Life's Byways And A Family Reunion

| March/April 1999

  • Percy Pugh,  Jack Corson,  Jim Oxender'
    Photo by Mark A. Corson.
    Mark A. Corson
  • Frick engine
    Photo by Mark A. Corson, September 1998.
    Mark A. Corson

  • Percy Pugh,  Jack Corson,  Jim Oxender'
  • Frick engine

9374 Roosevelt Street Crown Point, Indiana 46307

The Corson family ran sawmills in New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. My grandfather was Seward M. Corson; the 'S. M.' was often modified to Sawmill Corson, but he was best known as Bud Corson.

It was in the late '50s that Bud Corson had a sawmill operation in the Town of Maine, New York, and was using a portable Frick engine on this mill for power. If he would ever be short-handed on his sawmill crew, his second wife, Nellie Morgan Corson, would fire the engine with slab wood.

The engine was sold in the early 1960s, but the Corson family always had the story of Bud Corson running his sawmill with Nellie firing the engine. The family had no additional information and only one known photograph. My grandfather had bought the engine from George A. VanNatta (September 14, 1896 b April 12, 1975 d.).

It was in the 1994 January/February issue of the Iron Men Album that a letter from a Fred Pugh appeared. Mr. Pugh was from up-state New York, and told a story of how he had recently purchased a portable Frick engine. He did not know much about the engine, but he had been told that one of the previous owners had run a sawmill while the head sawyer's wife fired the engine.

It took me about four years to write to Mr. Pugh, but the timing was right; the engine was for sale. Fred had bought the engine from Danny Green, and it was Bud s old engine, as a state record would show.


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