Meeting deadlines is to spur action. At any rate a lotta water went under the bridge since last scanning any notes. Seems this needed rain, rooms time to sit down and relax. A thanks to the many who stopped in to visit us and also to the many hosts in retrospect to our various jaunts.
Independence day we normally steam up and fortunately others joined us to play around and sip a cup of coffee. Mr. and Mrs. Donald Fern and Keith from Hammond and Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Mickelson, Jim and Jerry from Cadott. Here too were Alice's sister and family.
Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bieritz from Yorkville, I11., vacationing up this way stopped in. Seems he is still in pursuit of a 10-18 Case cross-mounted to round out his collection.
A thanks to Wm. Herpst and Harold Churchill from Elmwood who took us out for supper in mid July and Wm. presented me with a 1907 Montgomery Ward catalog.
Broke up some virgin soil with my Rock Island tractor and Lon Maugans wood beam breaker, Lon said it was fun.
The Erling Eldens from Oslo got talking Norway with Alice, and of course us Scandinavians had to have our coffee. (By the way this Oslo is in Minn.)
Drifted over into Minnesota: had lead on several gas engines and a 'like-new' McDeering corn shredder on steel. Being successful bidder, I again engaged Carl Mortenson to do the hauling. He has an ideal trailer with long tilting bed and winch, with tandem house-trailer wheels and pulled by a Studebaker motor in Ford pickup. Local or long distance hauling together with his garage work keeps him busy. He has restored a rare 1 hp Monarch gas engine and now working on his 20-30 Wallis tractor.
Harvey and Esther Obrecht from Thor, Iowa drove in as we were about to binder some oats. Harvey hops on the 'B' J-D and said he enjoyed cutting grain - recalled how on the first round the flywheel would throw oat kernels as we moved along.
July 27 - Charley and Hilda Harrison of Fredericktown, Ohio stopped over on a trip from Canada, and had visited the Austin Museum show. Here is a story yet to be told. They witnessed the first time an 1884 steam traction engine was fired up since leaving the factory. It was acquired by the museum from some farm building and in near new condition. The engine was a N C Peterson, manufactured in Saine, Ontario. Charlie sent me a picture of same and the man on the photo had the honor to build the finest fire. We hope that a complete story on this engine will find its way into the Album at some future date.
It came to my attention not long ago that Nichols & Shepard Co. made Red River 'Standard' threshers too. Buell Opdahl, an auctioneer from Emmons, Minn., has one, a 20' and not in good shape, anyone Interested?
Was down to Milltown to get a paint kit for our Case Eagle and some gasket material for engines. George Christian was along and introduced me to the towns original Smithy, Martin Mickelson. He built his blacksmith shop in 1902, the 4th building in town, and lives in a brick house he built in 1903. Some years ago his shop was badly in need of repairs, but since he was paying just as much taxes on that time-tested remains as others were paying on $14,000 homes he tore it down instead; but his business still goes on. He had shod a horse that very morning. He tells me he has used up 8,000 pounds of horse shoe nails in his over 60 years of shoeing. There too on the cement floor was a dozen or more newly pointed plow shares. Says he is one of the few left, who forges plow shares, not welds. He is indeed an interesting character at 85, and gave me a new horse shoe for good luck.
Burnett Omvig, a car mechanic from Fairmont, Minn. brought his son to a boy Scout camp east of Luck. He then came on over for a visit. (Have known him since back in '35 when Joe Martin and I picked corn in the Story City, la., vicinity). It happened I had my 24' wood Huber thresher belted to my Waterloo Boy to run a load of oats thru for cow feed, but due to the pulley sizes we were obliged to use our 12-25 Rock-Island to get more speed. Said Burnett, 'threshing oats for the first time in 20 years was like old times again' and was wishing he had his youngest son along.
Aug. 16, To Almelund Thresh Bee, where I was privileged to man Dennie Magnuson's 8 x 12 Russell belted to a 32' Huber thresher. A good show it was and a big crowd. Helping drive the Russell back to Dennie's farm was Alois Berchens and Ronnie Gjerning. All went well until we were to take the short-cut along a field, when a car pulled up and some city slicker son-in-law jumps out with fire in his eye, 'You are not driving that thing over this land, etc.' Before 1 could even explain or say we were sorry, his wife was there too and puts the heat on him, 'You are not starting any trouble here, these are our neighbors and besides driving along that fence a forty ain't hurting nothing.' and well so that's the way we went.
Threshing here the next day - steam of course - and Case at that, a 9 x 10 and 20 bar. At engine end, Jim Johnson, 'The Corliss Kid' from Park Ridge, I11. On the thresher, Tom Thompson from New Auburn, at the bagger August Peterson from Shell Lake, Hauling grain, Harry Schacht from Eau Clarie and pitching bundles, Mary Geske and Karen Johnson from Chicago and other help including neighbors.
Made a trip to Bruce to visit Ray Wood and see his collection of old tractors and gas engines. Among other items collected he has a Howell dragsaw set up ready to belt to some 'one lunger'. One rare engine he has is a 5 hp Bloomer manufactured in anear by town of same name, perhaps a half century ago. Now I am wondering how that town got its name.
From Hudson came a couple of steam fans, Robert Millin and his son-in-law Ben McDearmid. Robert has owned several steam rigs and still loves steam. As a young man raised at Patch Grove, he threshed with Advance engine around Woodman, later at Sisseton S. Dak. and plowed with steam near Hettinger. His boiler knowledge and experiences would make a book, I'd like to have. Am looking forward to an extended visit with him.
Was over to Stan Petersons at Shell Lake. He threshed with a 15-25 Oil-pull and J-D thresher. We always enjoy going to the Petersons. Had Stan saw out a couple 6x6 oak timbers for my 5 hp Galloway saw rig. Stan does precision work and takes orders for most anything in timber.
Aug. 20. Got a phone call from John Nelson of Almena. He was sawing with his 20-60 Case No. 29132 with Gould balanced valve; and Enterprise sawmill. I stopped at Lon Maugans to borrow his 'Converter' so I could run 300' tape recording of my car battery since John's mill-site is some distance from any electricity. This engine is in very nice shape and they were sawing some 16' red oak logs scaling around 300 feet per.
Took in the Pioneer Threshers Reunion at Eau Claire. Here was a nice display of 5 big engines including Nyle Kurths 65 Case No. 33373. Some 25 gas engines, a hot air engine and several old tractors including Jim Thills nicely restored 25 hp single cylinder Int. Mogul, Leo Welners 30-60 Oilpull turned the Baker fan well over 500 RPMs. Smaller steamers were busy with minature sawmill, feed Warren Doan of St. Paul with his portable Frick belted to a fan. grinder, corn cutter and here too was That takes us up to this point where I terminate this issue of reminiscing. Gil