Hi! to all our great members of the Iron-Men Family and I
don’t know what’s in it for you and me, but best wishes for
Looking back over the year we have had hilltop and valley
experiences. A few of the hilltop joys were the graduation of our
youngest off spring incidentally, he picked up his diploma June 10,
forty years to the day I received mine; we celebrated a 40th
Wedding Anniversary and were completely surprised with a beautiful
party given in our honor by our five children at a nearby
restaurant with many friends attending; we do not travel much, but
we went on a trip to Canada for five days with a bus load of good
friends we had a ball and thoroughly enjoyed God’s beautiful
scenery and beautiful people; and of course, many, many tremendous
blessings throughout the year just seeing the faces of loved ones
and being able to live each day with a freedom we still
Since the New Year is upon us I’d like to lend this story to
you to read. It’s solemn, but wise, enjoy it. It is called The
The late William T. Ellis once described the Niagara River as
‘a parable of the beautifying of disaster.’ The Niagara
River is not one of the great rivers of the world. Running from
Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, it is only a few miles long. But what
makes the river significant is that at Niagara Falls there is a
tragedy in the channel a break in the even flow of the stream, so
that the waters make a stupendous leap into the gorge below. As
they are shattered and bruised on the rocks beneath the falls,
however, there is cast up into the sunlight the exquisite rainbow
of the Niagara, which even kings and queens come from the ends of
the earth to see.
Life is like that. Suddenly we have to make a blind leap of
faith into an overwhelming abyss of suffering. Completely shattered
on the cruel rocks of reality, our emotions are churned into a
seething foam of bewilderment. But out of our distresses there is
cast up the sunlight of God’s love, a rainbow of penitence,
hope and trust a radiance in the midst of our tears. Edwin T.
Dahlberg, from Wellsprings of Wisdom Ralph L. Woods.
I’m sure each year we face valleys and mountain tops we have
to remember our faith when these things happen. And we must try to
put the valley episodes out of our mind and trust God to go on
that’s why we talk mostly about the good things that happen to
us. I’m sure you all understand of what I’m speaking.
And now on to the few letters we have this time let’s get
writing Folks or this column will soon be unnecessary.
GARY KAPPEDAL, Route 1, Box 163, Leng by, Minnesota 56651 sends
a group of pictures from long ago that many will be interested in
studying. Gary’s letter follows: ‘I’m enclosing four
pictures that may be interest to your readers. Three of the
pictures show that my Grandpa’s family on both sides were steam
men. The other picture is my Dad’s threshing rig.
Art Bestal with my Dad’s old threshing rig in 1943. The
tractor is an Allis-Chalmers 20-35 HP and the threshing machine is
a Nichols & Shepard.
My mother’s dad, William Lee Palmer, had a farm at
Dickenson, North Dakota. When my grandmother was living she said
that she believed the year was 1912. In the one picture, that is my
grandpa behind the wheel, but others are unknown. As can be seen,
the 20 HP Case was burning straw! in another picture, he is pulling
a hay rack, which no doubt has straw in it, the cone screen having
been lifted out of the stack looks like a flag on a stick.
My father’s dad, Carl Kappedal and his brother, Knute, were
partners in this steam threshing rig My Dad told me they had this
rig before he went to school so the year has to be 1918 or earlier.
They were threshing in the Winger area at the time Knute was in
North Dakota. Dad believes his uncle Tom Vangen was the engineer
and grandpa Carl was the separator man. The wooden threshing
machine is unknown but any steam engine man can see that it is a 75
HP J. I. Case traction engine! Notice that the engine has grouters
like a 50, 65 or 80 HP Case, instead of the common Moore style for
which the 60 and 75 HP were famous. I’ve seen other 75s like
that, some had steel stacks instead of the cast iron like this one,
too. The screen is more like what a steel stack would have instead
of the cone style the cast iron ones should have.
The above shots are of Carl and Knute Kappedal’s steam
threshing rig. The engineer is possibly Tom Vangen. Year is
possibly 1918 or earlier.
Maybe some steam men will have something to add pertaining to
these pictures. If so, it would be interesting and educational to
hear from them. I’m hoping that someone will recognize
something or a person in these pictures and can add a little
information.’ (Let’s hear from you if you know anything
about these four scenes.)
This story of interest comes from DOUGLAS A. SKUBIAK, Route 3,
Mondovi, Wisconsin 54755: ‘Enclosed is a picture of my Eight by
Eight Upright engine. This engine was rescued from an animal fat
processing factory in Aurora, Illinois where it was patiently
waiting for the knacker man’s torch. I am pleased to announce
that it is safe in my shop and will never meet the torch while I
This engine was still on the belt and had a tallow pot sitting
on the cylinder head when I came to take it home this past Memorial
Day weekend. It is in perfect condition. It took myself and Mr. Jon
S. Gould of Naperville, Illinois an honest day’s work to get
the 2200 pound engine loaded in my truck. We were both covered with
fat when the project was complete!
Someone removed the builder’s plate from the cylinder
lagging cover before I got to the engine and I have no idea who
built it or how old it is. There are no identifying marks on any of
the castings. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who could
identify the engine.
I cannot express to you in words the happiness I had when this
engine first set upright in my shop the feeling can only be topped
by the first note of exhaust from the stack in the near future!
(And I’ll bet the fellow enthusiasts know exactly what you are
I really enjoy IMA and wish you and the others on the staff the
best in your most worthwhile endeavors.’
Here are a few pictures from WALT THAYER, Wenatchee, Washington
98801. Walt has contributed a lot of pictures to our magazine and
we appreciate it.
Walter Thayer’s Photos: ‘Island Belle’ at the foot
of Oronda Area on a river at Wenatchee, Washington. Owned by Kit
Carson of Mercer Island.
Walter Thayer’s Photos: Art Eickmeyer, right, and friend
from Wenatchee, stand by an old Case (?) separator on Steffen Ranch
on Stemilt Hill, southwest of Wenatchee, Washington.
Walt also tells us: ‘If several readers of IMA get a
surprise gift such as a railroad calendar from Washington state,
they can thank Monte Holm of Moses Lake, Washington and Walt Thayer
of Wenatchee. The calendars were made and paid for by Monte Holm to
advertise his business, but he also gives a bundle of them to Walt
who sends them out at his own expense to steam fans, engine men,
R.R. men, rail fans, etc. all over the U.S. and Canada and as far
away as New Zealand. Both men were hobos in the early 1930’s
and know what ‘hard times’ really were, and now and then
they get together and recall those good(?) ole days when a dollar
was a dollar if you could find one!’ (Don’t ask me Fellows
how to get one I don’t know, as I never got one either.)
Looking for help from the readers for information this notice
comes from PHIL STEVENS, Pleasant Street, Barre, Massachusetts
01005. He is looking for any information on a very large steam
engine that ran a sawmill in Rutland, Massachusetts. Identifying
marks on brass head are James H. Roberts and Co., Boston Builders.
Swampscott Pattern, 12 x 15. The steam engine also has a ball
governor. He would like to know the approximate year it was built
and how many horsepower it has and how rare it could be. He would
also like to know its worth and how many were built. (Now
there’s a few questions to get answering.)