Floyd Beakler with New Huber, Serial Number 10403. Courtesy of Art Dickey, Corydon, Iowa 50060.
Corydon, Iowa 50060.
Some day we South Central, Iowa Laplanders should get together and award our friend, Floyd Beakler, of Humeston, Iowa the crown for the best bird dog in our area when it comes to locating steam engines, old tractors, etc.
Floyd is 47 yrs. old, single and carries around in his pocket a notebook full of addresses, phone numbers, etc. of 'Blondes, Redheads, Brunettes? Huh Uh! Steam engines, tractors, gas engines, etc.'
I think the first time I met Floyd was in the late 50's when I was on some road survey work for our County. I saw smoke coming up and it looked like from a steam engine. It was. I discovered the Beakler sawmill. I'm sure this was a Port Huron engine. There was also an old Rumely oil pull tractor at the sawmill site. These two engines were sold later and are now owned by Albert Eshelman of Elliot, Iowa.
From the time the steamer left, Floyd was never happy and he started hunting a steam engine again. The outstanding feature of Floyd is that he is not like most of us. Me, when I locate something, I try to bury it until I can either get it or have to give it up. Floyd is willing to pass all his information to several. He led Everett Anderson of Humeston to an old Aultman Taylor steam engine down in Missouri and Everett was able to buy it and had it running this summer at local celebrations.
Sometime in 1966, Floyd heard of a New Huber engine out in the neighborhood of Borado, Neb. However, it wasn't for sale. During the time from 1966 to 1972, Floyd took at least 2 other buyers wanting steam engines out to see this engine. Every time the engine was not for sale. However, this year Floyd was lucky and he was able to purchase the engine. The engine is now sitting in the Beakler yard and Floyd is tearing into it. I wasn't able to get a picture of it when he first got it home but I hope to sort of picture the progress of it from now on. The engine serial number is 10403. I like to visit with Floyd because I think he knows every engine and steam engine enthusiast for at least 150 miles every direction. By going out on some of his directions, I have met some fine people, saw some interesting items and heard some good yarns. Following his direction I met Claude Maxwell of Ridgeway, Mo. who with his brother has some interesting items and heard an interesting yarn from Claude about a steam engine and separator completely buried in an old creek. I wish Claude would write this yarn and send it to the Iron Men Album so all you album readers could hear about it. 'Come on Claude, send this yarn in.'
Floyd is also interested in airplanes and has done some flying. He also has interesting old catalogs, etc. On the last trip I made to his place, we got out into one of his shedisall kinds of good old stuff including 3 old John Deere gas engines and things for steam engines that I don't even understand. Floyd also has scads of pictures and I hope I can twist his arm into sending into the album a picture of tombstones of a family of boys killed when an engine exploded. He has all the information on it.
Floyd says that unless the motor sets crossways in the frame a tractor isn't old to him, nevertheless, he told me where there was a good Fordson tractor sitting.
Floyd's father, Cliff Beakler, was an old thresherman and sawmill man and passed this love for old engines on to Floyd. Cliff passed away several years ago. Floyd lives with his mother. He does some sawmilling, runs machinery during busy seasons for various farmers in the locality and is nearly always ready to go help someone where an old engine is concerned.
So, Floyd, get ready, some day we will gather up some old iron and make you a crown to wear as 'Champion Bird-dog of Old Engines'.