Farm Collector


Route 1, Mead, Washington 99021

When we left last May first, we didn’t know what to expect
in weather. Boy, did we get it.

Our first stop was at St. Regis, Montana, to see our steam
friend, Charles Bennett. We were hoping to see his new boat but he
had taken it to the lake.

In Missoula I found one of the best and some of the oldest
engines I ever saw. They belong to Bud King. He wasn’t there so
I took a couple of nice pictures. He has an old Garr Scott no.
3529, a N&S no. 2940, an old Case portable no. 396, a Rumely, a
20 hp Case, a Tandem Advance, a 30 cat and an old Hart Parr.

I also got to meet Mr. Charles Parr but didn’t get to see
his collection. Did you know he is related (son I think) to the
Parr who started the Hart Parr works?

We left Missoula with 3′ of hard packed snow and ice on our
car and it stayed there for 3 days. We left no. 10 and headed south
at Silver Star, Montana. I took a picture of Lloyd Harkin’s
collection. He wasn’t home and a large sign read, ‘These
engines not for sale. Keep Out’, so we went on.

At Elder Gulch near Virginia City, we stopped to see the old
steam train there. We got some cards at Virginia City, but it was
snowing like mad, so we went on to Ennis. Everybody for 50 miles
knows Slim Rennewanz so we had no trouble finding his place. That
evening Slim and Ella took us for a ride around his place and I bet
we saw 200 deer and 2 bunches of antelope. What a beautiful wild
place he has. We had a grand visit and the next morning I took a
picture of his lodge home with 1′ of new snow on it. Did you
know that we have 3 old-time aviators in our W.S.F.A.? Slim of
Ennis, Cecil Pounder of Spokane and Ed Volge of Buhl. We left
Slim’s in a snow storm.

At Ennis I took 2 pictures of a beautiful portable Garr Scott at
the El Western Motel and across the highway of a Case, an N&S
and a street roller all sitting out in the weather, used only as a
crowd stopper.

We went back to no. 10 and through snow drifts 8 and 10′
high. We camped in our V.W. bus near Sheridan, Wyoming at 17 above.
Say, did you know that antelope can’t jump over a fence? They
can go through a fence and run like the wind, but a fence that will
hold goats will hold antelope. So says Slim Rennewanz.

In the Block Hills of South Dakota we stopped at Hill City to
see the steam train there with snow all over it. At Rapid City,
South Dakota, we visited the W. A. Kelly’s of 2011 Twin Elms.
He has 3 beautiful small locomotives and in his back yard a 6′
track about 250 ft. long. His garage looks like a machine shop. Two
lathes, drill press shaper and milling machine. That evening he
asked a friend to come over and see my pictures. He was Mr. Frank
Ewing of Route 1, Box 188. Mr. Kelly is a finished organ player and
has a concert organ and did he play it for us that night and in the
A.M., too.

After a fine breakfast we went over to see Mr. Ewing’s
collection. He said he wasn’t a collector but what he has a lot
of museums are still looking for. He has an old N & S 8 hp,
1889, in A-l condition, a 1909 Int. Harvester truck, a Stanley
Steam and a spare engine, 6 saddles, wagon, 3 large bells and lots
of small ones. All under cover. In a shed a 10 hp boiler connected
to 3 engines, a 30 hp Horz. Ideal, 8 hp verticle, 4 hp Cushman, and
gas engines, too.

When we got to Columbus, Nebraska, we had a day to spare so we
went south to York, Nebraska, and visited A. J. Woodban. He took me
to his machine shop and I saw a swell 9 hp A. W. Stevens engine. He
thinks it’s the only one in the U.S., no. 1774. I could have
sent it home but I didn’t have the $2000. He also has a small
2/3 size of a 16 hp Stevens (not for sale) carries 125 lbs. steam.
He has showed this engine at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. It weighs 1020
lbs. loaded.

We went to Henderson, Nebraska to see Mr. John J. Thieszen, but
he has sold his collection but kept two engines. They are moving
the Museum to Grand Island, Nebraska, I heard. I had a long talk
with him and he gave me a picture of his engine.

We went to Harvard, Nebraska, and to the farm of Forest Pence.
Here is the daddy of collections. He wasn’t home but Boo and I
took a look and what I saw made me sad. He must have 40 or more
engines all sitting out in the weather. I saw an old Jumbo, two
Minnies no. 6325 and no. 855 with return flues. A Woods Bros. no.
444 – Avery, 3 old Hubers, a Peerless no. 9409 and a Townsend 25-50
gas. There was one engine in shed getting painted. This was the
biggest disappointment of my trip. He could make 30 men happy and
have just one engine to take care of. I left there with a heavy

We went to Minden, Nebraska, and stayed all night in the parking
lot of The Pioneer Village. Next morning we paid $1.35 to see the
finest museum I have ever seen. We took 5 hours to see it but could
have spent 2 days there. If The Pioneer Village hasn’t got it,
it hasn’t been made yet.

We went north to the freeway, then east on 34 to Mt. Pleasant,
Iowa. I went down to the park where they hold their bees; saw train
and grounds. I met Mr. Bill Sater but he was so busy he
couldn’t show me around.


  • Published on Mar 1, 1968
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