Story by Ralph Hussong

By Staff
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This shows the boiler boomed on the truck ready for the trip to Mt. Pleasant.
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Here is a picture of the engine which I built and just finished last year at the age of 80. It took me about a year and a half. It is 10 ft. long and weighs 3000 lbs. The boiler is 3/8 thick and has about 70 stay bolts. The fire box is 12 x 24'. I ha
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This picture shows the remaining boiler parked on ground level.

Slightly over one hundred years ago the people of Adams county
Illinois started a home for their unfortunate, known as the County
Home. It was located not too far from the center of the county on a
farm of 160 acres where they maintained their own dairy, small beef
herd raised many hogs and a large flock of poultry as time
continued and the inhabitants increased the building was enlarged
until in the late 1890’s it was three story building with one
hundred and five rooms with separate boiler pit equipped with large
steam boilers for heating the structure and any additional power
requirements such as needed in a well equipped laundry, slaughter
house etc. in fact the farm was very self sufficient in its own.
This place continued to operate until Dec. 30, 1960 at that time
the county board of supervisors decided to place the occupants in
rest homes and dispose of the farm and large building. The place
was purchased by a Mr. Grant Martin who proceeded to dismantle the
premises, so that by the end of 1963 little remained except the
laundry where his family resided. The large water tower and boiler
pit which housed the boilers steam pumps work shop etc. in April
11, 1964 one of the boilers was purchased by Ralph Hussong a
retired steam engineer of Camp Point, Illinois who inturn presented
it to the Old Settlers and Threshers reunion Ass’n. at Mt.
Pleasant Iowa with the hope that it can be used to operate Corless
engines which have been given them. It will be impossible to get
this set up and in shape to operate this season but can be seen S.
W. of the railroad building where it can be seen during the reunion
Sept 9, 10, 11, 12, 1964.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment