President Ray Jones, Right, presents Tony Moorman with engraved gold watch for 25 years of service as treasurer.
R.R. 6, Greensburg, Indiana 47240
Anthony Moorman was recently honored and presented a gold watch at a dinner and social meeting of the Pioneer Engineers Club of Indiana at Rushville. The occasion was the retirement after 25 years of continuous service as treasurer of the Pioneer Engineers Club. Mr. Moorman cited a desire to let the younger generation take some of the responsibilities and a desire to be able to attend the steam show and relax and be an exhibitor without the added duties of an officer. Each year Tony exhibits his Advance Rumely, but with an office in the club, he had to always get someone else to operate his engine. Hopefully, he will now be able to operate his own engine for the first time in many years.
Mr. Moorman's association with the club goes back to the day when the Pioneer Engineers Club was organized 29 years ago. His interest in steam engines goes back to when his father, a German immigrant started a sawmill at St. Maurice in 1906. Naturally the mill was powered by steam. Some of the engines they used were: an Atlas skid engine, Gaar Scott, Advance compound, Aultman Taylor, Baker, Case. Some of the above engines were used in a portable sawmill they would take around and saw on the farms.
Tony's first engine he owned was a 20 H.P. Baker. One of his biggest regrets was the junking of a perfectly good 20 H.P. Aultman Taylor during World War II.
Since he had a 75 H.P. Case in the mill and no longer needed the Aultman he decided to scrap it for the government. In 1960 the old 75 Case was retired and replaced by electric. It had served well and still ran like a new engine. It was by far the cheapest power he ever used. The old Case was restored and sold to William Clem of Manassas, Virginia.
Tony acquired his Advance Rumely in November, 1948 from a man at Batesville. He had known of this engine since the day he saw it unloaded from a railroad car when it was new. The second day it run, it threshed on the Moorman farm. He always thought that it was a fine engine and would like to own it someday. He drove it home on Thanksgiving day when it was nearly 0 degrees. A fire had to be built under the engine to thaw out the pipes under the engine. It was a trip he would never forget.
Other engines he owned for a time was a 23-90 Baker counter flow that he took on payment for a saw bill. It had been in a flood and completely submerged and pushed up against a tree. It took 2 days to pump the mud out of the boiler and get it fired up to run home. The engine is now owned by Robert Price and is at Urbana, Ohio. He also converted a 1907, 6 H.P. Case portable into a traction engine, mounted on truck chassis. His last engine he restored was a 1907 18 H.P. Baker now owned by Jerry Moorman. The only engine he now owns is his favorite, the 20 HP Advance Rumely.
As summer arrives, once again it will be time to fire the Rumely and just enjoy being an engineer. The Club deeply appreciates the long years of service to the club and wishes the best to him.