ROLLAND BUSLAFF, West 233 North 671, Highway 164, Waukesha, Wisconsin 53186, died August 12, 1996.
Rolland was such an intelligent and knowledgeable man, steam engine buff, and one of the oldest to go to the 'Golden Whistles in the Sky'101 years of age and one of the best steam engineers in the era. The very best, that is. It was such a pleasure to have known Rolland and to converse with him, at the many steam engine clubs that he belonged to. He knew steam engines from 'A to Z' and had so very many friends in our steam group.
Rolland was a veteran of World War I. He was a blacksmith, salesman, invtentor, and a builder of silos and steam engines.
He was a husband to Mary, father to Joy, and grandfather to Mandy.
The following poem, a 156-year-old epitaph from an English churchyard, was printed in Rolland's memorial folder:
My engine now is cold and still,
No water does my boiler fill;
My coal affords its flame no more,
My days of usefulness are o'er;
My wheels deny their noted speed,
No more my guiding hand they need;
My whistle, too, has lost its tone,
Its shrill and thrilling sounds are gone;
My valves are now thrown open wide,
My flanges all refuse to guide;
My clacks also, though once so strong,
Refuse to aid the busy throng;
No more I feel each urging breath,
My steam is now condensed in death;
Life's railway o'er, each station passed
In death I'm stopped, and rest at last.
Submitted by Rosetta and Joe Kuester, 7 Eighth Street, Clintonville, Wisconsin 54929.
FRANCIS M. YOUNG, 82, of East Sparta, Ohio, died July 20, 1996.
Francis Young had a heritage in the world of steam power. His father, uncles, and cousins were threshers and sawmillers. His father retired from threshing and milling before Francis was old enough to be around the machinery. Francis was only eleven when his father died. Although he did not 'grow up' on a steam engine, it was in his blood. In 1937, at the age of 23, encouraged by his maternal uncle, he bought a sawmill and a Russell steam traction engine. His uncle, Charles Cameron, was the head sawyer and 'teacher' until his death in 1967. Francis continued to do custom sawing until he sold his mill in 1991.
During the 1940s, the sawmill was converted to gasoline power, due to the need for less help and the advantage of fast start-up. In 1941, Francis bought a 6 HP Russell portable engine. This engine became part of our family and is now owned by our grandson, Todd Young of Strasburg, Ohio. Todd is showing the engine, supporting steam organizations and generally carrying on the Young traditions.
In the early 1940s Francis sold the 10 HP Russell he bought with the sawmill. He always regretted this, for the buyer let the engine be cut up for scrap during the war. During the 1950s and 1960s, Francis had several different traction engines. In the late '60s he obtained the 16 HP short-boiler Russell which became his prize. He restored it, showed it and generally enjoyed having it. This engine is still owned by his family.
Francis always had an interest in steam shows. The first he attended was held at the F. E. Slutz farm, about two mites from our home, in 1939. This show, sponsored by the Stark County Thresherman's Association, was called a 'Field Day.' It was planned by Ormann Keyser, Stark County Extension Agent, and G. W. McCuen, Chairman of the Agriculture Engineering Department of Ohio State University. This organization held shows for several years, until the war caused their cancellation. Francis showed his 6 HP Russell portable at the 1942 show.
Francis went to shows on the Raymond Laizure farm before the group organized to become the Stumptown Steam Threshers. He remained a member of this group the rest of his life. He was a charter and life member of the Tuscarawas Valley Pioneer Power Association. He took an active part as an exhibitor, officer, worker and booster.
Francis traveled over much of the United States to shows. He showed his engines at most of the shows within 100 miles of home. He studied books, manuals and magazines, always trying to learn more about steam and engines. In his travels to shows and to visit with other steam enthusiasts, he was always ready to learn anything he could, but would also share his knowledge and experience with anyone interested. In his enthusiasm to encourage others, he was willing to lend any of his information, materials or tools.
In his later years, his ambition was to encourage others, especially younger people, to enjoy and support his hobby. Through his help, young people were able to find and rebuild, to working condition, steam engines and sawmills.
Francis felt that people who 'had steam in their blood' were very special people. His desire was for the continuation of steam organizations and shows, to educate the public in the history and use of steam power.
He passed the torch, you younger people must carry on.
Submitted by Mary Young and family, 6140 Briggle Avenue SW, East Sparta, Ohio.