SOOT IN THE FLUES

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‘It is with great sadness that I sit down to write this
letter. I have been receiving IMA for some twenty years,
and the first article I read was ‘Soot in the
Flues.”

‘Over the years I have come to feel that I knew Anna Mae
very well and hoped that someday, someplace we would meet. Her
writing created a stir in me and she felt like a member of my
family. I, like all of you, feel a great loss.’

‘This is my first writing, although I did write a letter
when Anna Mae was talking about having to pack it in if she did not
receive any more letters. However, mine never got mailed. I think
now I will try to look for it, change it a little and send it to
you as a tribute to her.’

‘Again, my heartfelt sympathy to all at
IMA.’

W. LIONEL SMITH, P.O. Box 512, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan,
Canada S6V 5R8.

C. J. NIELSON, 8969 Geraldine Avenue, San Diego, California
92123 writes: ‘Reading your 1994-95 book on tractors, engines,
threshers, etc. I notice the interest seems to be lessening.

‘I was glad to see the Canada pages. Canada is more of the
older methods and they take more interest in the older
ways.’

‘I looked for mention of old time fiddling as a draw, as I
think threshing and fiddling go together, especially up in Canada.
Canada is great for fiddlers.

‘I played at a thresher show and I sure got a lot of nice
comments. I’d hope we could get that going at thresher shows.
I’d be glad to do some jigging, step dances, etc. to hoe-downs,
even though I’m 87!’

We have this from GARY YAEGER, 146 Reimer Lane, White-fish,
Montana 59937:

‘With the loss of our dear Anna Mae, I’m kind of at a
loss as to how to address my letter to you. Anna Mae had become a
friend to me through the one love of my life I love to write about.
I don’t mean to hog the pages of IMA from anyone who
sends you material. Anna Mae would say when she was needing
material, and never seemed the type to turn down anything. If you
need fill for an edition maybe you’d use my material. I think
she’d want the Album to go on without her. How I’d love to
have met her.

‘I can procrastinate as well as the next person. I remember
how I feared sending my first letter to IMA, thinking
‘What if someone proves me wrong or criticizes what I have
written?’ I certainly am not a writer nor a good scholar, but I
refuse to have our steam hobby wane due to my efforts. I have been
privileged to know some of the old steam greats. Most of them are
gone now. How I’d like to have my father back for ten minutes.
Or Walt Mehmke, or Charlie Tyler, or Earl Tyler, or Shelby
Bellinger. I wrote Max Tyler a few weeks ago and after asking him a
question, he replied, ‘I know I’m the last of the old steam
men!’ Some of you who know great old steam people should do
with your old steam acquaintances what I did with Austin Monk on
February first. I set up my camcorder on a tripod and made him tell
the camcorder the many steam stories he’s told me over the
years. This 83-year-old friend resisted, but finally recognized
what I was trying to do. I also did the same thing to another
82-year-old friend who is the oldest conductor in the Whitefish
division of the Burlington (Great) Northern Railroad. I captured
two hours of steam railroading. They both said something to the
effect of ‘Yah, you want to get it before I die!’ I
reminded them both that they may be attending my funeral first.

‘Speaking of my friend Max Tyler, of Moore, Montana, I
received the following letter from him just this week:’

I sure wish you could have been along when I visited Ben
Hollenback, former Reeves Dealer, of Buffalo, Montana.

Two things he told meI forgot to tell you in my last letter. One
was that the 40 HP U.S.-C.C. had a 7/16
lapseam boiler instead of ?’ like the 32 U.S.-C.C. Same 150 lb.
pressure.

Also that the 40 Canadian C.C. could be ‘special
ordered’ with a ?’ butt-strap boiler instead of ‘
regular. It used 200 lb. pressure instead of 175 lb. in the
regular.

Ben had sold two 40 HP Reeves engines, one in the Stanford area
and one in the Denton area of Montana. He told me their names but I
have forgotten them. They were the regular 40s. He didn’t know
of any ‘special 40s.’

The 40 boiler owned by Mark Pederson is a special 40, ?’, I
believe. The Smolik Bros. 40 may have a ? boiler too.

‘Now, maybe I’d best get on with what my original
intentions were, in writing you. In the July/August issue of
IMA, I had an article about Charlie Tyler’s forty U.S.
Reeves. In that story, I paralleled my dad’s 32 Reeves
cross-compound, Canadian Special. I stated that Reeves must have
built a forty counterpart, with flat dome, straight steam line and
vertical main steam shutoff valve. Technically, this would be a
‘second model’ forty Reeves. I stated I’d never seen a
picture of one. Ironically, I found a picture in a Montana
Geographic Series (18) called ‘Montana Farm and Ranch
Life.’ The second model forty was pulling a wooden combine in
Hill County. Mark Pederson of Luverne, North Dakota, came to
Whitefish early this year and we spent a couple of hours in a local
restaurant talking about ‘forty Reeves.’ Mark is gathering
parts to assemble a second model of a forty Reeves. He gave me
three pictures of the second model forty Reeves he is trying to
rebuild. My good friends Ed and Ray Smolik have put their third
model (one of two produced by Reeves) in the museum at Osage, Iowa.
I was fortunate enough (thanks to Dean Ballinger and Randy
Schwerin) to get to run this engine on August 27th, 1992, and
I’ll never forget that day as long as I live! Anyway, Tom
Stebritz, of Algona, Iowa, and I have become friends, in front of
your subscriber’s eyes. Tom pulled my ‘fat out of the
fire’ on the article I wrote in the September/October
IMA on the 40-150 HP Case. Tom ‘held my hand’
through one of those ‘attack’ periods of IMA
letter writing! Tom stuck by me and I feel he cleared up any
question of my inability to stand on my own two feet. In his first
letter to me, however, he sent me a picture of a second model
Reeves forty with all of the above specifications. It was taken
during the depression in Canada (I believe Saskatchewan).

I’d better not take this much paper to describe the next
bunch of pictures I’ve included! Number two is of a first model
forty Reeves owned by Len Chapin of Fort Benton, Montana, hauling
eight wagons or one carload of wheat to town. The third picture is
of a first (U.S. lapseam boiler) model Reeves given me by Mark
Pederson. The picture was taken in Canada. It is a brand new
engine. Note the pinstripes on the side tank below
‘Reeves.’ This picture had to have been taken in 1910.
Picture number four is of Steve Anderson’s forty Reeves and
forty Peerless, of Lewis-town, Montana. This forty Reeves can be
seen on page 10 of the July/August 1994 IMA. This Peerless
can be seen on page 11 of the March/April 1995 IMA.
Picture number five is of the same Z-3 Peerless.

‘The next picture (6) is of the Tyler collection 32 Reeves
cross compound Canadian Special engine at Moore, Montana. This
picture was taken in September 1958. I was a sophomore at Moore
High School that year, and skipped school that day to watch Walter
and Carl Mehmke run this fine engine plowing a 36-foot wide swath,
with one way plows. Alva Stevens had Tyler’s 30 HP double
cylinder, double countershaft Minneapolis fired up that day also.
My mother was upset. My dad was proud. I am proud. That is
80-year-old Max Tyler sitting on the lid of the Reeves toolbox,
when he was 43 years old!

‘The next two pictures (7 & 8) are of me on Austin
Monk’s 40-120, Z-3 Peerless in 1993. I just wanted you readers
to see the gigantic size of that 20 bottom John Deere 14’ plow,
Doug McDougall and I were preparing to go open up the field. Notice
a light colored shirt and a pair of suspenders below me on the
fireman’s deck and that is Austin Monk, owner of this fine
piece of workmanship. In the next picture, I’m opening up the
field with this 1913 Emerson-Brantingham engine.

‘I feel fortunate to have run a few of the finest engines in
the United States. A forty Reeves, a forty Peerless, a forty Avery,
and I’ve ridden on a forty Gaar-Scott. I’ve run a bunch of
other nice engines, too, including my 15 HP Case. I’ve gotten
to run the 32 HP Reeves cross-compound Canadian Special my dad
owned. I’ve run Tyler’s 32 HP cross-compound U.S., and a
couple of 110 HP Cases. My dad used to run Reeves #7181, back when
it was done for real, and not just necessarily for fun. (He did
have fun. He told me so.) He’d have rather run a steam engine
than any of the seven or eight crawler tractors we ever owned.

‘Hopefully, next winter I’ll have another story for your
fine publication. I am one who really looks forward to my next Iron
Men Album! Please keep up the good work!’

CHADY ATTEBERRY, 131 Robin Road, Blackwell, Oklahoma 74631,
writes: ‘I am enclosing photos taken at the Major County Show,
Fairview, Oklahoma, September, 1994.

‘In the plowing pictures the lead engine is a 30-98 Nichols
& Shepard single side mount #13147 pulling a John Deere twelve
bottom plow. Engineer is Paul Martens, of Fairview, Oklahoma. The
rear engine is a 20-75 double rear mounted Nichols & Shepard
#13720 pulling an eight bottom John Deere plow. The engineer is
Dale Wolff of Cushing, Oklahoma.

‘Both engines plowed several acres using coal for fuel. The
engines are factory equipped with oil pots for gear lubrication. It
is our opinion that on engines being used for heavy traction work,
oil is by far the best method for gear lubrication.

‘Road grading was a new event for the Fairview, Oklahoma,
Show. Engine #13720 pulled an Adams leaning wheeled grader. We
built a road about one-fourth mile long. Dieter Mitchell of
Arkansas City, Kansas, was the grader operator and road
foreman.’

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