Farm Collector


810 S. Judson, Fort Scott, Kansas

Soot in the Flues appeals to me for two reasons. First, before
our present day Diesel Locomotives, the days of firing the steam
locomotives, some of the most trying days or trips were because the
Round-House force were so occupied with too much or too little to
blow or clean the flues before the trip. Such a trip was the
beginning of experiments as no two trips were the same-in trying to
make a meeting point with an opposing train or to stay out of the
way of a faster following train, keep enough steam to get over the
hill – keep enough water in the glass so when you tipped over the
hill the boiler would not blow-up -make it to the next water tank
or coal shute explain to the boss under most embarrassing
circumstances why you did not move the train from here to there and
maintain the time schedule and then be informed by most all
associates that you were the poorest engine crew on the division.
Why?? –

All because of Soot in the Flues and someone did not do their
job before you got the engine.

Second reason – The articles of Soot in the Flues often recall
to my memory the days of steam traction engines on the farm. As
they went to the fence corners, I stayed with steam and went to the
Railroad. The days came of diesels so back to the old fence
corners, to see if it was possible to stay with steam. It was
possible and later we formed a group, which was very interesting
but did not provide much in the manner of pay to live on so had to
work on those diesels. But to the Iron-Men Album your articles were
encouraging and we continued as the results of the Pioneer Harvest
Fiesta and a pay came to us not in money but in expression of
appreciation in various forms. We received many-many letters, one
of which we have copied and are enclosing for your consideration of
publication. Letter as follows:

Dear George Jackson: We should thank kind providence for the
wonderful weather all three days. We think how our pleasure did
cost you and others through this Fall Fiesta (where you love and
enjoy making others happy) by spending your time, labors and money.
But everything worked together so well to create a grand time for
so many that they might review the steaming past with it’s
glamorous experiences being re-enacted right before our eyes, with
the old steam threshing machinery that has set idly by so many
years, realizing that we have lived out it’s time. We gathered
to see the past, the black smoke shot high into the sky, the heavy
puffing of the steam engines faded away to a rhythm as the wheels
turned faster and the familiar smell of smoke, steam and oil filled
the air and action was all around. The bundles started to pour into
the feeder as the threshers began to hum. The bright yellow straw
came piling out the blowers and the golden grain was sliding out
the spouts into the wagon. To the saw-mill being pulled with that
nice big 80 Case that looked and sounded so good, that expert that
handled the mill for you made a perfect outfit that carried me back
to the days of my memory. Then the big strong oxen pushed the yoke
and dragged the logs to the mill – a-round the turn of the century,
like the nice teams of horses – George & Coley; Pete & Buck
and Barney & Tom. They all did their work so faithfully in
threshing and logging.

So many things happened throughout this wonderful show that
brings back those cherished memories. It all brings us to realize
how far we have come in three score and ten years. In drawing back
the curtain and looking into the future, we can expert advancement
with marvelous changes as time moves on to that perfect day.

Please accept our thanks, to you, your fine son, daughter,
son-in-law and Mrs. Jackson and to all who contributed so
cheerfully to make this 1965 show another grand success.

One of your many Thresherman Friends, ‘Casey’ Jones, Box
21, Wichita, Kansas.

  • Published on Sep 1, 1967
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