GEORGE MARVIN KESTER, 65, passed away on April 22, 1983 at his
home in Crete, Illinois where he was born and lived his whole life.
He was retired from Wyman-Gordon Forging Company in 1974. Over the
years he collected many gasoline engines, blacksmithing tools and
The dream of his life came true when we purchased the Russell 20
HP portable steam engine, serial no. 17155 in September 1979. (A
picture of the engine was shown in IMA July/August
1980, page 9). He loved to steam the engine up at home and was
delighted to have kids of all ages’ stop to visit and see his
pride and joy.
He was a member of the Northern Indiana Historical Power
Association and had shown the Russell at their Labor Day weekend
show for the past four years.
We miss him very much and hope to continue sharing the
tradition, the knowledge and love that he could express to his
family and friends.
Submitted by son Robert C. Kester and Kester
ELLSWORD GRAHN, one of the most active members of Western
Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion, was killed about noon, April 3,
in a logging accident about a half mile from his rural Vergas home.
He was a professional sawyer and supplied much custom ordered
hardwood lumber in the area.
Grahn had been active in many phases of WMSTR almost from its
inception. He was in charge of the lumbering operations on
Hill. He had supplied and often donated lumber for many of the
buildings. He was a licensed steam engineer and also exhibited a
scale model steam engine. The blacksmith shop at the grounds is
named the Ells word Grahn building and he also served many years as
a director of the organization.
Submitted by Bill and Darrell Dey, Vergas, Minnesota
OSCAR E. NORBECK, 79 of Tamarac, Florida, formerly of Bristol,
Pennsylvania, passed away September 19 in University Community
He enjoyed visiting many steam shows with his son Jack C.
Norbeck the author of the Encyclopedia of American Steam Traction
Engines. Oscar’s constant encouragement, patience, wisdom and
faith motivated his son during the long arduous years researching,
photographing and compiling his Encyclopedia. He will sincerely be
missed by his family and many friends.
Oscar Norbeck retired as a General Secretary of the Lower Bucks
County Y .M .C .A. He had 36 years of service with YMCAs and YMCA
camps in the state of Pennsylvania. He was the author of four
editions of the book Authentic Indian Life Crafts. Before he went
into YMCA work, he studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology
and was a director of theatrical shows across the nation. He was a
member of the Bristol Rotary Club, the Lions Club, the Kiwanis, was
a longtime member of the Trevose Horticultural Society and a 32nd
degree Mason. Oscar was a member of All Saints Lutheran Church,
N. M. (MIKE) BAKKEGARD died recently as the result of a car
accident. He was 75 years old. Following his retirement in 1973,
Mike pursued his lifetime hobby of restoring and showing his
collection of steam and gasoline engines.He also had
‘N.J.S’ Wrench House, a museum of antique wrenches, located
at his home in Fullerton.
He will be missed by all.
Submitted by Bill and Darrel Dey, Vergas, Minnesota
S. L. ‘Red’ Emery, 77. Summer-field, Florida passed away
on October 8, 1983 at Ocala, Florida. He was a lifelong lover of
steam enginesgrowing up in the Stanton-Dundas-Northfield area of
Minnesota and later moving to Flint. Michigan and finally to
He was a regular attendee of the National Thresher man’s
Reunion at Wauseon, Ohio; Western Ontario Show at Brigden, Ontario;
and the Zolfo Springs show in Florida.
He completely restored a 1903 12 HP Huber traction engine. He
was the man on the ‘new Huber’ vintage 1903 front cover
May-June 1976 and the subject of an article written by his son
Dennis in the May June 1983 issue.
He will be sadly missed by all.
Submitted by wife Velma and son Dennis.