Mr. NEILS A. (ANDY) KRUSE, Park Ridge, Illinois died suddenly on
November 28, 1986. Andy had been in apparent good health, and had
been at his favorite pastime of restoring vintage engines the day
of his death. Late Friday afternoon, November 28th, Andy complained
of not feeling well. A few minutes later he suffered a fatal heart
The Kruse engine collection began about twenty years ago, and
quickly grew to include some of the finest vintage engines in this
country, not only in terms of rarity, but also in terms of the
first-class restoration job which came from Andy’s shop. Along
the way, Andy became a recognized authority on vintage engines, and
traced the history of many companies. Using old books and early hot
tube engines, Andy spent a great amount of time experimenting with
the hot tube ignition system. Through these experiments Andy became
somewhat of an expert on hot tube ignition.
The Kruse collection also included a number of hot air engines,
and for these, as well as the gas engines, making new parts as part
of the restoration process was commonplace.
Andy and his wife Ruth resided in Park Ridge, Illinois all their
life, and from their home they operated Andy’s Landscape
Service for many years. After retiring, Andy devoted the great
majority of his time to vintage engines, and was recognized as an
expert on early engines.
Born October 24, 1909, Andy is survived by his wife Ruth, a son,
Neils Kruse, and many nieces and nephews.
Submitted by C. H. Wendel, Atkins, Iowa 52206.
ARNOLD R. JOHNSTSON was born on March 28, 1906 and died on
September 30, 1985. He was a life member of both the Thumb Region
Steam & Gas Engine Association and of the Saginaw Valley Live
Steam Association, Inc.
Being a gifted mechanic, he proved himself to be a most valuable
member of both steam associations. Arnold understood and respected
steam, he understood engines, and he knew how to repair them.
Arnold’s Case was always in fine operating condition, a
model for everybody to follow.
To young, up starting engineers, Arnold was a patient adviser
and helper, like a concerned father, one could say.
Arnold was a highly respected steam man, greatly missed by all
who knew him.
Submitted by a friend, Elmer G. Bickel, 2224 Taft Street,
Saginaw, Ml 48602, secretary of the Thumb Region Steam & Gas
VADEN H. STROUD died September 20,1986. He was 80 years old.
Born and raised in the mining area of Southeastern Kansas, he hired
out an early age to an area implement dealer and later to the
maintenance department of one of the many mines in the area gaining
a considerable knowledge and a keen interest in the steam engine,
the prime source of power in those days.
He received his education in the nearby Teachers College and
devoted his life to teaching in the Hutchinson, Kansas area. As an
industrial arts teacher, he was a stern taskmaster insisting on
excellence in his students, inspiring many to success in their own
businesses, engineering, and as teachers.
As the diesel engine displaced the steam engine on the railroads
and on the farms many of the faithful old engines were driven under
their own power to the junk yards after the War to be chopped up
into scrap at $40 a ton. As early as 1949 some of the retired
railroad engineers and steam traction engine operators began
refurbishing traction engines to play out their fantasies,
reserving a small acreage of their crop for binding, threshing and
It is believed that the earliest of these games were played out
in Kansas on the 80 acres of oats threshed by Elmo Mahoney,
Dorrance, with the Avery 30 HP undermount and the 42 x 72 Avery
Yellow Fellow separator with Vaden Stroud as engineer and R. D.
Yoder as fireman and tender.
Vaden was one of the organizers of the Wichita Show at the
Ottaways place, soon followed by helping Roy Kite start the Bird
City Show and later the show at Haviland with R. D. Yoder and Wm.
Amett. Many shared his counsel, expertise and knowledge.
Vaden was one of the prime movers in getting the Kansas Antique
Engine Show Safety Assoc. Inc. antique boiler self inspection
recognized in the boiler laws of the state of Kansas.
Vaden’s last project, as chairman of the committee, was
formulating the procedures and examination for testing and and
granting steam engine operating certificates for members of the
Of his contemporaries, George Jackson and W. E. Amett and the
younger of these include the Ottaways, Lyman Knapp, Chaddy
Atteberry, Frank Heyman and the youngest would be Norman Yoder, a
mere child of 15 operating an engine in 1945, survive.
Submitted by Deemer D. Unruh, 525 South Old 81 Bypass,
McPherson, Kansas 67460.
J. LOUIS (LOU) WINNER, 92 of Stewart, Ohio passed away October
28, 1986 at Hickory Creek Nursing Home, The Plains, Ohio. He was a
member of the Stewart Methodist Church; a 70-year member of the
Savannah Lodge 466 F & AM in Guysville, Ohio, and Modern
Woodmen of America.
For many years he did widespread threshing and baling in
southeastern Ohio. For power he used Avery, Caterpillar and Oliver
tractors. Also with his Caterpillar tractor he moved oil and gas
drilling equipment in the rugged hills of Southeastern Ohio from
drilling site to site. That equipment was steam powered in the late
1920s and in the 1930s. He told of how in his teens he was given
permission by the owner of the steam traction engine that had moved
to his father’s farm to thresh, to get up very early and raise
steam in the boiler. Without permission he maneuvered the engine
almost in proper position before the others had arrived.
He was an avid attendant of the Athens and Barle Steam Shows.
His youngest daughter took him to both in a wheel chair this year,
the last being at Athens at Saturday, September 27, 1986.
Submitted by his nephew, John P. Winner, 4608 Brookside
Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22312.
JOHNNIE A. MEYER, 72, passed away at his home in Warrenton,
Missouri, December 30, 1986.
Mr. Meyer had worked most of his life with heavy machinery,
starting as a boy firing steam engines. He had considerable
experience with steam excavating equipment. His continued interest
in steam was expressed in his Advance steam engine and sawmill,
which he operated annually at the Warren County show.
Johnnie, a long-time active member of the Warren County Old
Threshers Association, had served in many capacities, including
offices and as a board member. He and his wife, Ina, were tireless
in their organizational efforts for the club.
Mr. Meyer will be sadly missed by his family, friends, and the
Submitted by B. W. Hendricks, Secretary, Warren County Old
Threshers Association, Warrenton, Missouri.