Search for Strawburners

| September/October 1974

836 S. Johnson Street, Macomb, Illinois 61455.

I attended for the first time in my life, the Threshers Reunion at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa in September 1972. I was so impressed! So, I went again this year, September 2, 1973. I took along a picture postcard that I had of my great grandfather's outfit in Nebraska, used around Axtell, Minden and Holdridge, Nebraska. I searched for an outfit like my picture, but could find none. I talked to three men who appeared to know the business, even consulted others, and their conclusion was that this outfit was an early Advance Strawburner and about a 30 HP and a large outfit.

My great grandfather left Illinois (Keithsburg) in 1882 and he died in 1912. He was retired at the time of his death and living at Axtell. His name was John P. Johnson and he was married in Sweden to Eva Storm. They came to America to Keithsburg in 1876 where he had relatives, then went to Nebraska in 1882 where his wife's sister and other relatives lived. I do not know when he acquired this outfit, or if he bought it new or used. I do not know which year the original picture was taken, but I'd guess the early 1900s.

The threshermen at Mt. Pleasant advised me to send you a picture for your ALBUM and that you would date the age of the machine (year made) and the make, which they thought was an Advance, but one fellow said it might be an Aultman-Taylor. They also said they have none of the strawburners at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

Do you know where any strawburners are, such as in museums, etc. in this area? I'd sure like to see one.

My father was a tool and die maker for A very Tractors (1904 to 1939 when he died). However, my great grandfather, mentioned above, was on my Mother's side of the family. Nevertheless, I was interested in all the steam engines and tractors at Mt. Pleasant as were our grandchildren. That's the reason I had more pictures of the strawburner made, so they would each have one.