THE GOLDEN ROLL

By Staff

HOMER A. BECHTEL, 84, of 306 E. 2nd Street, Williamsburg, Penna.
died May 24 at Blue Ridge Haven West Nursing Home, Camp Hill, Pa.
He was a member of Pa. State Grange, Williams Grove Steam Engine
Association, Allegheny Mountaineers Steam & Threshers, Rough
& Tumble Engineers Historical Association, Morrison’s Cove
Pioneer Steam Show. Homer loved a steam engine having run one at
the age of 14 for his fathers threshing rig and sawmill. He was a
trustworthy engineer, having run my 50 HP Peerless at the steam
shows. We bunked together in the R.R. cabin at Williams Grove. He
will be greatly missed by all his buddies. We can be sure he has
gone to pull that golden throttle in a better land free from all
the worries and cares. He who paints the sunset, called Homer to a
home beyond the sunset.

Submitted by Arthur F. Harker, 300 Bella Street, Hollidaysburg,
Pennsylvania 16648

GEORGE CULVER, Lyndon, Kansas died May 2, 1972, age 69. He grew
up on a farm and with his brothers operated a thrashing machine as
well as other farm machinery. He later worked for the Township
Board. He owned and operated a model steam engine and was a member
of the Antique Steam Engine and Model Assn. He was generous in
giving of his time to display and operate his model for parades,
picnics and fairs throughout the state. He attended many
‘Thrashing Bees’, and many young people have a better
understanding and appreciation of the advances by which the wheat
farmer has come from the antiquated steam engine to the modern
labor-saving harvesters of today, because someone took time to
‘show and tell’.

Submitted by his sister, Dorothy Culver of Lyndon, Kansas.

WARD RENNIE, 71, of Montezuma died recently in Frizzell Memorial
Hospital at Ransom. Mr. Rennie was a farmer who had retired from
this work about a year ago. Ward’s grandfather began threshing
with horses and turntable in southeast Illinois and was one of the
first to buy a steam engine. Ward attended all the steam shows he
could and only last year went to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, One year he
was at the controls of Ernest Bresslers engine at the Bird City,
Kansas Show. He was well known in steam circles.

Submitted by Helen Ward Rennie, Montezuma, Kansas 67867

TRUMAN KOOPMAN, 53, of Flanagan, Illinois died in May, 1974. He
was owner and operator of an automotive garage here. He was a
member of the Pontiac Thresherman’s Assn. He will be missed by
lots of people as he was very well known – a fine showman without
being a show-off. He owned the prize undermounted Avery steamer.
With it he pulled the Illinois Sesquicentennial float at
Springfield a few years back. He always had a funny story or joke
to tell. His passing will leave a vacuum never to be filled.

Submitted by Bruce Leach, 511 Oak Street, Plainfield, Illinois
60544.

VERVL V. MALONE, a retired farmer, passed away April 8, 1974
after a 4-1/2 month heart illness. He was 70. He was Past President
of Richland County Steam Thresher Assn. and also a member of the
Miami Valley Assn. All his life he had been interested in steam
engines and was a long time subscriber to the Album. He owned a
1917- 50 HP Case engine, which is being kept by his widow and will
be displayed and operated by his Sons-in-law, Dave Barnhart and
Harold Noblet. He will be greatly missed by all.

Submitted by Donald Dell, President of Richland County Steam
Threshers Assn. R.R. 2, Shelby, Ohio.

JOHN A. CUMMER, 68, of Route 1, Stoddard, Wisconsin died at his
home April 17. He worked for the Vernon County Highway Department,
then farmed for a number of years until retiring to his home near
Stoddard. He was a veteran of World War II. John was a fine booster
of his local Coulee Antique Engines Club and attended
faithfully.

Submitted by Wilmer E. Homstad, Secretary, Coulee Antique
Engines, Viroqua, Wisconsin 54667

LESLIE WAGER, age 69, of Leavenworth, Kansas died January
19,1974 after a long illness. He had lived his entire life in the
same house where he was born. In 1958, he and Herman Watson of
McLouth, Kansas were the founders of The Heart of America Antique
Steam Engine and Model Assn. Leslie was president of this
organization for thirteen years. Much of the success of our steam
engine meetings and shows was due to his excellent leadership. He
owned a Woods Brothers 18 HP engine and also a model traction
engine. He will be greatly missed by his family and many
friends.

Submitted by Haston L. St. Clair, R.R. 1, Box 140A, Holden,
Missouri 64040

JAMES CONRAD, SR. of Route 1, Waterloo, Indiana died in May
1974. He was 81. Conrad was a lifetime resident of the rural
Waterloo area and a retired farmer. He was well known to steam
engineers in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. At the time of his death,
he owned a very nice Russell steam engine that he had bought from
Percy Sherman a few years ago.

Submitted by Emery Vestal, Waterloo, Indiana 46793.

WILLIS WILCOX, 69, of Madisonville, Ky. passed away May 3rd
after a long illness. He was the builder of a stationery steam
engine and a 2 inch scale model Case traction engine. He won the
Gold Hammer Award from Mechanics Illustrated for the latter. His
picture with the engine is on page 26 of the July-August issue of
The Album. Willy was a sign painter by trade and loved his work.
Most people wait until your death to give you flowers but Willy
gave them to you while still living. He was always doing something
for someone. There’s not a Church or Civic Organization in
Madisonville that doesn’t have some of his ideas and creations
for which he would never take payment, always saying ‘Let me
worry about it’. He was a Deacon in the Christian Church, a
Kentucky Colonel, and member of the Tenn-Ky Threshermen’s Assn.
He was very much loved and will be greatly missed by family and
friends.

Submitted by Billy Byrd, 369 S. Harrig St., Madinsonville, Ky.
42431

J.A. MILLER of Russelville, Ky. passed away June 18th. He was
Chairman of The Board of Directors of The Tenn.-Ky.
Threshermen’s Assn. He was an Iron-Man from away back. He
bought and sold steam engines for many years, especially
Keck-Gonnermans. When the Keck-Gonnerman Co., went out of business,
he bought all their parts and patterns. Mr. Miller was a Christian
gentleman and had the personality to get along with people, to see
both sides of a question and get it brought to a solution that
pleased everyone. He will be greatly missed by family and friends
and especially the Tenn-Ky Threshermen’s Assn. It will be hard
to fill his shoes as Board Chairman.

Submitted by Billy Byrd, 369 S. Harrig St., Madisonville, Ky
42431

EMMITT P. LAIN, 68, of Atkinson, Illinois passed away on January
13, 1974. Emmitt will be remembered with his model steam engine at
most of the midwest engine shows. He worked with steam for many
years, threshing, sawing lumber, etc. After the steam era, he went
into the house moving business, retiring only a few years ago.

Submitted by Lester L. Moos, 328 North State Street, Geneseo,
Illinois 61254.

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