant in Lancaster, to be put up for hanging newly painted products to dry in the defense area of the factory.
The 'feds' not only refrained from hammering down on Young; they also went beyond writing him up and giving him a citation for his effort in conservation, and in recycling old machinery to aid the war effort.
That's the way it's recalled by his son Everett, who is an active R&T member. You might say that his dad was a diplomat.
Because Young saved the engines, they were available for distribution later. From the 80 steam pieces on his grounds, many were eventually purchased by collectors and today are in many parts of the East, very important engines prized by owners and organizations. Young's foresight and insistence were worthwhile.
Arthur S. Young with his Avery. Young was a good friend of Rev. Elmer Ritzman, founder of /MA, and wrote a column for the magazine. (courtesy Lancaster New Era)
One of his engines, an Avery, which he operated on the threshing circuit, is today property of R&T, and the organization seeks to restore it. The project was recommended by Otis Astle, who urged that it be put back in running order. Because of deterioration of the boiler, the state inspector would no longer give it approval, forcing it into retirement.
Astle urged that the boiler be replaced with either a new one or a remanufactured one, and that other repairs be made, and the engine be painted so that it looks like new. Then it is to be dedicated as a running memorial to Arthur S. Young.
As so often happens with the person who has a good idea, Astle was made chairman of a committee to raise funds and so a campaign is underway. Estimate of cost is $8,000. Thus far, over $1,200 has been raised.
Guy B. Stauffer is president of R&T, which is planning big doings for its 35th anniversary event in August, as one of the oldest reunions in the nation. Young Memorial Fund gifts should be sent to R&T, Box 9, Kinzers, Pa. 17535.