Grant me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know, to love what I
ought to love, to praise what delights Thee most, to value what is
precious in Thy sight, to hate what is offensive to Thee. Do not
suffer me to judge according to the sight of my eyes, nor to pass
sentence according to the hearing of the ears of ignorant men; but
to discern with a true judgement between things visible and
spiritual, and above all, always to inquire what is the good
pleasure of Thy will. (Thomas a’ Kempis, taken from Tapestries
Hi, all you wonderful people of the I.M.A. Family! If you are
beginning to plan for the New Year and its resolutions, perhaps the
above prayer will help you I hope so! I am certainly going to try
and put it into action in my life.
Good Buddies and Gals I need more material for this column I
always like to chat with you a little, but that is not what makes
‘Soot In The Flues’ interesting. And I’ll just bet
there are those of you out there who think I don’t mean you but
I do. If you think you have something interesting to share with all
of us, please write to me. It is interesting if it has to do with
the engines, the shows, or your accomplishments and also the little
interesting things in your life I’m sure we would all
appreciate them. It can be factual or just plain homey, humorous or
serious and if you oblige me I will certainly do my best to get it
in the column. The following communication comes via telephone from
NEWT HOWELL, Box 457, Shelbyville, Tennessee 37160. He called the
office recently looking for some much needed information. He owns a
Keck Gonnerman engine and is having some trouble getting his boiler
okayed by the inspector.
The engine is rusted and no number can be found on the boiler.
Howell feels certain that Keck Gonnerman boilers were all coded by
the ASME, but he wants to know if anyone has proof of this fact.
His boiler was made in 1933, and he thinks it was coded but he
can’t produce the number for the boiler inspector. Tom Terning
advised him that all Kecks had a code number in the left quadrant
of the back sheet of the engine, but this area is too pitted for
any number to be found. Howell does know that the boiler was a
Broderick, number OS-295, and he has a copy of the original bill of
sale for the 1933 engine #1850, but no serial number. He also has
the original freight bill.
Any information on this will be very much appreciated, and I
hope someone will write to Mr. Howell directly with the proof he
needs to keep his engine running at shows in Tennessee. If he can
find the serial number, he can get the engine repaired and
operating! I know you steam engine buffs like to help one another
and I am sure Newt would be gratified to find this much needed
‘The enclosed photograph is of my dad’s (Seward E.
Corson) miniature steam tractor. It is one of six built in 1960 by
a group of friends in Pennsylvania. This one is the only one on
rubber tires, modeled after the Case. The photo was taken during
the 5th Annual Antique Power & Steam Show sponsored by the
South Lake County Agricultural Historical Society, Inc., held at
the Lake County Fair Grounds this past July 21-23, 1989.’
This information comes from MARK A. CORSON, 9374 Roosevelt
Street, Crown Point, Indiana 46307-1840.
An interesting letter about a noteworthy subject comes from
LARRY D. VAN DE MARK, 209 N. Grimes, Carl Junction, Missouri
‘I read your letter about boiler safety in the
September-October 1989 IMA. Yes, steam engine safety and boiler
safety should be very important. But, where I live in southwestern
Missouri, in five minutes I can be in Kansas, 20 minutes to
Oklahoma and it takes 60 minutes to Arkansas.
‘I was wondering if anyone knows the boiler safety code and
inspection method for these three states, and what it takes to pass
the inspection, or if one inspection is good in all states.
‘I am also interested in what and how to build an ASME code
boiler; i.e. method, material, types of welding rods. How would a
person go about getting a boiler tested and approved? I will
appreciate any information on this subject.’ (I know you
fellows all enjoy helping one another, so if you can supply the
answers, please communicate with Larry he will be most grateful and
he needs a lot of answers.)
Pictured is the belt pulley flywheel side of a 20 HP Keck
Gonnerman engine. Red striping on wheels was done with a red ball
point pen. It is 14′ long, 9′ tall, 8′ wide. It was
made by HAROLD V. GREEN in the winter of 87-88. His address is
Route 1, Box 63, Avoca, Iowa 51521. Thanks Harold and it looks real
nice to me.
Pictures submitted by the late HASTON L. ST. CLAIR, Rural Route
1, Box 140-A, Holden, Missouri 64040.
‘This machine appears to be a Belleville outfit because of
the high wheels on the engine and the separator looks to be a
Belleville. Buckner is a community in Jackson, Missouri my home
county, where my great grandfather migrated to from Randolph
An interesting true story comes to us through BILLY M. BYRD, 369
Harrig Street, Madisonville, Kentucky 42431. He calls it: The
Little Engine That Could and Did!
‘First of all, let me state that I am a Nichols &
Shepard man 150%, but you have to give credit where credit is due.
Two years ago I visited the Oklahoma Steam and Gas Engine Show at
Pawnee, Oklahoma. I visited with my good friends, Chady Atteberry
and Fay Sullivan. It is a superb show with something going on all
the time. While there I saw a size 65 HP Case that was built by Tom
Terning of Valley Center, Kansas.
‘It was perfect in every way. Not too big you can stand on
the ground and reach everything on it. It can be hauled on a
trailer behind a pickup truck and it doesn’t take a truck load
of wood and coal to get it hot. When it pulled 21 HP on the prony
brake, that caught my attention.
‘I got to thinking how nice it would be to own one, with the
boiler inspection laws getting stricter and we don’t know where
it will end. These engines have the ASME stamp and National Board
number and can be taken anywhere in the U.S.
‘I called Mr. Terning and he happened to have one on hand.
He came to Madisonville with the little engine and while here,
ultra sounded my 16-60 Nichols & Shepard. That way you know the
thickness of the boiler shell and fire box sheets and you know
where these things are placed. Mr. Mahlon Giffen came with him and
most of the attention was given to the little Case.
‘I had to fire the little engine up that afternoon. We
hooked it up to a cut-off saw and it really did talk to us then we
hooked it drawbar to drawbar with my 1952 8N Ford tractor. It was a
draw, but if the ground had been dry, I believe the Case would have
pulled the tractor; but the tractor’s rubber tires kept
shedding the mud while it built up on the engine’s steel
‘Then the big test came. The Tennessee-Kentucky
Thresher-men’s Show at Adams, Tennessee. I put it on the Baker
Fan. It did a great job stomping the ground and telling everyone
who it was and what it was doing. People crowded around it. I
borrowed a small sawmill from Mr. Willie Joe Emmick, which would
saw about 8 inch stuff; the little Case played with it.
‘Then came the tractor pull. I asked to pull the sled just
to see what it would do. Some didn’t think it would pull the
slack out of the chain with an inch of water in the glass and 150
lbs. of steam feathering at the pop. I started with it going 105
feet and 3 inches and that would have gone further but hit some
soft ground and the drivers started spinning. Talk about surprised
people!! To be honest, me included, although I have been accused of
trying to chisel the Eagle off the smoke box door to put N & S
on it and trying to figure out a way to put another cylinder on it.
I am more than pleased with the little engine. It proved itself in
more ways than one and was a joy to run and handle. The nice part
about the whole thing is, you have no trouble with boiler
Byrd also sent the following Golden Roll item.
CARL DONAHOO was born April 24, 1903 on a farm in McLean County,
Kentucky near Calhoun. While growing up, he worked around wheat
threshers and tobacco plant beds steaming where he acquired his
great love for steam engines, on attaining manhood. He bought his
first engine, a Russell. The boiler wasn’t too good and had to
be scrapped. He then ran engines for other people, several
different makes, but his favorite was the Nichols & Shepard. He
was a mechanic for the International Harvester Company and also did
repair work on steam engines.
In 1930 he bought a 16-60 double cylinder rear mount Nichols
& Shepard engine which he ran until 1964 threshing wheat and
steaming tobacco beds. From 1964 until the early 1980’s he
steamed beds with a 65 portable Case boiler. The writer acquired
his Nichols & Shepard in 1968. Mr. Donahoo would still run it
in parades and at the Tennessee-Kentucky Threshermen’s Show as
long as he was able.
He was a member of the Tennessee-Kentucky Assn., and several
years ago, he was honored as ‘Old Steam Man’ of the year.
He was also honored as an ‘Old Thresher’ at Mount Pleasant,
Iowa. He ran a shop where he repaired all kinds of equipment. And
it was well known that if Mr. Carl couldn’t fix itthrow it
away, it couldn’t be fixed!
He left us on August 1, 1989. His work here on earth done, to go
onto his Heavenly reward. This kind and gentle man will be sorely
missed by all who knew him. People said about him, ‘What he
says, it’s that way.’ He was never heard to utter an unkind
word about anyone. His wife of 66 years told me that she had never
seen him mad, just aggravated. He leaves his wife, a daughter, four
sons and several grand and great grandchildren. The writer knew him
as a dear friend and he leaves a void that cannot be filled. After
an impressive funeral service where the funeral home was filled
with floral offerings, he was laid to rest August 4, 1989.
In closing, I would like to relate this small example from Words
of Wisdom compiled by Ralph L. Woods I find them quite revealing
and uplifting. This one is ‘The Hearts Door’ When Holman
Hunt’s painting, ‘The Light of the World,’ was
unveiled, an art critic thought he had found an error in this
representation of Christ standing in a garden at midnight, holding
a lantern in one hand and knocking on a door with the other
‘I say, Hunt,’ said the critic, ‘there is no handle
on that door.’
‘That is correct,’ replied the artist. ‘You see,
that is the door to the human heart; the door can only be opened
from the inside.’ (Did you folks ever notice that before? I
think that painting has much merit check it out the next time you
Before chatting with you another time, I must, as usual, leave
you some Food for Thought A little oil of courtesy will save a lot
of friction. Truth doesn’t hurt unless it ought to. The
greatness of our fear shows us the littleness of our faith. And in
conclusion here are Seven Things You Will Never Regret1. Showing
kindness to an aged person. 2. Destroying a letter written in
anger. 3. Offering the apology that saves a friendship. 4. Stopping
a scandal that was wrecking a reputation. 5. Helping a boy find
himself. 6. Taking time to show your mother consideration.7.
Accepting the judgment of God on any question. That’s all for
now. Love you all.