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,
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,
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
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
He was preceded in death by his parents, one daughter, Sharon
Bahre, and three sisters, Evelyn Ther-bold, Clara Beck and Edna
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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,
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
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.