Farm Collector


By Staff

Mr. Bob Ehret of Stop 30, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico Rico, attended
the National Threshers Reunion at Alvord ton, Ohio, in 1952. We
were all pleased to have him but not nearly all who would have
liked to get acquainted with him. There just did not seem to be
enough time. Here is an interesting letter from him to the editor
which we thought you all would enjoy.

Dear Rev. Ritzman,

Let me start out by saying that I’m very sorry that I
didn’t meet you personally at the Alvord ton Reunion this year.
You, through your magazine, must be bringing untold happiness to
many persons and I am one.

After leaving the Alvord ton Reunion my wife and I went out home
near Goshen, Ind., and quite a number of persons saw the magazine
and were surprised that such a magazine was being published.

(Mr. Ehret then states he is sending check for the men here
listed as he is sending them the ALBUM for one year. Ed.)

This might get tiresome to you, however, I’ll give you a
little history on why these are going out. The first Rev. on the
list would hold revival meetings around our place in Indiana and he
told me he always wanted a steam engine and finally at the age of
about 30 or more someone got him one. I was only about 10 years old
when this was told in our house and at that time I wanted a steam
engine (a little weeden) very badly. He advised against it right
then because he thought I was a little too small. I still thought I
was getting a steam engine for Christmas, and you can appreciate my
disappointment when my mother gave me a nice automatic pencil
instead. I still have the pencil however, I still remember my
disappointment each time I see it.

My father-in-law is Mr. Yoder who used to run a steamer in
Illinois. I was much surprised when 1 was home to learn that he
stall is interested.

Nelson Kauffman is one of our ministers in a Mission Church in
Missouri, and I showed him one of the magazines when I met him in
Goshen and he told me that he too used to run a steamer on a
threshing rig.

Schwarms threshed for my grandfather for 30 or 35 years and it
is through him and his rig that I got my first love for steam.
Incidentally I met him at the Alvord ton Reunion and we were both
so surprised we didn’t recognize each other at first.

The rest of the list are boys that were my age in school and in
those days

in the one room schools if a threshing, corn shredding rig or if
just a plain Rumley Oil Full went by it meant no thinking or
lessons and usually there was some way of sharpening a pencil or
going to the book shelf to get a better look. A lot of time was
spent drawing different kinds of tractors and threshers. This was
in the early to middle thirties.

I always wanted to be an Undertaker and I graduated from the
Indiana School of Mortuary Science in 1942. Then of course, the war
was on and being of Mennonite background I felt the right thing was
to go non-resistant. I was in several camps in the U. S. between
Va., and Cal., and finally the opportunity opened to come to Peurto
Rico to work in a relief hospital operated for the poor people of
the Island. I was discharged in 1946 and had a very good friend of
mine in the Army who wanted me to go into the funeral business here
as at that time there was very little embalming being done here and
the Army was having trouble with bodies getting to the states in
good condition. We started to business then and have a nice
business now. We are not making a lot of money because people
don’t spend as much for funerals here as they do in the states.
However, we do make a nice living and the people seem very grateful
when one renders a nice dignified service.

My parents still have a farm in Northern Indiana and I’m
looking forward to buying an 8 to 12 hp. steam engine to put on the
farm. We want to spend more time back there as is possible and I
would really enjoy this. We found a boy from Elkhart, Ind., who was
in the Air Force here and was discharged and is helping us. With
one more responsible person I think that my wife and I won’t
have to work quite so hard.

I might say here that I’m kind a torn between two fires on
where to keep such an engine if I find one. The Mr. Stanley Miller
who gave me the Ohio Farmer and who at that time was principal of
the Baptist Academy at Batas, P. R., is now running a farm for the
Ulrich Foundation at A bonito. Mr. Ulrich is a wealthy Mennonite
manufacturer of farm and road building equipment at Roanoke, III.,
who set up this farm to try and teach the Peurto Ricans.

A better way of doing farming. It is a non-profit organization.
It so happens that there is no saw ‘mill between Ponce and San
Juan and Miller said if I would get a steam engine here he would
buy the saw mill. I remember that you wrote about Mr. R. D. Yoder
an page 17 of the Sept.-Oct. issue about a hobby. Of course we
don’t drink and I think I’m entitled to spend some money on
a hobby. I would appreciate if you know of about an 8 to 12 hp
engine in the area near to New York or Philadelphia, in good
condition, and at reasonable price, to let me know about it.

  • Published on Jan 1, 1953
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