3504 Willow Drive Mattoon, Illinois 61938
It appeared in our neighborhood about 1970 and was used approximately three or four years before being left to sit. The Peerless was purchased by Emmet Ford of Rockville, Indiana from Ray Jones of Sunman, Indiana. Mr. Jones exhibited the engine at the Rushville, Indiana Show where several people remember seeing this engine. Most of the people remembered the engine because of its wooden spoke wheels.
A Mr. Holt of Ohio remembered this engine being at Rushville years ago and his father or grandfather remarking that the fireman would have to watch where the ashes were raked out or he could set his wheels on fire!
Mr. Ford used the engine to power a shingle mill and in the early 1970's (1972-1973) it was unloaded and left to sit until it sold at Mr. Ford's estate sale in April, 1989. At that time Mr. Pickett of Brazil, Indiana purchased the engine.
During the years it sat I tried in vain several times to buy the engine from Mr. Ford, but we just could not agree on a purchase price. He was 'going to get his price for it, or it could sit there and rot down.'
My dad asked me what I wanted with that old Peerless, with its flywheel on the wrong side and the steering wheel on the other. He always wondered how you were supposed to line up the engine for belt work. The more Dad expressed his discontent with the old Peerless the more I threatened to buy it. I thought that it would make a nice show piece with its cabbage head stack, wooden spoke wheels and foot brake.
Prior to Mr. Ford's estate sale I moved to Illinois and got an education on where a lap-seam boiler fits into the scheme of things, there-fore when the Peerless sold I just had a passing interest in it. In Illinois a lap-seam boiler can carry a maxi-mum of 100 pounds pressure regardless of condition. In some states a lap-seam boiler is not allowed to be state inspected be-cause it is considered to be a non-code boiler.
I hope that the Peerless gets restored to the shape it was in when Mr. Jones owned it, so everyone can enjoy it for many more years.