Custom Steam Threshing, End of an Era


| September/October 1992



R.R. 1 Lakeside, Ontario NOM 2G0

Who made the last threshing run powered by a steam engine?

This is a question I've often thought about. We read many articles in IMA about steam shows, threshing reunions and such activities. But nowadays it's mostly for the fun and entertainment. To someone who's actually experienced it as the real thing, sweating it out to help stook (shock up in U.S.) 40 acres of wheat all in one field, then helped thresh it, these shows seem kind of like warm-ups for supper! It's good, but my, not as good as it was when fresh! I was born in 1943 in Holmes County, Ohio to Levi and Mary Stutzman. There were four boys and four girls in our family and we boys were all fond of steamers.

Dad had fired an old 60 Case for his brother Noah when he was a lad. They did custom threshing but the engine was nearly worn out and the coal was poor. Dad had quite a time to keep steam up. Uncle Noah used to say, 'We threshed this way yesterday, we can thresh again today!'

When Noah finally sold the old Case, they drove it to the junk yard. On the way, the smoke stack fell off!

After getting married, Dad owned a 19 HP Baker for a while but sold it to Mose Shetter. It fired really hard. In those days there were still lots of better engines around.