| September/October 1967

Box 72, Ray, Indiana 46737

I have just read my January-February Album and would like to write some in regard to things I did and things that happened in my 57 years of threshing, sawmilling and clover hulling and silo filling and husking corn. Also will state that I had the first garage and machine shop in Pittsford, Michigan, Hillsdale County, along with the first gas welder and arc welder. I still have them.

I was born December 8, 1889 and started out threshing at eight, that is I fired my father's 10 H.P. Russell on wood with water monkey splitting the wood as in those days we had no coal. My grandfather, Albert Earl, and my father, Bert Earl, were threshing before I arrived. They had an engine horse drawn, called her old Betsy, and they did build her over to a traction engine, the first one in Hillsdale County, Michigan. That was before my time. The 10 H.P. Russell was the first engine that I can remember.

One time in the spring, father was getting the Russell in shape to go threshing and early one morning, he removed the grater and crawled into the firebox to roll and bead the flues. It was rather warm that day and about noon, father was ready to get out. He could not make it as he weighed about 250 and on the fat order. He rather swelled up in that warm firebox, so to get him out, my mother had him remove his shirt and she greased him up with lard and he finally made it. That was the last for father. It was up to me to do the boiler work and I have been doing that off and on for years.

Along with my brother, Dave A. Earl, now of Coldwater, Michigan, we ran the garage and threshed every fall. My father traveled for Arbuckle & Ryan Toledo selling threshing rigs. At one time I rebuilt engines for Arbuckle & Ryan at Hillsdale. E. E. Edly was in charge of the branch at Hillsdale. In all my threshing and sawmilling, I had the following engines: 20 H.P. Huber return flue single with old trunions on Bull gears; a 16 H.P. Reeves single double engine with standard boiler; a 16 H.P. single Starr; also a 30 H.P. single Russell and a 15 H.P. Huber Wolf Compound, a good little engine. I will tell you about this.

We were hulling clover north and west of Hudson, Michigan, close to LeRoy Blaker's farm at the time. He lived there about 40 years ago. LeRoy saw this little engine and from then on, he wanted to be a steam boy. I think he has made it, don't you? Soon after that I think he purchased a 19 H.P. Port Huron long fellow and was in the business. Some years later he moved to his present farm in Ohio just over the line from Michigan, or 15 miles south of Pittsford, my home town.