Iron Man Of The Month

of Dayton Daily News And radio's joe's journal


| January/February 1972



Frank Cornish and grandson Travis Wheeler

Joe Fahnestock

UNION CITY, INDIANA.

'My steam engine'll beat those astronauts a-walkin' on the Moon anytime,' said Frank Cornish, fetching us a Sunday dinner of genuine Kentucky fried chicken which he handed through our trailer door. (You were expecting Colonel Saunders?)

Frank was in a hurry. Couldn't get back to his 20-horsepower Minneapolis, it seemed, fast enough to stir up the fires and send the black smoke billowing up through the tall stack to entertain the crowds that had gathered 'round at the peak of the Blue Grass Engine Show at the Harrodsburg, Ky., 'fire grounds.' We won't say that Frank Cornish was 'excited as a little boy', climbing on the deck of his Minneapolis Engine, being the grown man he is. But it certainly looked like it.

Frank Cornish represents the typical southern gentleman type of steam engineer, his subtle wit, the soft Kentucky drawl and easy mannerisms betraying an affluence for good living and fastidious interests, coming from ' 'way back.'

'Steam threshing's been a long time in your family, hasn't it, Frank?', said I.

' 'Bout a hundred years,' answered Frank. 'My Grandfather, George D. Cornish, started it all. Then my father, Lud Cornish, and Uncle Rome Cornish carried it on through the late 1800's and early 1900's. They had an Aultman-Taylor Portable Steam Engine that they pulled with oxen.'