Farm Collector

Muddy: But No Smoker

9374 Roosevelt Street Crown Point, Indiana 46307

The Oklahoma Steam Threshing and Gas Engine Association, Inc.,
held their annual show in Pawnee, Oklahoma, over the weekend of May
6,7,8, 1994. Despite some evening rain and cloudy weather, the
reunion was enjoyed by old friends, members, exhibitors and by all
those who came to enjoy the weekend.

With other parts of the show grounds standing quiet and still,
engineers were out early each morning preparing their engines for
another day’s work. The grates, as hpans and flues all being
cleaned, engines given fresh oil and grease. A check of the water
tank level and a double check of the boiler water level; only then
is there a good fire kindled. Soon smoke begins to appear as each
engine is fired up.

By 10:00 a.m. most of the large steam engines and scale steam
engines on the grounds are steamed up and ready for action. Some of
the engineers and engines at the reunion were: Dale Wolf of
Cushing, Oklahoma, with his 16-50 Nichols and Shepard; Francis
Fegal’s 80 HP Case; Chady Atteberry, of Blackwell, Oklahoma,
brought his 40 HP Case and 20-70 Nichols and Shepard; Tom Forman of
Stillwater, Oklahoma, came to the reunion with a 12 HP 1899 Case
compound and 18HP return flue Huber; 30-98 Nichols and Shepard
owned by Henry and Paul Martin; Lois Wood’s 18 HP Wood
Brothers; Ed Larson’s Mustang was at the show with his 6 HP
Russell Port; Lymon Knapp’s Canton Monitor; John Fry of
Newalla, Oklahoma, and his 18 HP Greyhound, with its new decals;
Kenneth Kelley’s and Cecil Kelley’s family 110 HP Case;
Kenneth Sullivan’s 50 HP Case; Floyd Kelley’s 28 HP
Minneapolis; Steve Dunn’s 20 HP double Keck-Gonnerman.

All engineers took pride in handling their machines. Amos Rixman
was busy each day, providing owners and engineers the opportunity
to prove themselves and their machines. Bleachers were nearby for
those who wished their use, while many individuals stood near each
engine as they pulled on the brake and listened. Others preferred
to stand, watch and listen to Amos at the brake itself.

Near the lineup of engines one finds the sawmill busy over the
weekend show. No fancy bleachers found here, onlookers make good
use of the logs waiting to be sawed. John Fry’s Greyhound and
Dale Wolf’s Nichols and Shepard were among the engines that
pulled the sawmill.

The sound of whistles blowing marked time for a short break,
with plenty of food to feed all those who came. After a good
noonday meal, exhibitors were ready for the parade. The ‘Elgin
Watch’ was moved into place at the base of the incline, the
name of her maker boldly noted on her smoke box door. Once again,
W. C. ‘Chady’ Atteberry demonstrated the power of the steam
engine with perfection.

Visitors walked through the buildings on the grounds, viewing a
variety of items on display. A few of the antique cars and trucks
could be found touring the showgrounds. Grinding grain was among
the other activities taking place over the weekend. Nearby is the
aroma of freshly sawed cedar shingles filling the air, as Ed
Larson’s 6 HP Russell provided power for the shingle mill.

Threshing always plays an important part in the weekend
activities. After the thresher is placed in position, grain and
bundle wagons can then be hauled and set in their proper positions.
With a variety of power available, both steam engines and gas
tractors provided power to threshers over the weekend. Several of
the large steamers took their turn at supplying power. Onlookers
watched with interest as bundle and grain wagons were pulled into
position. Bleachers are nearby for spectators’ use, but most
individuals seem to enjoy standing near the engine or thresher.
Other spectators make good use of the straw bales from one of the
hay presses in use at the show.

Circling the northern part of the show grounds, the Pawnee
Express added her own distinctive sound to the weekend, pulling her
own tender and two passenger cars filled with passengers. At the
southern end of the grounds and across the tracks, owners with
their array of gas engines have now comfortably nestled themselves
among the grove of trees, with their engines now well orchestrated
in a harmonized chant of a day gone by.

The flea market was nearby with engines, engine parts, antiques,
and more for visitors and treasure seekers. Live music
entertainment was available over the weekend, providing visitors
time to stop and listen.

Careful planning and enthusiastic participation made this
reunion one to be remembered. The weather during the day was
favorable all three days. The rain that fell was just enough to
muddy the field and cool the temperature for the time being. The
actual amount of grain threshed or lumber and shingle sawed will
not be remembered. The success of the show is a credit to all those
who have given their time and effort. Crowds were held with
interest, in all that was on display and the information provided
by owners and operators.

  • Published on Nov 1, 1994
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