CLAUDE N. GAZELETT of Auxvasse, Missouri answered the call of the Golden Whistle December 26, 1997, at the age of 101 years.
He was a farmer, steam 'engineer,' thresherman and saw mill operator. He started running the sawmill at the age of 17. He and his grandfather sawed the floor boards for the first Missouri River Bridge at Jefferson City. They used walnut and oak for the job. They pulled the mill with a Russell engine. About 1920, he said, they had a large order for ash and hard maple for the Garrison Machine works at Belleville, Illinois, for constructing Belleville separators. During the depression he had an order for $2000 worth of ties for the Wabash Railroad. He said he worked so hard for that money he put it in the bank and never spent any of it!
Claude was very active at various shows at a very late age. When he was 98 he sawed a couple of logs at the Montgomery County Old Threshers Show.
He lost his right hand about forty years ago in a sawmill mishap, but that didn't slow him down. He quickly learned to use a hook. He was fond of steam engines and his favorite engines were the Jumbo, Case and the Advance. He liked the Jumbo for the road gear. He said it didn't take him long to move on to the next crop.
Claude will be missed by all who knew him and especially younger engineers who learned a lot from him.
Submitted by Bob Hart, Box 93, High Hill, Missouri 63350.