Southwest Ohio lost one of its oldest threshermen September 27, 1991 at age 99, CLARENCE DAFLER.
Mr. Dafler lived his entire life in the New Lebanon-Farmersville area of Montgomery County, Ohio. He followed his father into the farming, threshing & gravel plant business along with two brothers, Horace and Clyde.
He ran numerous threshing rigs but Garr Scott was his favorite. He visited Darke County Steam Thresher shows nearly every year and rode on a Garr Scott engine at the 1990 show.
Mr. Dafler was a life member of Slifers Presbyterian Church, Farmersville; an Army veteran of WWI; 65-year member of New Lebanon American Legion Post 762; and Jr. Order of Mechanics of Middletown, Ohio.
Preceded in death by his wife Martha, he is survived by his son Charles and daughter-in-law Sandra of Dallas, Oregon; daughter Zoa and son-in-law Roy Rowe of Brookville, Ohio; four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Submitted by Ed Troutman, 14 March Ave., Brookville, Ohio 45309.
LAWRENCE HOFFMAN, 69, of Guttenberg, formerly of LaMotte, died December 29, 1991 in Dubuque, Iowa.
Lawrence was the son of Nicholas and Anna (Hingtgen) Hoffman of La Motte. Surviving are his wife, Helen, a son Joseph (and Cherie) Hoffman of LaMotte and their two children, three stepsons, one brother and three sisters and his first wife, Mary.
Hoffman, a cousin of Justin J. Hingtgen who died in 1969, was the owner of an Advance steam engine which was sold to Randy Schwerin of Sumner, Iowa. He also had a **** scale steam engine sold to Ray Korn of Wisconsin.
Lawrence was involved, along with FLOYD SCHOLTES of Belle-view, Iowa, who died in 1991, in shows at Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin and Postville, Iowa. H. Leslie Leas of Monona who died summer of 1989 also exhibited engines at Postville and other area shows. Lawrence displayed his Advance at Ray Sweeney's Threshing Days at Waukon. He helped the people at the North East Farm Antique Association at Garber with the engine they acquired. He was a member of the Boscobel Antique Club of Boscobel, Wisconsin.
He and Floyd Scholtes would sometimes engage in loud and apparently heated discussions or arguments, often with threats of violence. There may have been some difference of opinion, but a lot of times it was a display to stimulate and worry the crowd and for their own amusement. Now the fighting is over.
Floyd Scholtes was the guy with the white cap. He was a retired farmer, steam engine owner and sawyer. Floyd was instrumental at the Deppe Threshing Day at Bellevue and in getting Cliff Smorstad of Decorah to bring his portable sawmill to that show. He had sold his Case 65 steam engine in the mid 40's before Hingtgen started having shows.
Floyd enjoyed his style of whistle blowing. He and Lawrence worked to get a teeter-totter for steam engines at Prairie Du Chien. John Southard of Allegan, Michigan came to help with that show.
Submitted by Bob Koos, Box 66, LaMotte, Iowa 52024.
It is our sad duty again to report the loss of one of the old gentlemen who added so much knowledge, color and interest to our shows since their inception thirty or forty years ago, DAVID J. McDONALD of Georgetown, Pa., who died in the Beaver Valley Geriatric Center on January 4, 1992 at the age of 90 years. He had been confined there for over a year as gradually failing health took its toll. He celebrated his 90th birthday on February 23, 1991, at which time his family held a party in the social rooms at the center. Good weather allowed a good attendance of about 100 people indicating the high regard in which Dave was held throughout the community.
Dave had threshed and baled all over the central part of Beaver County Pennsylvania and into the panhandle part of West Virginia, as well as having his own farm, and so was widely known. He had used steam power in his early days and knew lots about it but went to Oil Pull tractors many years ago and they were his first love in machinery for the rest of his days. He had two good ones, an old style and a lightweight in the latter years when I knew him; they were both immaculate and ran like new. None of the problems that detractors like to blame on the Oil Pull bothered Dave. He knew all the ins and outs of the machines and how to make them perform on demand. He often fired them on ground oil or crude so he could make nice smoke rings for the crowd. He also seemed to particularly like baling at the shows and I learned from experience that if he had decent help shoving straw to him, he could make the boys tying the wires keep dancing to put wires around the parts of that continuous stream of straw.
The old style 16-30 Oil Pull has found a good home with his son Jim who has it out to some shows now and then.
Dave's help and fellowship will be greatly missed at show time and all year long by hundreds of friends and family.
Submitted by Thomas G. Downing, Pres., Northwest Pennsylvania Steam Engine and Old Equipment Association, Inc., R.D.I, Box 149A, Ellwood City, Pa. 16117.
LESTER TOOLE, retired mechanic and sawyer, passed into the 'Land of the Golden Whistles' on December 21, 1991. He was born January 25, 1918 and was a lifelong resident of Harrison County, Ohio. He had been in failing health for about a year but poor health the last two weeks. He is survived by his wife, Melba, whom he married May 20, 1947; two daughters, Linda and Jane; one grandson; four step-grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Lester was a WW II veteran of U.S. Army and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. He was a member of the Stumptown Steam Threshers, the Tuscarawas Valley Pioneer Power Association, and the Ohio Valley Flywheels. Lester served as secretary for the Stumptown Steam Threshers for three years and was on the Board of Directors for twelve years. He was also the sawyer at the Stumptown show and was selected Thresherman of the Year in 1982.
During the early 1930s, Lester worked for the McFadden Brothers Sawmill when they sawed the huge timbers for the (Old Ironsides) U.S. Constitution's main beam and shipped it to the Boston Naval Yards.
Children had pitched in pennies for the restoring of the ship.
Lester will be sadly missed by his family and many friends.
Submitted by William Flowers, Sec. for Stumptown Steam Threshers.
BOB NEINER, age 68, died at his farm home west of Manteno, Illinois, September 27, 1991, after a lingering illness.
Bob was a member of the Will County Threshermen's Association and the Olde Time Farm Show for many years. He enjoyed demonstrating his Case 65 steam engine and Avery 32' threshing machine. He also displayed his Aultman Taylor 30-60 tractor on the sawmill and pulling an eight bottom steam engine plow.
He was instrumental in donating the use of his heavy earth moving equipment in preparing two show sites for the Will County Threshermen's Association. His contributions and assistance will be missed by all.
Submitted by Mel Meyer, past president, SCTA, 19159 Riegel, Homewood, Illinois 60430.
ARTHUR P. 'BRIG' BRIGHAM, editor of the Eagle, quarterly newsletter of the J. I. Case Heritage Foundation died January 22 at age 63.
Brig was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland. A journalism graduate of the University of Maryland, Brig held various posts in the field through the years. In 1959, he became Public Affairs Officer of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, a post he held until 1981. After retirement in 1981, Brig was a public relations and marketing consultant for several firms.
The husband of Helen Case Brigham, great-granddaughter of J. I. Case, Brig gave the magic of his journalistic and public relations ability to the J. I. Case Heritage Foundation because he wanted to do it. The couple's involvement with old farm machinery began when he spotted a picture of a Case steam engine on the front page of a Gaithersburg, Maryland weekly newspaper.
Submitted by Helen Case Brigham, J. I. Case Heritage Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 5128, Bella Vista, Arkansas 72714.
Norm Wright's 1/4 scale model of a 1916 65 HP Case engine pulled a cart at an Ontario event. Photo by the late Arthur Brigham, a frequent contributor to this magazine.