CHESTER (Chet) A. ANDERSON of Smolan, Kansas, was born February
18, 1909, at Hope. He died January 27, 1994 at the Salina Asbury
Regional Medical Center.
Mr. Anderson was a 70 year resident of Smolan. He was a
self-employed machinist and operated Anderson Machine and Supply,
Smolan, from 1937 until retiring in 1974.
He was the original incorporating mayor of Smolan, a member of
the Mentor United Methodist Church, Jewell County Historical
Society, Wheat Heritage Engine and Threshing Company, Kansas
Antique Engine Safety Association, and a charter member and
organizer of the Central Kansas Flywheels Antique Association, of
which he was the first president.
Mr. Anderson married Carrie E. Hurtig February 13, 1935. Mrs.
Anderson died June 22, 1993.
Survivors include two sons, Charles and Clayton, both of Smolan;
a brother Ralph of Guide Rock, Nebraska; a sister, Lois Brewer of
Hope, Kansas; five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
We in central Kansas have lost a friend, a machinist, mechanic,
electrician, well driller, steam engineer, a genius.
Submitted by Ewald D. Lofdahl, 134 Harrison, Lindsborg,
FRANCIS DAY passed on to the land of golden steam on August 27,
1993. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Marie, five children
and 12 grandchildren. He was a retired teacher from the Howland
Francis was a charter member of the Ashtabula County Antique
Engine Club and served as president, treasurer and secretary. He
also served as editor of the club’s newsletter, The
Exhaust, for 11 years, as well as on various committees.
Francis was instrumental in the club’s purchasing their own
show grounds and was rather protective of it. His booming voice was
always recognizable over the PA system as he announced for the
The son of a custom thresherman and sawyer, Francis purchased a
20 HP Gaar-Scott traction engine, which was his pride and joy. He
used the engine on the club’s sawmill, which belonged to
Francis’s father, Leland. He collected gas engines as well.
Francis Day was a very fine person and will be greatly missed; a
void has formed with his passing that can never be completely
Submitted by Daniel Aldrich, 34540 Sherwood Drive, Solon,
DAN KIEKHAFER, 63, of Colfax, Wisconsin, passed away on January
19, 1994. He was born March 31, 1930, in rural Colfax, and was a
lifetime resident. He was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean
conflict and was employed at UW Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin, as a
Dan was an avid gas engine collector and model maker, but will
be remembered by most people for his incredible workmanship in
building a **** scale working model of the Phoenix Steam Log
Hauler. He spent around seven years taking measurements, making his
own castings, etc., for this wonderful piece of history. A full
size log hauler and Dan’s model were the featured engines at
the 27th annual show in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in 1990. Every
detail painstakingly done and nothing was overlooked as were the
beautiful restorations on his gas engines and other model making.
He was a member of the Chippewa Valley Antique Engine and Model
Club of Eau Claire, and the Hungry Hollow Steam and Gas Engine Club
of Rice Lake.
He is survived by his wife, Mary; son Michael; stepson Chris;
stepdaughters Sue and Katheryn; brother Gordy; sister Karen; and
Dan will be missed by his family, friends and fellow engine
buffs, but the good Lord above must have been having problems with
his engines and needed an expertDan was one!
Submitted by Randy Ackley, 21321 County X, Cadott, Wisconsin
The next four announcements were submitted by Francis Peers,
29 North River Road, Wallaceburg, Ontario, Canada N8A 4R3:
OLIVER WILL of Corunna, Ontario, died on May 1, 1993 at the age
of 80. His wife Reta died in 1977. He is survived by two sons,
Burvel and Leonard, and five grandchildren.
Oliver was a retiree of Ontario Hydro. He was very active in the
Western Ontario Steam Threshers. He served as president in the
years of 1970 and 1971.
He collected and restored gas engines and tractors which he and
his family displayed each year at the Western Ontario Steam
Threshers Show at Brigden.
CECIL BOWLES, age 90, of R. R. #3, Petrolia, Ontario, died on
May 27, 1993. He is survived by one daughter, Shirley Russell;
grandsons Jeffrey, Daniel, Paul and James; and two
great-grandchildren. His wife Annie predeceased him in 1981.
Cecil farmed most of his life on the 12th line of Moore
Township. He liked to attend auction sales and had a great interest
in restoring antique farm equipment. He was a member of the Western
Ontario Steam Threshers for many years. He displayed his antiques
each year at the annual show in Brigden.
He will be missed by his family, friends and fellow
ERNEST ROADHOUSE of Chatham, Ontario, passed away on August 19,
1993 at the age of 72. He is survived by his wife Cora.
He farmed on the family farm near Blyswood, Ontario. His family
owned and threshed with a Waterloo steam engine in the Blyswood
area for many years.
When Ernie retired, he sold his farm and moved to Chatham. He
built a model of a 65 Case steam engine which he took to the shows
in the area. He enjoyed steam engines and antique machinery and was
always ready to help at the area shows which he attended.
CHARLES CALLUM, 87, died suddenly at his home at R.R. #1,
Corunna, Ontario, on October 9, 1993. He is survived by four
sisters and three brothers.
He was a retired employee of Union Gas Company. He was a member
of St. Paul’s Masonic Lodge, Sarnia and the Bruce Chapter of
the Royal Arch Masons, Petrolia. He had been very active in the
Western Ontario Steam Threshers Association and served as a
director for many years. Charlie was secretary of the club from
1969 until 1978. He was also an honorary member.
He was a very popular man and will be missed by all who knew
GILMAR G. H. JOHNSON died December 5, 1993, at St. Croix Falls
Valley Memorial Hospital. He was 83 years old. He was born March
16, 1910, in West Sweden, near Frederic, Wisconsin, and spent his
entire life in that community. His great-grandparents and
grandparents were charter members of the Lutheran Church there in
As a young man, he worked for a short time in Montana, then in
1936 he was married to Alice Johnson of Grantsburg at Little Brown
Church, Iowa. They farmed and he did land measuring for the County
A.S.C. office and worked at the furniture factory in Luck. Alice
died in 1974. On December 20, 1975 he married Hazel Eklof
Gilmar was known in a large area for his specialty, steam
engines and antique tractors, and their use with farm equipment.
From 1952 until 1958, he and Alice held their own annual steam
engine threshing bees, owning more steam engines and old tractors
in actual operation than many other large fan groups. In 1957 he
went on a tour for the 150th anniversary of steam engines in
England to see the famous seven-furrow cable plowing. They attended
events in Canada, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa regularly and
kept in contact with hundreds of fans. Two auctions of his
collections of steam engines, antique machinery with manuals,
historical news clippings and pictures, etc., brought huge crowds.
The Historical Society converted many of his home movies into a
more permanent medium.
He entered Frederic Care Center in September 1992 and enjoyed
visits from folks who shared his hobbies.
Gilmar was the last of his family, being preceded in death by
his parents, brothers and sisters.
He is survived by his wife, Hazel; three stepsons, Lyle, Miles
and Wayne Johnson; nine stepgrand-children and four
step-greatgrandchildren, four nieces, seven nephews and their
families; and a host of cousins, relatives and friends.
Gilmar wrote many interesting articles for the Iron Men Album
magazine. He also wrote the Dairyland Driftings.
Submitted by his steam friend, Koletta Steinmetz, E 13688
State Road 82, LaFarge, Wisconsin 54639.
CHARLES ‘BILL’ ROBACK of Inland, Nebraska, died January
31, 1994 in Bryan Memorial Hospital in Lincoln at the age of 77.
Bill was born July 1, 1916 at Inland where he graduated from high
school. He farmed at Inland, first with his father, then with his
son and son-in-law. Bill was one of the first custom combiners in
the area, going as far south as Texas and north to the Canadian
He married Ruth Benway on October 6, 1945, at which time he gave
up custom combining and concentrated on raising irrigated corn.
After retiring from farming, he enjoyed working in his farm shop
restoring old tractors with his son Paul, and grandson Kevin. He
also attended many sales and shows.
He was a member of the First Congregational United Church of
Christ in Hastings, the South Central Collectors and the Clay
County Historical Society. He was a regular exhibitor each year at
the Old Trusty Days at Clay Center, Nebraska, showing his Hart-Parr
and Rumely Oil Pull tractors. He is survived by his wife, Ruth; one
daughter, Jean Stinnette; one son, Paul Roback, and two
grandchildren, all of Inland, Nebraska.
Bill will be missed by many that knew him.
Submitted by Tom Greenland, R 3, Box 24, Hastings, Nebraska
FREDERICK BLAUTH of Tower Hill, Illinois, passed away January
Raised in a farming community since his birth in 1903, Fred was
immediately engulfed in a passion for the love of steam. His love
for steam only grew, until he himself owned three complete custom
threshing rigs running all at the same time under his management.
Fred’s wife Hazel shared his love for steam and supported him
in all ventures throughout his life. I remember talking to Fred on
one particular day about the advent of kerosene tractors versus
steam power. He got that faraway look in his eyes and said,
‘The farm steam traction engine helped feed the world and
brought neighbors together in a true American manner, and I will
always love steam and what it has done for this country.’
Fred and Hazel were active in many of the steam shows from the
very beginning, and especially in later years at Jacksonville and
Arcola, Illinois. Fred was a fine engineer, a gentleman, a friend,
and we along with his wife, Hazel, will truly miss him.
Submitted by Fred Nolan, Douglas County Historical Festival,
R.R. #2, Box 178, Arcola, Illinois.