| July/August 1958

Halstead, Kansas

Mr. Le Roy Blaker's article in the March-April ALBUM, in regard to the A. D. Baker fan contest at the Threshermen's Convention at Wichita, Kansas, in April 1907. I was at that convention and saw that contest. I was 24 years old at that time, and there are some other men living here, who were at that convention and saw the fan contest.

At every steam engine reunion at Wichita, Kansas some men come telling about the Baker-Huber contest. Some were not old enough at the time of the convention to tell a fan from a cider press, and all they know is what someone has told them. I have asked them if they were there, or if they saw that contest. They would always say that they only knew what someone had told them.

I lived near Newton, Kansas for some years. Prairie Queen Mfg. Co., at Newton, which is 30 miles north of Wichita, Kansas, were general agents for A. D. Baker Co., for Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas from 1903 until 1917 when they quit business. I knew the superintendent from the time I was 8 years old. I was around that place quite often. I also handled and did repair work on Baker engines.

A. D. Baker and Prairie Queen Co., took 3 Baker engines and 2 Prairie Queen separators and the Baker fan to the 1907 convention. I have a picture of it all loaded on the cars beside the building-a 16 hp., a 20 hp., Standard, and a 20 hp. Special. A man named Albeck-on the 20 Standard Engine, and a man named Balderson on the 16 hp. engine. The convention was held on what was called the hay market. I recall Mr. H. C. Miller of Cherokee, Iowa, being there, and I am quite sure he was running an A. D. Baker Agency at Cherokee, 

Iowa. Anyway he was a Baker Agent. His affidavit, regarding that contest, was for the A. D. Baker Engines. I am not partial to any one engine. It didn't matter to me who won. Mr. H. C. Miller has the Russell 25 hp. The Russell Co., had two 20 hp. Russell engines on the grounds. One had a boiler compound feeder on it that some Boiler Compound people were demonstrating feeding compound in that engine. They put it on the fan and it blew water all over everyone. They put the other one on the fan and it turned the fan 6 RPM more than the 20 hp. Baker Standard. Mr. Miller didn't tell that. The 16 hp. Huber turned the fan 730 RPM. The man on the Huber was Le Roy Keller.