An Aultman At Austin's


| November/December 1997



Steam traction engine

6230 East 81st N. Idaho Falls, Idaho 83401

Here is some stuff for your magazine that should provide some interesting reading for your subscribers, and hopefully some reader feedback to me as well.

First, I had wanted a traction engine for as long as I can remember, and I spied an ad in your magazine for a 16 HP Aultman-Taylor for sale by Knute Kirkberg, in California. A call to Knute brought the information that the engine was at Austin Monk's panoramic ranch northwest of Kalispell, Montana.

After a call to Knute and calls to Austin for information, I talked to my good friend Jim Matson from Columbia Falls, Montana and he helped a lot by going to Austin's and giving the Aultman a first hand eyeballing.

After some phone negotiations to Knute, during which I was made aware of all the problems anyone knew of with the engine, a deal was made and now 1 had a traction engine. I negotiated with another friend from Ogden, Utah, Carl Nelson, of Nelson Crane Service to take his semi up to Montana and haul the Aultman home for me.

I mention all these people and their locations and contributions not only because I am in their debt, but because I think it epitomizes what is so great about this hobby; the old time values of being able to take people at their word and people helping each other are still alive and well. Here we have one person in Idaho (me), one in California, and several in Montana, one from Michigan, and one in Utah, all working together to get a deal done that is still basically in the handshake stage, and everyone does what they say they will do, and everything is the way they say it is. Too bad we can't ALL run our businesses and our lives like that in this country anymore.