DANIEL T. SORENSON, 76, lifelong resident of Fisher, Minnesota
died September 27, 1988. He was born near Fisher in 1911 on the
family farm, in Minnesota’s Red River Valley area.
He raised small grains, potatoes and sugar beets on his farm. He
was always interested in steam power and from 1960 he owned and
operated his own Minneapolis steam traction engine, powering his
threshing machines and participating in many parades and other
‘olde tyme’ celebrations in the area.
He was an active member of the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers
Reunion at Rollag, Minnesota, and a founder of the East Grand
Forks, Minnesota Heritage Foundation where he was also active as a
Surviving is a brother, Sam, and daughters Judy Myklejord and
Submitted by his son-in-law, Duane Myklejord, 711 S.
Washington, Crookston, Minnesota 56716.
WALTER A. THOMAS passed away June 20, 1990. He was born July 29,
1911 at Trout Lake, Washington to the late Ephraim and Rozillah
He read his Iron-Men Album magazine from cover to cover. He was
an avid antique steam and gas engine buff. He was currently
rebuilding an engine from a Marion steam shovel. His first sawmill
was powered with steam and he was planning to build another steam
He belonged to the Oregon and Oklahoma Steam Association. He
visited the Oklahoma Show at Pawnee, a part of our three month tour
of all the southern states, where we attended other antique
equipment shows, railroad museums, rail tours and visited family
and friends. It was our 55th wedding anniversary trip. On the
homeward lap of our trip he was excitedly planning for our 1991
trip. He died of a heart attack while doing what he liked best to
do. He will be greatly missed by family and his many friends.
Submitted by his wife, C. Antonio Thomas, 880 North Santiam
Hwy. 22 W, Gates, Oregon 97346. JOE LOGA’S lifelong affair with
steam engines ended June 28, 1990 in his 88th year.
At fourteen years of age, ‘Engine Joe’ was already
firing steam engines for threshing crews. He at-tended a vocational
school and then had his own auto repair business in Perham,
Minnesota. At the beginning of World War II he moved his family to
Minneapolis where he worked for D. W. Onan for a time and then
taught refrigeration and electric motor repair. After the war he
moved to Buffalo, Minnesota and had an electric motor and
refrigeration business, selling and installing coolers, bulk tanks
and commercial equipment.
He bought and restored two large threshing engines and a Willys
Knight car and built a V4′ scale Case engine. A Minneapolis
engine that he restored is still being used at the Anoka Engine
Show at Rogers, Minnesota.
He brought the first steam engine to the little threshing show
that was the beginning of the Anoka Engine Club. He was active in
the show until the last two years when his health restricted his
Joe was always helping someone, sharing his expertise, and
teaching men and women to become better operators of steam engines.
Words can never do justice to Joe, who not only was knowledgeable
about all kinds of engines, including steam engines, but an asset
to the business community, a musician, husband and father, and a
wonderful man to have for a friend. He was a member of the
Minnesota Steam Engine Club. Club members and friends miss his
ready smile and good humor.
Submitted by Kay Bailey, P.O. Box 447, Maple Plain,
ROE COOKE, 87, of Belle Center, Ohio, died June 20, 1990. He was
born in Crawfordsville, Iowa in 1903. He married Bertha Godwin in
1934 and they had three daughters.
He grew up on his parents’ farms and attended one-room
country schools and graduated from Huntsville (Indiana) high
His interest in mechanical devices and engines began at an early
age, and his family came to depend on his expertise with gas
engines for pumping water when the windmill wasn’t running, and
keeping the washing machine engine running.
In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s he followed the
harvest with threshing crews. He also did custom corn shredding and
ploughing for neighbors.
Roe operated a blacksmith shop on his parents’ farms and
continued with blacksmith work at Belle Center all of his life.
He drove a school bus from 1943 to 1970 in Belle Center and
served as second operator at the water department for thirty years.
He spent forty-two years with the fire department, serving as
Assistant Chief from 1964 to 1973 when he retired. After
retirement, he served part-time until his health failed in 1990.
His wife, Bertha passed away in 1961.
Roe became interested in steam reunions in the early 1960’s
and he quickly became an almost indispensable asset at many
reunions, where he would arrive with his service truck (a
blacksmith-welding shop on wheels).
He was a member and director of several associations and served
on the Board of Directors of the Miami Valley Steam Threshers for
Roe Cooke was a quiet man who helped thousands of people during
his lifetime and could always be counted on for help when help was
needed. He worked tirelessly for many years at steam and gas
reunions, showing, operating, repairing equipment, testing boilers,
helping in many ways. He was a good friend to many reunion family
children who lovingly called him ‘Uncle Roe.’
Roe liked to tell the story of at-tending a steam reunion some
distance from home where he was con-fronted by a young woman with
three children, whom he hadn’t seen for several years, and whom
he did not recognize. She threw her arms around his neck and hugged
and kissed him. When she called him ‘Uncle Roe’ he
immediately recognized her voice and knew her as one of his reunion
children and the daughter of friends.
Roe Cooke was a very special person, son, brother, father,
grandfather, great-grandfather, ‘Uncle’ to hundreds of show
children, good friend to many, and loved by all who knew him.
Submitted by a friend, Tom Buller, 12623 Fite Hauck Rd.,
Sardinia, Ohio 45171.