Steam Threshing Days Beldenville Wisconsin


| May/June 1975



1511 Iglehart Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota 55104

The Beldenville, Wisconsin Steam Engine Days, an annual event, was held September 14th and 15th, 1974 on the Ed Huppert farm which is a short distance off Highway 35 about halfway between River Falls and Elsworth.

The show site is in a beautiful valley, covered with pasture grass with low hills sprinkled with burr-oak trees and an occasional basswood found along a ravine that leads the visitor to the refreshment stand, and farther on, the machine shed where Ed Huppert stores his tractors and other machinery that he Uses to make up the show. Mr. Huppert is a persevering collector of machinery that was used in the past, and keeps adding to his growing outlay of antique vehicles as well as addition to the collection in the museum.

Ralph Truax and Rudy Clem-mensen were with me. Ralph was a steam engineer for several years threshing in North Dakota. He also did trouble shooting for steam engine owners who came to him for help. And Rudy? Well, was a Norwegian boy who grew up on a farm at Spring Grove, Minnesota. He went away to school, got into an engineering job of some kind which was his life's work. He is now retired, but keeps going at other things, one is being a drummer in the Shrine Band in St. Paul. But after years of being away from it, Rudy never forgot the smell of straw-burning steamers, the sweat, dirt and barley beards, nor the fine lunches brought out to the machine by the women folks and the kids. And at meal time, who could forget the baked beans, meat, potatoes and gravy topped with cake or every kind of pie? Is it any wonder that his great love is watching steam engines and taking numerous pictures at the shows? As we walked into the show area, we came to Ed Huppert's 80 HP Case Engine. Charles Fellenz and Arnold Schladweiler both from Ellsworth were the engineers. A gasoline wood sawing outfit was cutting slabs into firewood.

Over at the machine shed, a larger tractor was belted to a well-painted 10-20 IHC Mogul that had refused to start, but it soon did.

About that time, I saw Mike Kovich of Jordan and Archie Stevens of Millville, Minnesota. Archie collected steam engines when they were cheap and has quite a number of them. He also has a collection of antique machinery and other things of interest.