Iron Man of The Month

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The sixteen horse Advance snorts at the belt as young Jim Gibboney yanks throttle whenever head sawyer, Iron Man Norman Gibboney (Pop to him) waves his sawmiller's paw to out the next slab. Jim doesn't know who pops off the most Ol' Advance or Pop Gibbone
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FAMILY TYPE SAWMILL JUST KEEPS GETTIN' BIGGER Pop Gibboney (Iron Man and head sawyer) heaves the lead end of heavy hickory beam onto truck, while Mom and Jim bring up the rear.


The whine of the big saw-blade, the bark of the vibrating stack,
the pungency of coal smoke and fresh-sawn hickory slabs what finer
haunt to ferret out ye Iron Man of the Month, his spouse and his
progeny, than where resides these ‘sawyers-three’.

The faithful old 16-horse Advance fairly shook itself to pieces
in utter defiance of the long, flopping belt coaxing the big
56-inch saw blade the full length of those 18-foot hickory logs
while the youthful hand of a fourteen year old lad steadied the

It was time out for young engineer, Jim Gibboney, to run up and
help Papa Norman, and Mama Ruth to strong-arm the heavy eighteen
foot four-by-twelve hickory slab onto a waiting truck, mired deep
in the soggy spring mud of Darke County, western Ohio. Thence back
to the engine to stoke the waning fires of the sputtering Advance
just in time for head sawyer, Norman, to wave his lumberman’s
paw and edge the big log into the saw blade once again. All sights
and sounds and smells of yesteryear being re-enacted once again
oblivious of this modem age which would have us believe that
sawmilling belongs only to ‘big business’.

It was the first lovely day of spring that I sauntered out
northeast of the village limits and down Horatio-Harris Creek
Roadto catch my first whiff of fresh sawdust for the season. And
glory what a reward it was to see this family three some Dad, Mom
and sonny boyall busy as beavers running their own steam-operated
sawmill and building it too!

Now, in case any reader is caught up in the eternal quandary of
just how much sawmillin’ can a sawmiller saw before the
sawmill’s builtor like the egg and the chicken, which comes
first, the sawmill or the sawmill building just as some may argue
that the egg comes before the chicken, but before the egg there
must likewise be a chickenso some sawmillers get their sawmill
first and from thence proceed to saw out their sawmill building,
whilst other sawmillers get their sawmill building first then set
their sawmill in it. But, unlike the chicken-egg arguers who
contend the chicken always comes first before the egg, never
figuring the chicken could well end up in a pot before the egg is
laidwell we’ll let head-sawyer Norman Gibboney answer it,
before I wind up in a pot myself trying to figure it all out.

‘Yes, we’ve already got our own sawmill, and now
we’re building it,’ yelled Iron Man, Norman Gibboney, over
the whine of the blade biting out a fresh slableaving me with the
kind of answer that settled nothing.

‘If you’ve already got a sawmill, why build
another?’ queried I.

‘Well you see this is my second sawmill. The old one I built
in ’59 and then I ripped it out and set up this new one last
year in ’67,’ elucidated Iron Man Gibboney. ‘Now that
I’ve got the new sawmill, I’m building a sawmill with iter
that is, the sawmill building over the sawmill. See?’

Of course I ‘saw’ it, but was just jockeying around to
see if ye Iron Man was as ignorant as I which he wasn’t.


Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment