ITEMS OF INTEREST

RFD 1, Burchard, Nebraska 68323

A few comments on the March-April ’68 issue of IMA. First
I’ll comment on the identification numbers on engines and
exhibits. I agree with Mr. Rex Johnson, of North Terre Haute,
Indiana, that the numbers should be on each side of exhibit and
fastened in such a way that the wind and vibration won’t twist
them over and they should be high enough to be visible. I wonder if
they could be standardized such as 12′ high, 16′ long and
white with black numbers about 1 inches wide. This way, exhibitors
could provide a good place to fasten them.

When seeing shows providing free rides for the kiddies, I always
shrudder when I see youngsters riding on the front of a flatbed,
dangling their legs off of the front end. What is there to keep
them from slipping off in front of a wheel? There should be a board
or boards across the front of those type of wagons to keep the
youngsters from sitting in that position.

In addition to the large display of old things, Haviland held a
ceramic show with an excellent array of hand made things that
delighted the eye of all women, and lots of men. There was also a
handsome exhibition of rocks, and hand made jewelry.

The day was hot in the sun, but always a cool breeze fanned the
bench sitters in the shade. People with a like interest, found many
old friends, and made many new ones. Each year the Steam Engine is
gaining popularity, and more and more communities make efforts to
hold shows that will enable the children of today to have some idea
of the customs of yesterday. The old steam engine, for years out of
the spotlight, is not destined to oblivion. The interest of the
hobby is gaining momentum all over our nation, with celebrations
such as the one at Haviland. Even now the people of that small
Quaker town are making plans for the 1968 jubilee. Twenty years ago
we lost a high school boy in our community that way.

I enjoyed the steamboat storylet’s have some more for us
that missed those old days. Last summer I purchased a history
record of all the steamboats that have sunk on the Missouri River,
from the Brownville His torical Society, Brownville, Nebraska. It
gives dates and sizes and other interesting information. (I might
add here, I’ve had a lot of mail on the steamboat story for
when we printed it, we didn’t know that it is no longer as the
article states, and that it too has gone down. I’m talking
about the one known as The River Queen. Thanks for all the letters
bringing me up to date on this, and sorry about that Chiefmy
mistake that I didn’t know.) Anna Mae.

I noticed a reader mentioned Case Shingle Mill. Did Case make
shingle mills? I know they made Rock Crushers but I have never seen
any anyone have one?

I enjoyed ‘Our Trip to Kentucky’ by Mr. Chares E.
Mitchum on page 9. The way it is written from day to day as they
traveled. Why don’t more of you readers that travel keep a
travel diary and share it with us. I’m sure a lot of people
would enjoy it and that way we would know of interesting people and
places.

(Edward Bredemeier, who sent us the above letter, also sent some
information on a Missouri Steamboat) In the spring of 1876 the
shallow draft supply ship ‘Far West’ steamed up the
Missouri to the Yellowstone River and up the Yellowstone to the Big
Horn River and up the Big Horn River where it tied up. It was the
farthest point up Missouri River tributaries that any steamboat
ever went. The boat contained 200 tons of supplies for General
Terry’s Indian fighting army of which the troops of Generals
Gibbon and Custer were a part and this island was the scheduled
meeting place. The 3 Generals met in the cabin of the ‘Far
West’ and agreed on a plan of action and returned to their
rather widely separated commands after ordering the boat to stand
by at the island.

General Custer’s departure from the agreed plan by attacking
prematurely at the Little Big Horn and his ensuing massacre is well
known. Not so well known is the fact that it was the ‘Far
West’ that brought the wounded men of Major Reno’s
separated command from the mouth of the Little Big Horn back to
their base at Fort Lincoln, N. D., a distance of 700 miles, in 54
hours, a Missouri River Steamboat record that now appears will
never be broken.

Pilot and Captain of the ‘Far West,’ Grant Marshall, who
was personally picked by General Sheridan to command this all
important supply boat for the Army’s 1876 campaign against the
hostile Indians of the Midlands. Further evidence of his reputation
as a skipper is the fact that he was put in command of a boat
carrying more than a quarter of a million in gold from the mines of
Montana and the Black Hills down the treacherous Missouri River to
Omaha.

The above information sent by Ed had been in the Sunday
World-Herald Magazine of the Midlands under the column of Mike
Parks with bits of information on Bygone Nebraska.

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