Roy Mitchell writes ……….
Am enclosing a reprint of my old engine and sawmill. The
original picture I will always keep but thought you might like a
copy for the Iron-Men Album. This picture was taken in 1904 (I was
14 at the time – that is me on the engine) in the heart of the
Ozarks about 14 miles from Springfield, Mo. The engine is a 16 HP
Gaar Scott and was about 6 years old at that time and was always
kept in the best of order. Right at the back of the engine was a
spring which ran through the sawdust pit so no sawdust to shovel
The last time I saw this engine was in 1919 and it was still
going strong – they were threshing with it. I used to thresh some
each year. I have had the Gaar Scott in some bad places, have had
to ford rivers where bridges unsafe, drove into the water with full
head of steam, 125 pounds pressure and out on other side with no
fire and perhaps 50 pounds of steam but the engine would never fail
I would love to see this engine again if it is still in
existence. I have been through that part of the country several
times but have not run into anyone who knows where or what ever
happened to it.
I hear from some of the old Engine Men and will write to anyone
who cares to write to me. There is one man in Ohio whose letters I
especially look forward to, he sent me a picture of his engine and
I am sending him one like the enclosed. He has been quite ill but I
hope to hear soon that he is up and going again. Thanks a lot and
keep the Iron-Men coming.
Roy C. Mitchell, 3500- 8th Ave., Council Bluffs, la.
Edmund Absalom writes . . . . . . .
No. 1 I was at the Mansfield, Ohio, meet in 1960, and was
watching this outfit coming up the slope. I was ready to move out
of the way, when it started to make a sharp left turn. I had a
camera, and snapped this picture just as the separator started to
swing. As I look and see the engineer watching ahead, with one hand
winding the wheel and the other on the throttle, it seems I can
still hear that engine working.
I did not know whose outfit it was until this year when at the
Stump town meet near Cadiz, Ohio, I recognized the same fellow
handling a Greyhound engine. His name is Tom Woodward of
Belleville, Ohio. He had sold this engine to Ralph Dickerson of
Cadiz, and was running the Baker fan. I asked Ralph to put in a
lump of coal for smoke —-
No. 3. While attending the 1963 Stump town meet on the Laizure
farm near Cadiz, Ohio, I took this picture. It shows an old
thresherman, Jim Porter, age 83, of New Athens, Ohio and the
stationary outfit he handled during the meet.
A steam line runs to a header on stand at the right. Connected
to it are six models and one popcorn engine.
A couple of boys were put in charge to run and oil the models.
They did a good job – and used enough lubrication to run some of
the large engines. They always had plenty of help! Almost every boy
that came along wanted to turn a wheel or a valve. In this picture
it looks as though Mother likes to turn things too.
Jim said they put the bale of straw at the left so he could have
a seat, but between firing the boiler and talking to people, he did
not get to use it.
No. 4. This picture was also taken at the Stump town meet. The
engine was built and operated by Russell Gay of Waynesburg, Pa. Two
of my grandsons (Tommy George and David Absalom) are riding the
The tank looked familiar, but I could not place it until Russ.
said it was off of a sprayer – and then I remembered the old
knapsack sprayers carried on the back that we used to spray the
This engine is mounted on rubber, but Russ has a smaller engine
with iron wheels. It seems every youngster that comes along grabs
the steering wheel and starts turning when the engine is on
display, so Russ. loosens the lock and they can spin the wheel all
they want without damaging the steering chains.
Edmond Absalom, Ferry View, Martins Ferry, Ohio RR 1