148 Center Street, Waverly, New York
This is a picture of my grandfather John C. Mix on a Lang and Reynolds 10 hp. engine taken on the Menzie farm on the hill about three miles north of Willseyville, N. Y., in the fall of 1894.
This engine was made in Ithaca, N. Y., about 1878. It was horse steered when it was new. This engine ran a saw mill until it was swapped in on a larger one when it was taken back to the factory and the steering gear put on before my grandfather and Lauren Stevens bought this engine and a thresher, about 1887 or '88.
There was no steam dome on this engine. The steam pipe came out of the front of the boiler and went up through the smoke stack nearly to the top to help dry the steam. My father, who passed away June 23, 1944 at the age of 70, used to run this engine a lot at the age of 15 years and he used to say that it was very hard to keep the water from going over into the cylinder when going down hill. This engine had a pin in the belt wheel instead of a friction clutch for traveling. It also had wooden wheels which you will note in the picture. My grandfather and Lauren Stevens used this engine to thresh grain and bale hay and straw until about 1895 or '96, when my grandfather sold his part to a Charles Hamilton and Lauren sold his part to John Munroe.
They in turn sold it to two men near Brookton, N. Y., whose names I have not been able to find out. This village is known today as Brooktondale.
My uncle, Jesse Drake, who is shown in the small picture that was taken in January 1955, and who passed away March 23, 1955, at the age of 81, bought this engine from the two men near Brookton in 1889 and used it to thresh grain, bale hay and straw and run a saw mill until 1902 when he sold it for $50.00 for junk. He told me that this engine had done a lot of hard work and was really worn out when he junked it.
The name of Lang and Reynolds might cause some arguments among some of the readers of this story but to stop all such arguments I will explain that Reynolds died and then Lang took his son-in-law Button in as a partner and it was known as the Lang and Button engine works as long as they made steam engines.
I got the large picture from my uncle Lewis Mix who was 78 years old in January 1955. He lives about 3 miles above Willseyville, N. Y., at the county line just above what used to be my grandfather's farm and in the same house that I was born in on August 5, 1902. The house was in Tioga County and the barn was in Tompkins County then, but due to the state road being changed this has been changed somewhat, but it is still the same house.
My grandfather, Lauren Stevens, and my father used to thresh grain, bale hay and straw for weeks in Michigan Hollow which is between Danby and North Spencer, N. Y. But today there is not one house or barn left in that Hollow which is the same as a lot more parts of our country today.