| May/June 1964

E. R. Dugan writes.........

You've heard it said, 'close the door. Where were you born - in a saw mill?' Well, that's about where I came from. At the age of eleven I chopped slabs and fired a 13 hp Scott behind the saw mill. Dad ran the saw mill when the slabs were green and water soaked and I had a hard time keeping up steam until one day we got some coal to fire with the slabs. Then I made the little 13 hp Gaar Scott bark like a grey squirrel.

When spring opened up we graded roads. Then came threshing and clover hulling.

We lived on a farm near the Mobile & Ohio Railroad. There was an old locomotive engineer called Jim on this railroad that could quill the whistle like I never heard before or since. He could make it talk or cry. We used to receive a newspaper from the Nichols Shepard Threshing Machine Co. In it I saw a picture of a threshing outfit owned by Charles Harmon of Buffalo, Oklahoma. I wrote to him and asked him for a job running his engine. He replied, 'come on, the job is yours. We have a wonderful crop this year.'

One nice morning in June I heard old Jim coming up the railroad whistling as usual and I said to Dad, 'I am going to the Pan Handle to run a black monster.' That whistle of Jim's got me in a roaming mood.

I was seventeen years old then. I met Mr. C. Harmon at Buffalo, Oklahoma and ran his 25 hp Nichols Shepard for several seasons. That started the ball rolling. I slept in every straw pile and hay stack from the Pan Handle to Moose Jaw, Canada. I followed this for about twelve years, and I have run them all.

I was running a 25 hp Reeves at Pettibone, North Dakota, for Ernst Hornung. Finally, I took his daughter and left. Now we live here in Waterloo, Illinois. I have an airplane to fly as a hobby and fly to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa every year to the Old Settlers and Threshers Reunion. I have made them all and can't wait until September to attend the next Mt. Pleasant reunion.


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