A LITTLE STEAM & A LITTLE GAS


| May/June 1978



3196 MacArthur Road, Decatur, Illinois 62526.

Written by Mr. Ken Owings, 4 Golden Gate Avenue, Belvedere, California 94920 who has agreed to share his story with us. It appears here nearly word for word as Mr. Owings related it.

My name is Ken Owings. I was born on a 500 acre farm in Central Illinois 77 years ago. My dad lived on the same farm for over 50 years which was located one mile north and two miles west of Owaneco, Illinois.

As an average boy about 8 years old I recall seeing the threshing machine coming down the road to my father's farm. I was so excited I just had to go down the road to meet it. Just then my dad told me to watch his team of horses that were hitched to a wagon loaded with bundles of wheat hat was more than I could stand. I just had to think of a way to go down the road and meet it. So I decided to tie the horses to a tree about 75 feet away. Instead of leading the horses to the tree, I went into the machine shed and uncoiled 100' of one inch derrick rope used for stacking hay. I tied one end of the rope to the team and the other end to the tree. My father soon saw what I had done and I received a good tamping. I remember he made me put the rope back and by that time the machine was set and threshing. My day was spoiled!

The next year my older brother who was about 21 years old, bought a second-hand threshing rig from a Mr. Joe Tex and his son, Ed. They lived about 3 miles from us. I remember they arrived home about dark. It was a small looking engine single cylinder Star. It had no top and was a greasy looking thing. It had an American Separator tied on behind it.

The separator did not do very good work. At that, we got along with it fairly good. We had a good sized ring but the farmers were not too happy with it. They all liked my brother, so before the next season my father and brother traded it off on a new Reeves outfit. It was a 16 horsepower double cylinder engine along with a 36' 21 bar separator.