Raleigh W. Creek writes. . . . . . . . .

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Here is a picture of the Nichols Shepard 16-60 HP owned by Jack Kadinger who lives near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Mr. Kadinger acquired this engine a short time ago. This picture was taken at the Halverson Steam Threshing Eventat Egan, S. D.

Batavia, Iowa

Dear Friends

Being this is a real March day I am going to write a few lines
of ray lifes history with machinery. I was born June 9, 1894 at
Douds Iowa, and the next year my father bought a 12 H. P. Peerless
Engine with wood front wheels and wood spokes in the rear wheels-
and a Peerless Separator. But before I got old enough he traded and
got a 32-52 Nichols Sheppard with hand feed, Satley Stacker, and
Peoria Weigher.

When the year of 1907 rolled a round father says to mother I am
going to put Raleigh on the engine this fall. And was that music to
my ears. Father goes over to our neighbor, Ruban Johnson, and ask
if his son Grant would haul water. Grant is a little older than I
and he is the only one left.

Grant stayed on for three years. We got along that first year
pretty good. As soon as father would get the holes dug to level the
machine I would pull it in and he pulled the pin and I took the
engine and Grant the belt. I must say that old Peerless was the
easiest engine to put in the belt I ever handled. It had a
wonderful brake. Just push it down with your left foot and the
engine stayed right there. You had to slide the gear pinion in and
out of gear. So I learned to handle an engine without a clutch.

On December 8, 1912 I lost my mother and that was a hard blow to
all of us. I got one sister and three brothers. My youngest brother
was only one year old. I am seven years the oldest.

At the close of the 1914 threshing season I went out on my own.
Harold Stump, a cousin of mine, cut timber all that winter. The
fall of 1915 I ran a 13 H. P. Nichols-Shepard side mounted single
engine pulling a Russell Separator. A wetter fall I never saw. The
shocks looked like green pasture.

In the fall of 1916 I took job running a 20-60 Case to pull a
36-56 Case Separator for Ran Snider here in my home town today. Mr.
Snider had two outfits 22.65 36-56 and an older 25-70 on a 40-62
Separator, all Case. When the day came to start threshing my
Separator man didn’t show up, and the bad part was that he was
Mr. Sniders son-in-law. So I gets on my motorcycle and goes hunt
for this man Stump and when I found him I told him I had to have
him to fire that 20 Case.

Harold Stump’s father was a threshing machine and saw mill
man and also a brother to my mother.

We got another boy to haul water and that made what you would
call a all boy gang, but we didn’t do so bad. We made the boss
more money than the other outfit with all hired help.

I stayed with this old gentleman through three threshing
seasons. As soon as the grain was all through the boss would give
me his new engine which was the 22-65 and I would go to filling
silos. There was a run of them, sixteen in all, close to
Libertyville. I filled this run for a round twelve years. After
silo work I would pull hedge. Some call it Osage Orange. I pulled
one and one half mile for one man.

Then in November of 1918, I got married and we have had a happy
life.

Long about Christmas time of 1918 I went to Bushnell, Ill. and
bought a 20 h.p. Wood Brothers and a 32-52 all wood Advance
machine. After one of breaking right hand bull gear I traded it on
a 20 H. P. Advance Rumely which proved to be, in years to come, the
best engine I ever had.

I never will forget its number-15009. I unloaded it off the car
on December 14, 1919. I done all kinds of work with this engine and
never broke a gear.

With my folks both gone the wife and I had a sister and four
brothers to take care of. Then on the 17th of September 1920 I had
the misfortune to lose all the fingers of my left hand, left me a
good thumb. I got the little finger off my right hand in 1897, in
the rear of hand corn sheller with a blind man turning. So I gone
through a lot of years with three fingers and two thumbs.

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