L. to r. Posterior view of Chuck Bisel, Arnie Friesen and Editor Bill Paulson- cleaning the side of The Minneapolis Four. Clarence Hovdet is underneath cleaning off the spokes! Courtesy of Butterfield Advocate, Bill Paulson, Editor, Butterfield, Minnesota 56120 We thank Bill Paulson, Editor of the Butterfield Advocate for permission to use the following pictures and article. This was written this summer before the 8th Butterfield Threshing Bee - we think you'll enjoy it. FROM Butterfield Advocate, Bill Paulson, Butterfield, Minnesota 56120
To: A. Korthof, Steam Engineer, Edina, Minn. Mr. Korthof:
As the 8th Butterfield Threshing Bee draws nigh, we again look forward to your taking the controls of our 80 horsepower Minneapolis steam engine. The oats is stacked, the logs are piled, the Bud is on ice awaiting your arrival.
From reliable sources we have been told you are preparing yourself for threshing in Butterfield. We know you have often bragged that with a handful of straw you can build a fire in the Minneapolis steam engine and bring up 100 pounds of steam within an hour. But we think it's a bit pretentious of you to go around Edina at 2 a.m. lighting garbage cans with handfuls of straw to keep in practice.
Here in Butterfield the steam engines are all poised and ready to go, more or less. Belden's fine collection of Case engines looks better than ever - he's got five of them now - and Ewy is polishing his Nichols & Sheppard for the big weekend. Kispert, poor fellow, is having his usual problems with what you call his 'hopeless Case.' He had to repipe the whole engine because some bullheads got in the boiler (our water comes from Butterfield Lake) and then he experienced further problems. He took his water injectors completely apart and when he put them together he had parts left over. If we need extra injector parts we can buy them cheap.
Quite naturally, we look forward to the big Minneapolis being the star of the show with you running it. We've already figured out how to get you to the head of the parade and how to get our engine to the biggest straw stack, because that's where all the people with cameras are. And we're confident you will do this while the engine is spouting black, sooty smoke - a trick which has always endeared you to the folks running the lunch stands.
Most of all, we will revere Saturday night when the fire is banked in the engine and you start telling those same steam engine stories about the good old days. We especially like the one about you waving to Robert Fulton from shore when he launched the first steamboat. That one gets better each year.
One final note. As the picture below indicates, we have been cleaning and painting the big Minneapolis. Not many people around here believed we ever would, so when we started painting we drew quite a crowd. Anyway, now both the boiler and Charlie Bisel are a shiny heat-resistant black. We didn't intend for Charlie to get black, but his paint brush was a little too big.
We know you are not too hot on clean steam engines. You have always said a working engine is a dirty engine. This year, though, we felt it should be cleaned and painted and we've spent a lot of time on it.
To keep it clean we have established the following rules for you:
1. Always dust off the fire box door after pitching coal. 2. Take a clean rag and wipe off the spokes of the wheels after you have moved to a new location. 3. During your idle time, use some Brasso to shine the copper fittings. 4. Always make sure our names on the rear water tender are clean and facing into the sun, so when people photograph them they will have the sun at their backs. These are just a few little rules for the modern engineer.
Sincerely, THE MINNEAPOLIS FOUR (Bisel, Friesen, Hovdet, Paulson-owners of the big Minneapolis)
1975 Butterfield Threshing Bee Dates: August 16 & 17