Letters

By Staff

11-YEAR-OLD OPERATOR-

My grandfather owns a 28hp. Minneapolis steam engine and
although I am only 11-years-old I operate it and help repair it.
Last summer we took it out to a farmers place and threshed with it
for a couple days and had lots of fun. People came from 75 miles
around to see us. My grandfather lives in Harris, Iowa, and last
fall we took the engine to the County Fair and ran into a little
trouble. Seems as how we hired a lowboy to carry it over and the
planks he had for loading and unloading were not good, but we had
our necks bowed and tried to get it on anyhow, which we
shouldn’t have done. Grandfather got it half way up and the
planks broke. The engine fell off the side of the truck. When the
dust cleared two wheels were on the truck and two were on the
ground so we got a man with some jacks and finally got it loaded.
My grandfather is Bill Albert.

PENN BLAIR, Topeka, Kansas

NO TITLE-BUT GOOD

Written by John Kelly, 535 SE 14th Street  Oklahoma City,
Oklahoma

I am sitting here and dreaming Of the days of long ago how we
loved those grand old  steamers as we drove them to and
from.

How we had to watch the water and the lubricator too and we
had to blow the whistle to call the threshing crew.

We would watch the feeder rolling listen to the engine bark and
we worked from early morning often times till after dark.

There were times when we were happy, there were times when
we were blue when we hit a rotten culvert and the drivers fell
right through.

We would work and sweat and tussle lift and tug with might and
main till we got the good old Russell rolling down the road
again.

The good old days are gone forever and it makes me very sad when
I think of those old steamers and the pleasure that we had.

TO SECURE THE CONTRACT-

Sure I want the ALBUM and I would contract for it to come as
long as I live and I would agree to give you a mortgage on my farm
to secure the contract. Rev. Ritzman! you have done a lot for us
old threshermen. I hope you were as successful with some of the
young threshermen when you were younger. Some of them needed
guiding that you would have been able to give them. I know that
some ministers were good threshermen.

One of my engineers was a minister. He worked with the threshing
machine to earn the money to go to college to study for the
ministry and worked one season after he had a church. We had many
discussions on theology and psychology and also the part the
preacher should take in the community. This boy was a hustler. One
Saturday he left the machine about supper time to go to the town
where he preached-about 35 miles away. He sold a new car that
night, preached, and married a couple on Sunday, and was back on
the job on Monday and had the engine ready on time.

ALBERT WIERINGA, Middleville, Michigan

P. S. When I renewed last year I sent in a letter that I
haven’t seen anything of. I thought I had a very good job. What
was wrong with it?

STEERED A BIG GAAR SCOTT-

. . . . . . In 1919 I steered a big Gaar Scott steam engine over
1,000 acres of plowing. We pulled 14 plows. Even though I was only
17 years old I could have run that engine myself. In the fall of
1920 I fired straw to a cross compound double Reeves that was also
a fine engine. I also have run those old 30×60 Rumleys. There are a
few old steamers left out here but not very many. When I see one it
brings back pleasant old memories. I am hoping to be able to get to
the reunion at Mt. Pleasant this fall.

EARL KRINKE, Haley, North Dakota

ARTICLES TO FOLLOW-

Enclosed find renewal for one year. Articles as soon as I can
get them typed, will follow. Let’s hope us old timers will
continue to send in our stories as long as we can. It must happen
sooner or later that our ALBUM will turn into a Model Maker’s
or showman’s magazine. Let’s postpone that day as long as
we can.

Enjoyed Vic Wintermantel’s photo of the Oskosh Hog. There is
a story about a race by one of these engines. I will be going to
Oshkosh as soon as the weather warms up and satisfy the story. I
have written Vic about it and will send copy shortly.

ED. L. HALLE, Fon du Lac, Wisconsin

ACCEPT MY APOLOGIES-

Please accept my apologies for being such a spineless nincompoop
(or sump’n worse).

I guess they will have to pat me in the face with a spade to get
me to forget the sight and sound and the smell of the good old
steam engines.

Enclosed please find check for $2.00 to renew my subscription to
IMA as it is without a doubt the best steam engine magazine there
is and I like to read a new one once in awhile. I have the ones I
have pretty well memorized.

I hope you fellers up there are standing the rigors of another
winter.

JONAS H. WILLIAMS, 134 N. Varsity Dr., South Bend 15,
Indiana

I SPENT 35 YEARS-

Sorry I neglected to send in my renewal sooner and if I have
missed any issues, will you please send? I spent 35 years on those
old steam monsters and during this time I owned and operated one
Nichols & Shephard, a 10 hp., and hand feed straw carrier low
down Champion 32-52; Two 19 hp. Port Huron Long fellows with 33-54
Port Huron thresher; one 20 hp. Aultman Taylor with 30-50 Greyhound
separator also a 36-5′ Greyhound thresher. My boy and I sawed
lumber, hulled clover seed, husked corn, graded roads, filled
silos, moved buildings, pulled hedge fence and hauled gravel. I had
two tractor outfits which I always hated, now it is all over and I
still love the old steamer. My son Tom feels the same about them
and has an 18 hp. Advance Rumley Universal all rebuilt and it is a
beautiful engine.

See you at the reunion in 1956. I enjoy the ALBUM as it brings
back the pleasant old memories. Goodbye from a 67-year-old
friend.

BOYD WOODWARD, Jasper, Michigan

CAREFULLY FILED-

Another year has rolled around so I am sending my renewal. I
have every copy carefully filed that I have received since
subscribing to the ALBUM. It brings back many memories of the past
as I lived 40 years in North Dakota, the bread-basket of the U. S.,
and one had to do lots of threshing and many times when the weather
was not very nice.

I threshed 27 days one season when we only made one stop for
repairs and that was less than an hour.

IRVIN DEAL, Lafayette R. D. 3, Indiana

FOND OF YOUR MAGAZINE-

I have just received my sixth issue of IRON-MEN and to make sure
I will not miss a single issue, I am requesting my renewal
immediately. I am very fond of your magazine; it also creates quite
a bit of interest around my office.

Among my earliest memories is the old sawmill and Russell engine
my father operated in Putnam County, Indiana around the turn of the
century. Much of my early experience was concerned with shoveling
sawdust.

Later, the Russell was replaced with a used Reeves, and
threshing was added to the repertoire. This included a used Red
River Special thrasher, later replaced with a Case all steel
machine. The activities were extended to include clover hulling and
corn shredding. The Reeves was replaced with a new Baker eighteen
horse engine, and shortly after this I replaced my older brother on
the engine. We did a lot of railroad tie sawing for the New York
Central, and my father devised a means of using a set of wagons
with the Baker. We would make the six mile run to the railroad,
unload a half carload of ties, and return in twelve hours. Later my
father sold out to my older brother, and I became interested in the
electrical industry.

In my early life I heard much about the Michigan Tie Company and
their operations in west central Indiana. I would like to know if
anyone of your readers remembers the operations of this outfit. I
understand they used principally Avery Under mounts for logging and
hauling. This was not a very popular engine in that part of the
country.

I will try to scrape up some old photos and send in.

R. E. DILLINGER, Manager, Public Service Co., of Indiana, Inc.,
319 S. Main Street, Sheridan, Indiana

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