P.O. Box 1605 Fairbanks, Alaska 99707
To my knowledge only three of these Best steamers were built, all three owned by the Guy brothers.
They contracted harvesting. There were no fences between ranches in those days, so they would harvest everyone's grain at the same time. They would start out, make one round, and that would take all day. They would cut that field out, then start another. Each farmer would pick up the sacks on his ranch and some of those ranches were so big, they had several fields this size.
These pictures were taken on the west side, out of Tracy and Stockton, California, on some of the old Miller and Lux holdings. They had thousands of acres of land from old Spanish grants.
Back to the steamers, I don't know what their HP was, but as you can see they were good size. I only saw them once about 1923 or 1924. I was three or four years old, and it was about that time they caught on fire and burned, harvesters, tractors, and the barn. My parents drove us out there the next day in our model T Ford and all that was left was a smoking pile of iron.
The picture of the three steamers with ore wagons was taken at Milton, California. They had a contract hauling copper ore from Copperopolis, California to Milton, California, where it was loaded on the train and taken to the Bay area to the smelters.
The roads were dirt, and they told me the dust would get about a foot deep and would run like water in front of the wheels.
I'm not a writer or I could make a five page story out of this. I hope you readers will enjoy the pictures of my grandfather, John Benefiel, and others on these pages.
John Benefiel was my grandfather. Will Benefiel, his brother, is holding the coffee pot. Gib Collier was my great-grandfather. The engine in this picture was used at the saw mill when they weren't threshing. Picture was taken around Lake View, Oregon.
I don't know who is in this picture it was with my great-grandmother's pictures. It must have been taken around Lake View, Oregon.