1909 30 HP Avery #4019 owned by Ed Hurd of Byron, MI, taken at National Threshers, Wauseon, Ohio.
Box 92 Portersville, Pennsylvania 16051
I recently bought some old Iron Men Albums from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. There were so many great articles and pictures from these magazines and I was quite pleased that I had bought them. There were all kinds of stories from many wonderful men who have passed away. Men like Marcus Leonard, Leroy Blaker, Charlie Harrison, E. C. McMillan, and so many others. It saddens me to read each IMA that has the Golden Roll printed in it. I would have given anything to have met these great men who started the real steam shows.
Of course, I only go to the shows to see the steam engines and talk to the steam buffs. I have been to a few shows that say they have steam engines, only to find out when I get there that they only have John Deeres and big flea markets. Fortunately, there are many good shows that have good engineers and they know how to work their engines. A perfect example of a great steam show was the Mississippi Valley Steam Show located in La Motte, Iowa. This show was started in the early 50s by the late Justin J. Hingtgen who owned 30 some engines. At this 3-day show, you would have seen Harry Wood man see going up the incline on Ray Kemerer's 15 HP Case, or Justin's 1910 110 HP Case pulling a 14 bottom plow with Harry at the throttle.
1910 35 x 120 HP Nichols & Shepard #11149 and a 1912 110 HP Case#28668.1 have run the 110 at this show now for three years.
Steam engine men come from all over the Midwest to run Justin's engines. Fortunately, I have met a few of these men like George Hedtke of Davis Junction, Illinois; Durward Steinmetz of LaFarge, Wisconsin; and of course, Harry Wood mans ee himself. It was a pleasure to see Harry at the Mason, Michigan Show and he told me a lot about Justin and his engines. Mason is one of the best shows anyone could attend. They always have four or five engines working at one time. I cannot write of any experiences about the 'good ole days' with steam engines, since I am only 19 years old, but I have been to many fine shows such as Mason, Michigan; Rollag, Minnesota; Wauseon, Ohio; and our own show here in Portersville, mile from my home. My parents told me that in the mid 1970s, when I was four or five, they took me to the show here in Portersville and a fellow blew the whistle and I just smiled for some reason! I've been in love with steam ever since! I do not own any engines yet, but I am looking forward to that day when I get one. I also hope to own a 110 HP Case someday, and I will restore it to the way Justin had his a real working engine.
I hope you engine owners and steam buffs will write letters of your experiences.