To our fellow hobbyists and friends, with great sorrow we tell you of the passing of a lifetime member of the American Threshermen and Ladies Association, GEORGE F. BAHRE, after a long illness. Mr. Bahre was called to Our Lord's Great Reunion on October 9, 1995.
George was one of the 13 men instrumental in first organizing our fine organization at the time when he was about our ages. With countless letters, phone calls, hours of travel time to towns like Brownstown, Car-lyle, Vandalia, and other meeting places, too many to count, they started a new show at Highland, Illinois. From the beginning in 1959, he held offices of secretary, treasurer, chaplain, and for one year was president. His only wish was that this group of hobbyists would lead the A.T.A. to a position that would be well known throughout the country.
In 1962 the American Thresher-men moved the show to a new town, Pinckneyville, Illinois, where it has been held since. Of just as great importance are all the fine people who helped lead the way to the present, with special recognition in the beginning, given to the late D. R. Bartimus, the late Everett Pyle, and Amos Rixmann. Without them the A.T.A. would have faded into the side lines.
Traditionally there is a morning meeting at the beginning of each show day. George would always introduce our newcomers and made them feel welcome. George was also very knowledgeable about the Harrison Machine Works. His father used Belleville threshing machinery back in the threshing days around Darmstadt, Illinois.
George was a retired brick mason by trade. He was a member of the Coulterville United Methodist Church where he was a lay leader for many years, lifetime member of the Coulterville Fire Department, a 50-year-plus member of the Bricklayer and Allied Craftsmen International Local No. 8, and was involved in many civic organizations. He served in the Coast Guard during World War II.
He was born in St. Clair County, Illinois, October 17, 1916 to George and Katie Bollmeier Bahre.
He married Bernice L. Tiedeman September 9, 1937 in St. Louis. She survives. He is also survived by one son and daughter-in-law, Gary G. and Sondra Bahre of Sparta, Illinois; one sister, Eleanor Wengrow of New Athens; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his parents, one daughter, Sharon Bahre, and three sisters, Evelyn Ther-bold, Clara Beck and Edna Tielemann.
Submitted by his son, Gary Bahre, 1107 Cherry Lane, Sparta, Illinois 62286 and long time friend, Larry Gaertner, 7737 Saint Joseph Street, Walsh, Illinois 62297.
ARTEMAS 'TEEMY' GOODWIN of Greensburg, Indiana, died at his home on the farm on Sunday, November 12, 1995. He was 87 years old. Teemy was a life time member of Pioneer Engineers Club of Indiana Inc., Blue River Antique Power Association and Greensburg Power of The Past Club.
He often talked of going with his dad from the time he was only four years old, when they were threshing in the neighborhood. He grew up loving and learning about steam engines.
In early 1970 he and a friend, Albert Hime, built a 1/3 scale Advance Rumely steam engine and they showed it in Decatur, Shelby and Rush Counties. In the spring of 1991, at the age of 82, he purchased a scale Advance Rumely steam engine which he and the family showed for five summers. All that time he taught his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and anyone interested in learning the intricacies of steam power. On any day from early spring to late fall you could find him out under the old apple tree polishing and perfecting his engine.
We shall miss him very much.
Submitted by his daughter, June Goodwin Popplewell, Indianapolis.
PAUL K. GILES, 61, Bunker Hill, West Virginia, died January 17, 1996 at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, of complications from a heart transplant which he had received a week earlier.
He served with the U.S. Army in Virginia and Alaska from 1957 to 1959. He was a salesman, store manager and vice-president of sales for Truck Suppliers, Inc. of Winchester, Virginia, from 1953 to 1986. He then opened a feed, hardware and garden supply store in the Bunker Hill Flour Mill on his property from 1986-1995.
Paul was president of the Shenandoah Valley Steam and Gas Engine Association, Inc. Show in Berryville, Virginia, in 1967 when it was formally organized and incorporated. He served as president, vice-president, director and show chairman of the organization.
Over the years, he acquired a 7 x 10 double cylinder Frick traction engine which has been at Berryville each year since 1967. He also had in his collection a 10 x 12 Huber portable engine, ten restored tractors of assorted makes, a Frick thresher, Birdsell clover huller, and other pieces of antique farm machinery.
He enjoyed visiting other annual shows of the Mid-Atlantic region and traveled to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, in 1969.
He was also a director and charter member of the Dillon Farm Museum of Hedgesville, West Virginia. He was a member of the Lions Club, lifetime member of FFA and attended Bunker Hill United Methodist Church.
He is survived by his wife, Janita; daughters Linda and Karen; son Steve; and six grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son, Jeffrey, who died while serving in the Air Force in 1988.
He will be sadly missed, though fondly remembered by all who knew him.
Heaven is said to be the perfect place. So, Daddy, is there a steam and gas engine show to go to every weekend?
Submitted with love by daughter Linda Giles Custer, 75 Spring Blossom Lane, Gerrards town, West Virginia 25420.
Old Father Time is doing much more than 'picking my pocket,' as an old song suggested. He has run the clock out on many old engine friends, including one that I first met over twenty years ago at the Stephenson County Antique Engine Show at Freeport, Illinois VERNER HENSEL, 1908-1995.
One evening, while looking over the large old tractors, my attention was drawn to the sound of a quiet, slow-turning engine. Very slowly approaching was a 40-60 Rumely Oil Pull, on the man-stand with the bill of his cap turned up, and his hand raised in greeting, stood the engine man. Pulling the clutch lever, he invited me on board. Extending his hand, he said, 'Howdy, I'm Verner Hensel.' I introduced myself, thereby beginning a friendly relationship that included his wife Lillian, daughter Joyce, her husband Gerald Linker, their two sons and daughter and spouses, his son Bob Hensel, and a number of Verner's friends.
I've been told that Verner and several other fellows had started attending and operating tractors at other shows, back in the late 1950s or early 1960s.
Who of us who knew him can forget his Chevy pickup, the word 'iron man' on its bug deflector, and the pickup cap that housed his bunk, tools, various pieces of old 'junque,' and his guitar? Also, we knew that with little or no encouragement, a harmonica would appear in his hand, and tunes such as 'Red Wing' and 'The Wabash Cannonball' would be heard.
Verner farmed near Ohio, Illinois. When show time rolled around, he and his 'tired iron' cronies would tour the Midwest and Canadian show circuit, sometimes for six weeks at a time. In addition to attending old engine shows, they were scouting around for old gas engines, old tractors, and other interesting items of antiquity.
He also rebuilt, from less than a 'basket case,' a rare 1919 12-24 Russell tractor, which in addition to the Oil Pull and a 1920 10-18 cross engine Case, and the 'Hensel Special' engine, were shown at a number of shows. The 'Hensel Special' engine was different. Verner built it with one crankshaft, two cylinders, four pistons, six connecting rods, and no heads. Crank it over, and it would run.
In the natural course of events, Old Father Time's clock ran down and stopped for Verner, about 6:15 p.m. on July 31, 1995. I had gone to the nursing home to visit him but his life was slipping away, and he succumbed to eternal rest with his wife and daughter at his bedside.
The visitation night at the funeral home, and the funeral the next day, brought together hundreds of his friends and acquaintances. It brought to mind a vision of the closing hours of an old threshing show, when we say goodbye to our friends and head for home. With memories of another old engine man who had pulled over his last flywheel, I imagined Verner with the bill of his cap turned up, his guitar in one hand, the other hand holding a harmonica, raised in farewell as he walked into the sunset.
Submitted by Vern Gunderson, White Lake, Wisconsin 54491-9705.
FRANK J. BIAS, of Wells, Minnesota, 95, passed away January 10, 1996. He was born July 24, 1900. He had a 19 HP Port Huron steam engine and various one lungers and several tractors. He knew Rev. Ritzmann, founding editor of Iron Men Album, personally. He was a subscriber to the magazine since the 1960s.
He was a member of the Gopher-Hawkeye Power Association at Keister, Minnesota.
Submitted by his son, Leonard M. Bias, 1705 Sunset Drive, Mendota, Illinois 61342.
AUGUST F. KUDICK, a longtime steam enthusiast, died at his home in the town of Corning, on Monday, January 29, 1996. He was 86 years old.
He was born July 9, 1909 in Little Falls, Minnesota, to the late Gustaf and Anna (Krueger) Kudick. On February 22, 1930 he married the former Hilda Kleinschmidt, who preceded him in death in July of 1986. He was a resident of the Merrill area since 1926. He had worked as logger, welded in the shipyards of Sturgeon Bay, and was later employed by From Brothers' in Hamburg, Wisconsin, for many years.
In January of 1967, August purchased a 1920 Advance Rumely 18 HP steam engine from Sid Thompson, and had the steamer fully operational by show time the following year. For years he had been a member of the Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association, show held in Sussex, Wisconsin. Later, he was one of the founding fathers of the North-central Wisconsin Steam & Gas Engine Club, in existence since 1974; the club's shows are held in Edgar, Wisconsin. He was the honorary parade chairman of that club. He was also a member of the Eagle River Club and took his engine to many other northern Wisconsin locations.
August and Hilda spent many hours of their time preparing for and helping at steam engine shows. Steam engines were a great passion for both of them. August was quite the showman and loved to put on a show to delight of spectators. Hilda worked hard in the food stand and made pickles, delicious hot beef, and other goodies for the Edgar Club to serve during the show. She sewed several pioneer dresses, some for herself and some for other ladies as well. They both did more than their share to see that the shows were a success.
The Edgar Show is held the fourth weekend of August, it has always been one of the better shows in our state. With threshing, saw mill operations, plowing with steam, rock crushing, and a very large flea market on the grounds, there is always something to see and do.
Survivors include one son, Robert (Ardiss) Kudick, and one daughter, Aline Kanitz, both of Merrill. August is further survived by many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, step-great-grandchildren , great-great grandchildren, and two step-great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Hilda, one daughter, Lorna, who died in infancy, and four brothers: Edward, Arthur, Ervin and Vern Kudick.
He will be fondly remembered and missed by many.
Submitted by his granddaughter, Christine Moehrke, Green-bush, Wisconsin.
GERALD A. PAYNE, lifetime resident of Montrose, and active mid-Michigan steam enthusiast, died November 16, 1995 from a lingering illness. He was 84. Gerald was born November 2, 1911, in Montrose, Michigan. He married Ellen Dowd on November 23, 1938. She preceded him in death in 1985.
He is survived by a son Arthur and his wife Helen Payne of Montrose; two daughters, Shirley Payne of Montrose, and Marie and husband Charles Reh of Lansing, Michigan; seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He was also predeceased by a grandson, Bob Bigelow.
Gerald played a leading role in founding the Saginaw Valley Live Steam Association, Inc. In the fall of 1955, he and a group of some twenty men organized for the purpose of 'perpetuating the glory and the memory of steam' and of staging steam shows. They were determined that the role of steam as an important part of Americana be preserved for future generations.
The following summer they had their first steam show, and it was held on Gerald's farm. Even though the weather did not particularly cooperate with that historic even train kept the few engines they had mired in the mud Seeley Randall's steam train afforded both young and old enjoyable rides.
The next year's show was held across the road from Gerald's farm, and enjoyed noticeable growth, not only in having more engines on the grounds, but also in having such other attractions as a steam calliope, a steam car, and Orville Estes' steamboat. Over the years, the club had shows at Chesaning, Vassar, Imlay City, Caro, and Ithaca. The last one at Ithaca was in 1989. Throughout the years, Gerald actively supported the activities of the club.
Gerald also played an important role in forming the Thumb Region Steam & Gas Engine Association, which held shows in Mayville, Michigan, in the summers of 1976, 1977, and 1978.
He was a knowledgeable mechanic and an excellent engineer, always willing to share his expertise with interested hobbyists. He thoroughly enjoyed going to steam shows and meeting friends and acquaintances.
May his memory long be treasured in our midst.
Respectfully submitted by a fellow club member, Elmer G. Bickel, 2224 Taft Street, Saginaw, Michigan 48602.