Farm Collector

The Final Whistle for Ivan E. Burns

Written by Herb Little and submitted by Chady Atteberry 931
Robin Road Blackwell, Oklahoma 74631

He was born May 28, 1919 and died September 19, 2000.

Ivan will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He was like a
second father to me. He told stories of working as a kid with the
engines and tractors that he loved so much. Anyone who knew Ivan
can tell stories of the times he helped them with stories and

Ivan was one of eleven men who, in 1966, formed the Oklahoma
Steam Threshers Association at Waukomis, Oklahoma. In 1974 the
association moved to Pawnee, Oklahoma. Ivan served as president of
this association for 21 years. His love for the old engines has
made the association what it is today.

Ivan spent many years collecting steam traction engines and gas
and diesel tractors. His collection has contained several rare and
unique engines.

Ivan has been like a second father to me. He advised me,
corrected me, and gave me hell when I needed it. I have never known
him to turn his back on a friend who needed help. He has been a
valuable source of information for many.

Ivan helped teach the steam school in Pawnee. I have seen him
sit and explain the workings of all parts of the steam traction
engine over and over, until it was understood.

It is hard to accept that I will never again ride the binder
behind Ivan and his W-6 International. I will never again stand on
his separator at his fall threshing.

I believe we have lost a man whose knowledge of steam engines
was second to none.

How do you say goodbye to a friend such as Ivan? You can’t.
You simply say so long, and pray.

Ivan, may your steady hand forever be on the throttle; may your
boiler never be low on water; may you never lose steam; may your
experience and deeds forever live on in those who are left

The picture is Ivan Burns and his 25 HP double rear-mounted Gaar
Scott threshing at Burns farm in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Ivan’s father fired this engine, plowing at night. They ran
the engine around the clock, plowing. As you can see, the engine
came from the factory equipped with the Reeves type clutch.

Ivan said, ‘Dad was a Case man, but he loved the Gaar Scott.
This engine was built by Gaar Scott before the Rumely take over.

Ivan owned over 30 steam engines in his lifetime. He loved them
all. The picture was taken in the fall of 1998.

Chady Atteberry

  • Published on Mar 1, 2001
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