History of an Engine

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30 hp. Russell Compound No. 13148. Universal boiler. Now located on the Glen Garrabrant farm, 6 miles north of Funk, Nebraska.

Hugo, Colorado

ENCLOSED IS MY RE-newal and want to say I enjoy each issue of
the ALBUM, but like the personal letters and pictures better than
reprints of technical manufacturing data on locomotive. I do enjoy
statistics on steam tractions.

Am enclosing a picture of a 30 hp. Russell which belongs to my
brother and I. It is a compound No. 13148 mounted on a universal
boiler. This engine’s history started in 1906 and was first
sold in Iowa where it threshed for a few years and then was shipped
to Huron, South Dakota, where it was used for breaking sod. I
assume the shortage of water in Dakota resulted in their not
washing the boiler, at any rate they burned a hole in it. The
engine must have actually been used very little up to the time it
had it’s boiler spoiled, because it was returned to the Russell
factory and completely rebuilt and mounted on a new boiler. The
second time the Russell Company sold this engine it was sold by the
Clark Implement Co. of Council Bluffs, Iowa, to my father William
Garrabrant and his brother Roy. They bought it with a new engine
guarantee also a 36×60 Russell separator in the spring of 1915.
This is one engine that really earned its way. Father once said,
‘He had graded 4 or 5 hundred miles of road with it.’
Beside the road grading it threshed 22 seasons which varied from 60
to 100 days. I remember him saying he run this engine 228 days in
1928. Father was a wonderful mechanic and always kept it in good
shape. This is the reason it is still good but shows a lot of
honest wear. If you should use this picture I think it would be
interesting to call the readers attention to the fact it has two
steering wheels. The second one was put on when they pulled an
elevating road grader. It proved so convenient that we never
removed it. There is also a 50 gallon hot water tank mounted under
the running board which gave us enough to make a round when grading
through one big section which made 3 miles per round trip. With
this amount of water we could work the engine to capacity for the
entire trip. Glen and Benard Garrabrant are standing beside the
engine and a little boy is on the drive wheel. This lad was
crippled with polio but took great interest while we fired up to
go. This was the first time the engine had been fired in 16 years.
It was necessary to replace a few parts which had been removed by
vandals or stolen by junk dealers.

P. S. For Big Mac’s benefit, I’d like to state the
engine was not centered.

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