Gaar Scott Recalls First Romance


| January/February 1989



Gaar Scott engine

Harshfield 1904 16 HP Gaar Scott engine on arrival in 1952 at the Roy Kite farm, Bird City, KS on its way to Wichita.

712 Chaps Road S. E. Rio Rancho, New Mexico 87124

Beautifully restored 1904 16 HP Gaar Scott #11647 after installation of the valance on engine top. Owned by Lewis Woods of Mustang, Oklahoma. Photo by Melvin Kestler.

Lewis Woods of Mustang, OK and his beautifully restored 1904 16 HP Garr Scott #11647. The engine has real good gears and the boiler is Oklahoma state inspected for 100 lbs. pressure. Melvin Kestler took the photo and had the pleasure of operating this engine at a recent Pawnee Steam & Gas Engine Show.

The Oklahoma Steam & Gas Engine Show was held at Pawnee, Oklahoma on May 6, 7, 8, 1988. The show had many fine and unusual attractions including Lyman Knapp's 1892 Canton Aultman Monitor 10HP traction steam engine, Chady Atteberry and his Elgin Watch Case 40 on the 50% Case incline, Amos Rixman operating the horsepower testing Prony brake, Kenneth Kelley's steam narrow gauge passenger train and his 110HP Case steam traction engine, etc.

During the show, I got acquainted with Lewis Woods of Mustang, Oklahoma 73064. Lewis had a beautifully restored 1904 16HP Gaar Scott steam traction engine #11647 at the show which he let me run. I told Lewis I had known of a 16HP Gaar Scott engine on a 21,760 acre sandhills ranch where I had worked as a ranch hand in the early and mid 1920's. We got to comparing notes and sure enough it is the same engine. John Harshfield who owned the ranch had purchased the engine and separator to thresh rye grown on his farmland. Harshfield carried on extensive farming operations during the 1900 period. Later on the engine was used on the ranch in the cattle dipping operations. Today, the Harshfield ranch is owned and operated by one of John's grandsons. It is located 20 miles north of Sutherland, Nebraska.

In the early 1950's Roy Kite of Bird City, Kansas got about 2 dozen of us steam fans interested in steam traction engines. Roy's farm was headquarters for the engines gathered up in the Tri-state area. I told Roy about the Gaar Scott engine on the Harshfield ranch. He in turn told Harold Ottaway. Harold purchased the Gaar Scott in 1952 and brought it to Kite's farm before taking it on to Wichita, Kansas.