Licking County, S. Louisville, Ohio
Just received ray third copy of IRON-MEN ALBUM to which I subscribed
September 1957 at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Must say I really enjoy your magazine and you may count on my renewal from now on.
Being one of the 'old timers,' I still love the old steamers and threshers, pictures and stories. My experience goes back to 1914 when I helped my father on his outfit consisting of a Nichols & Shepard 16 hp. steamer, 30x50 N & S vibrator separator, hand feed, hand measuring box and a Newark Machine Works independent straw stacker. Both machines with engine made a long array on the road. He also had a Gaar-Scott double sawmill, an Ohio 17x22 baler, and a hand feed Victor clover huller with web chaff piler also made by Newark Ohio Machine Works. I still have this machine which was built in 1892.
Later we owned an 18 hp. Huber 28x48 Western Special thresher with feeder, weigher, and wind stacker and still later I bought a 22-36 IHC tractor, a No. 6 Birdsell Huller, 16' paper ensilage cutter and an Appleton 6 roll shredder.
During these years I was at the throttle of the steamer most of the time, my Dad being along in years elected himself to 'chief water tank engineer' preferring to drive horses instead of the steamer. And I don't wonder as he started as a boy in his father's water driven flour and sawmill, which was a so-called 'up and down mill' in the 80's his first threshing outfit-a horse guided traction engine by C and G Cooper, Mt. Vernon, Ohio, and a Cooper thresher.
So you see I am of a long line of machine men and while 1942 marked the end of my steam traction days, I am still producing steam as I am an Ohio State licensed steam operator being employed as a second trick engineer in a local institution. I suppose I will continue with steam as long as I can work. As they say-'It's in the blood.'
I still own and operate a Frick sawmill and E60 A.C. power unit sawing for nearby farmers in the A. M. only. The mill is five years old and I operate it only because I love the work and not for my living. A sweet outfit but I'd still like a good old steamer on the belt with the smell of wood smoke, the aroma of hot oil and even the sparks. I have all the work I can do on it and turn some away because of my stationary boiler job.
To The Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers Committee I sure enjoyed myself at the 1957 Reunion and they can be sure that Fowler and his Buick will be driving onto the grounds early September 3rd as arrangements have already been made with my employers.
Might add that February 17th marked the end of the steam era on the B & O Railway, Erie Division, which goes by my home. The engine pulling a local with my cousin, F. W. Fowler at the throttle, made the last steam run.
The passing of steam, a new era-What next? Who can say?