REUNION REPORTS

ORIGIN & HISTORY OF THE PIONEER ENGINEER'S CLUB OF INDIANA, INC.


| May/June 1973



Baker thresher

Pitching bundles into Baker thresher on the Ed Ploeger farm near St. Maurice in 1957. Note: Two young women pitching bundles. This is really Women's Lib!! Courtesy of Jerry Moorman, Greensburg, Indiana 47240.

Jerry Moorman

Greensburg, Indiana 47240.

The following article concerns the beginnings of the Pioneer Engineer's Club. Many dispute the age of this club as being older than 25 years. The information given below may help clear this dispute up.

In 1946 the Indiana Brotherhood of Threshermen no longer existed. Some of the members and officers got together to decide how to dispose of $75.00 which they had in the treasury. They decided to buy a gift for the oldest member, and a leather coat was purchased for Luther Caldwell, a charter member. A basket dinner was planned to be held at Metzger's Lumber Yard in Rushville, where Mr. Caldwell had his little 1870 Gaar portable stored. That day, in 1947, 50 men met at the Rushville lumber yard. They discovered that Henry McMann was the eldest and also a charter member, so another coat was purchased and the remainder of the money was spent for soft drinks. At this meeting they talked of forming a club of threshermen and sawmill men. They voted to hold their first reunion the next summer at the Rush county fairgrounds. The first officers elected were: Pres., Nelson Howard of New Castle; Vice-Pres., Fred H. Paul of Frankfort; & Secy.-Treas., Ralph Shelburne of Zionsville. Directors were: Eldon Myers of New Augusta; Walter Ramsey, Danville; Roy Mitchell, Rushville; Chester Franklin, Williamsburg; and Lewis Owens, Worthington.

In August, 1948, Luther Caldwell and Roy Mitchell, owners of the Gaar Portable and a hand fed drag thresher, along with Nelson Howard with his 50 HP Case engine, had a reunion at the Rushville Fairgrounds.

In 1950, 3 traction engines were at the reunion. After this reunion, a meeting was held at Krekeler's machine shop at St. Maurice, near Greensburg. At this meeting it was decided to name the growing club to 'The Pioneer Engineer's Club of Indiana.' This name was suggested by Howard Ewbank, one of our deceased members.

1951 saw the club grow to six traction engines owned by: Ralph Shelburne, Reeves; Tony Moorman, Advance Rumely; Ben Krekeler, Baker; Howard Ewbank, Port Huron; Nelson Howard, Case; and Lawrence Porter, Case. Mr. Caldwell had his Gaar portable, and Keith Mauzy brought a 6 H.P. Case portable. New officers were elected: Pres., Ben Krekeler, Greensburg; Vice-Pres., Davis Sullivan, Markleville; Secy., Howard Ewbank, Rushville; Treas., Anthony Moorman, Greensburg (who has served continuously since). The reunions were held at the fairgrounds in conjunction with the Rush County fair for 6 years, until 1953. No admission was charged, exhibitors paid for their own expenses, and only donations were accepted to help boost the young club.