Licking County, S. Louisville, Ohio
Just received ray third copy of IRON-MEN ALBUM to which I
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, 30×50 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
17×22 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 28×48 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?