Old Threshers Pick 1989 STEAM ENGINE OF THE YEAR


| July/August 1989

  • Steam Engine

    Jim Adams
  • Engine
    The engine before restoration (photo by the late Lyle Burroughs).
    Lyle Burroughs
  • Fricke brothers
    In this 1981 photo, the Fricke brothers are replacing flues on the Russell.
  • # Picture 01

  • Charles Fricke, Lloyd Widmer and Jerry Fricke'
    After restoration in 1952. Left to right, Charles Fricke, Lloyd Widmer and Jerry Fricke.
  • Charles and Alden Fricke
    Charles (left) and Alden Fricke (right) accept Midwest Old Threshers Awards from Lennis Moore at 1988 Reunion.

  • Steam Engine
  • Engine
  • Fricke brothers
  • # Picture 01
  • Charles Fricke, Lloyd Widmer and Jerry Fricke'
  • Charles and Alden Fricke

A reprint (with permission) from Threshers Craft, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, January/February/March 1989 issue. Submitted by Jim Adams, Midwest Old Threshers, Route 1, Threshers Road, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa 52641.

The Midwest Old Threshers Board of Directors selected a 25 HP Russell steam engine as 'Steam Engine of the Year' for the 1989 Midwest Old Threshers Reunion, scheduled for August 31 to September 4. The engine, owned by Charles and Alden Fricke, Mt. Union, Iowa was chosen several months ago, even before the 1988 Reunion was history.

The Fricke brothers acquired the steam engine, built in 1922, from Lloyd Widmer, Winfield, Iowa. Widmer is a former director, steam engineer and volunteer at Midwest Old Threshers. He retired from the Board of Directors in 1982.

The engine has received 'tender loving care' from the Frickes during their ownership. In 1952, it was completely restored.



In 1981, the Frickes replaced the flues, setting the engine up in a location on the Midwest Old Threshers grounds. A tree was used to support the front of the engine and rail ties were utilized to give support to the other portion of the engine as work progressed.

In 1985, the engine was taken to Cedar Rapids, Iowa where Tunnie Melsha replaced the flue sheet at that time.