Steam King Passes On

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Morgan Hill in 1979 standing by his Case Portable #611.
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Dragging Huber Portable out of the woods.
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At the throttle of the 16 HP Double N & S engine #13225,145 lbs. of pressure
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Blowing loose hay with the Case Portable

13140 Madison Road Middlefield, Ohio 44062

The life of Morgan H. Hill sadly came to an end August 26, 1988.
Born in June 1913, he was raised in Linesville, Pennsylvania.
Moving a few times in the area, on different farms with his parents
and two sisters, he was interested in ‘improving’ the way
of back-breaking farm chores. As a young boy riding his pony to
school past a blacksmith shop, he would stop sometimes, skipping
school to help and learn the trade. The German ‘Smitty’ had
patience and took the time to teach. Soon Morgan had his own forge
and shop made from a small grainery on the farm. Not interested in
school, he got a job with the highway department. Working the job,
he would travel around the county spotting a steam engine here and
there. He bought a 12 HP Westinghouse and Buffalo-Pitts 16 HP.
While he was at work one day his mother unknowingly sold them to a
passing scrap dealer for $22.00. When he got home and saw nothing
left but the governor belt he was disgusted and quit the highway
job and bought a sawmill, deciding to work at home from then on
doing repair work for area people.

He built up his sawmill business and butchering shop. A self
taught sawyer, he began to hammer and fit saw blades. He became an
expert in this field and at the end was equaled by no one! People
came from all parts of the U.S. to get saw blades repaired.

He would buy a steam engine every now and then. He had 18, all
of which he rebuilt, and they were all in good repair.

Morgan was an early member of Blake’s Reunion and Rough and
Tumble at Kinzers, PA, and was an important founder in our
hobby.

Steam was no hobby for Morgan. Setting and designing factories
and heating systems was his business, Skinner engines being his
favorite for power. He knew them inside and out, to get the best
results for each installation. He operated his steam powered
sawmill for over 50 years, sawing millions of feet of lumber. His
small portable mill was one of the main attractions at our shows.
He enjoyed using his 15 HP Farquhar and getting the last puff of
steam out of the cylinder.

Morgan had a threshing run for 30 years. A 22 inch Nichols &
Shepard separator, Russell 12 HP steam engine, and Oliver Hart-Parr
supplied the power. He also filled 22 silos each fall after the
threshing was done.

He made many friends at the different shows. He liked recalling
the good times with Bill Sater of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; Gilmar
Johnson, of Wisconsin; Clarence Fisher, of Pennsylvania; the Holp
family of Ohio. The list of names could fill two pages. I could
write a book on the ‘perdicaments’ he helped people out of,
including myself, but time won’t permit. His generosity and
ability to fix anything put him in a class above most of us. His
determination from start to finish amazed all of us. A hard man to
try to write about because he did so much and helped so many. He
will be sadly missed.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
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