ELLERY’S ENGINE

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ON DISPLAY in front of the Apollo Trust Co. is this 1927 model T Ford and a Case steam traction engine built between 1920 and 1923. Both pieces of equipment are owned by Marlin Crownover and are being displayed in conjunction with the 100th Anniversary Ce
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Ellery's Engine and I'd like to think the fellow in the picture is Ellery. Courtesy of Bob Hartwig, 1442 Lincoln Drive, Flint, Michigan 48503.

1442 Lincoln Drive, Flint, Michigan 48503.

Ellery’s an Ivory a Hadley Ivory. And Hadley is about 20
miles cast of Flint, Michigan. Just a little crossroads town of
about 300 folks or so. It almost was 140 years old but turned out
to be only 130 years of age. It’s like this. Around 1830 some
folks settled west of Hemingway Lake, near what is now called
Greenes Corners. Stayed a bit but lost their enthusiasm for one
reason or another. They had problems getting good wells. Ground
directly around there was quite light and sandy. But, most of all,
they couldn’t get used to the manners of the Indians. So far as
I know the Indians were never violent they were just inquisitive.
When the men went out in the fields or woods to work the Indians
wandered around in town looking in the windows or doors to see how
the palefaces were doing. Seems the white folks got a bit nervous
and moved out. About ten years later some folks began a settlement
east of Hemingway Lake about a mile along a creek which was soon
backed up to form a pond. And there was power for the grist mill.
Later, of course, a boiler was installed, then, later a 25 hp.
Fairbanks-Morse. Used to start that with a wooden match. And then
came electricity and now nothing.

Hadley remained quite a town even though both the railroad and
the inter-urban both missed it. Were a number of quite prosperous
and ambitious families around there, one of which was the Ivorys.
Mainly, the Ivorys were farmers, and good ones but farmers often
had other projects too. Ivorys had a small plant or shop to make
brick and tile and such from clay. Bricks with the stamp on them
show up every now and then when someone tears down an old
building.

For power they used a Huber Steam Engine. According to a book
now owned by Carl Goschke who lives in St. Louis, Michigan, which
lists all the Hubers sold in Mich., it had a locomotive type
boiler, No. 4547, was 16 hp., and was sold in 1898. That engine, of
course has long ago gone to its melters.

Now, let’s jump ahead a bit of time. Sometime in the mid
30’s I felt I should know something about photography. This was
depression. We were farmers and way out in the country. What I did
know was that Una Bartenfelder, who had the name of Ivory before
marriage, took lots of pictures, developed her own, and in those
days knew more about the subject than anyone else around there. Una
got me on the road to pictures. And cameras have been mighty
important to me ever since even paid my way thru college.

Some few years later Una passed on and Les, her husband,
gathered up most of her picture stuff and gave it to me. At the
time, I was rather busy so packed the boxes away upstairs. Only a
few weeks ago I dug them out. Interesting was an old box camera
that used glass plates. And in good workable condition. Further
down were some glass plates developed. And then up came the plate,
a negative of course, in an envelope marked ‘Ellery’s
Engine’. I could hardly wait to get downstairs to the darkroom,
put a 3 inch lens and condenser in the Omega and blow it up. Made a
pretty good print. I get a crossing of opinion from whatever
old-timers there are left around Hadley as to whether the fellow in
the picture is Ellery. I’d like to think it is. The Engine was
a 16 hp. Huber, No. 9033. Return flue, of course. One thing bugs me
tho. I thought that from sometime before 1900 all the tractors came
out with the belt pulleys on the right side. I note that Ellery s
is on the left and 1 didn’t print the picture wrong side up.
The lettering is correct. Maybe someone will drop me a card and set
me straight.

No. 9033 is apparently gone too. I find no trace of it around
here. I used to think it was the one that Roy Miller had, but his
turned out to be smaller and newer. Dan Max field once had a second
Huber but that was sold for scrap for the war effort around 1940
along with our Model F Rumely Oil Pull. I say ‘our’.
Really, it and several tools were owned by a group of five farmers.
Folks from a couple miles around knew when we began filling silo or
husking corn. Had its own peculiar sound, and lots of it. Can you
imagine we sold that Rumely for a hundred bucks. And drove it 12
miles to the junkyard. I rode.

I find in the Huber book that the Ivory Brothers also bought two
separators. A No. 5261, type SS, 32/54, in 1898. This was called a
‘humpback’ in farmer language. Then another, No. 9583, type
PL, 32/42 in 1909. There is no end to stories when one gets
looking. One thing leads to another or another person and that
leads to another story. Carl Goschke is a steam man, was a thresher
and sawmill man from the old days and a whale of a mechanic. At
present he is a gas engine collector and restores them beautifully.
Dan Maxfield threshed and sawed a-round our country has several
steamers yet. Not unlikely for him to grow a field of oats, limber
up the old binder and thresh any summer. His farm is right across
the road from our old family farm. He threshed all of ours.

I just hope and hope that as these present couple of generations
move on someone will come along to run the old engines and tractors
that if possible someone will come along to love the old machines.
That’s something for the clubs to concern themselves with
keeping the kids interested and involved. It’s not easy, I
know, but I think that’s the whole secret of the kid problem
today involvement. The kid with enough to do that is important to
him and including his dad isn’t likely to grow up bad. Awful
easy for dads to get too busy isn’t it?

But Ellery’s engine is long gone and Ellery too but, by
golly, what a great part of America.

Farm Collector Magazine
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