THE GOLDEN ROLL


| January/February 1991



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The final sentence in a chapter of steam engine tradition was written on August 6, 1990 when Paul F. Crow of Charleroi, PA passed to the great beyond. He was born December 12, 1905 in Fallowfield Township, where he resided his entire life. He was a graduate of California (PA) State Teachers College. In August 1927 he married Evelyn Mae Mitchell Crow, who passed on in 1986. He is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Frances C. Zollars, two grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

We of the steam engine fraternity remember his devotion and enthusiasm for the traction engine. His motivation brought him into contact with C.R. and M.D. Fullerton. These three men founded the Tri State Historical Steam Engine Association which since 1957 has hosted annual reunions, first at Burgettstown, then at Hookstown, and now at Finleyville, all in Pennsylvania. Paul served as Secretary of the Association from its inception until being named Secretary Emeritus in 1986. This tradition of excellence continues as Paul's daughter, Frances, has succeeded her father as secretary.

Paul's father, David, was a thrasherman who used STEAM! Paul remembered the annual visit of the boiler inspector to his family's farm. The engine owner was responsible for feeding and lodging the inspector, then providing transportation to the next engine. One of Paul's earliest memories was of riding in a buggy driven by his mother to transport the inspector to his next job. Paul's daughter remembers her father coming home from teaching school, eating quickly and going to assist his father in moving the rig to the next 'set'.

Paul owned a 1916 18 x 50 J.I. Case traction engine and a 1935 J.I. Case stationary wire tie baler which he proudly exhibited each year. The thick file of documents covering the purchase, restoration, and maintenance of the engine through the years is most fascinating, and more interesting than a year's supply of Reader's Digest. Paul's family is carrying on this tradition. Each September, grandson Larry Whaley, and his sons Chris and Paul, journey from Indiana to Pennsylvania to operate Paul's engine.

From 1963 until 1983 Paul headed a group of steam engine owners and enthusiasts in presenting an exhibition of steam power and antique equipment at the Canfield, Ohio Fair which attracts about one million spectators each year.

'We are steam engine people,' was Paul's explanation when leaving a telephone message one evening. Sure enough, the man called back in less than an hour. This simple statement was Paul Crow's philosophy. It meant honesty, integrity, hard work, loyalty, and a strong religious belief.