CHARLIE HARRISON passed away in Mansfield General Hospital May 21,1980. He had just passed his 69th birthday by 18 days. He never gave up in his long struggle with cancer; it just overwhelmed him.
Charlie was born in Knox County and spent his entire life there, living in the Butler and Fredericktown areas. At one time he lived in the house where A. D. Baker had lived as a boy. Engines, threshers, hullers and sawmills were commonplace to him as his father was a thresherman. Young Charlie took a great interest in the machinery, so much that his father sent him out with a threshing outfit at twelve years of age. Charlie and his father never quit using the steam engine on the sawmill, but did switch to an Aultman-Taylor 30-60 tractor for threshing in the mid 30s. Due to more hired labor, the farmers were crowding the threshing more each year until Charlie switched back to steam for more power in 1943 and continued with steam power through 1954 when commercial threshing ceased to exist. He was one of the last men to thresh with steam in Ohio on a commercial basis.
Charlie had a strong attachment to his machinery and continued to keep it during those difficult years when such behavior was regarded as eccentric. With great personal sacrafice, he would purchase some of the better machinery in the area to keep it from scrap dealers. He once hauled a 110 Case from North Dakota on the meagerest of funds.
His early years were hard, but they did not harden the man; they only seemed to enhance his kind and helpful ways. He was a very common man, yet his relationship with his fellowmen was of the highest order. It was a privilege to know him as not only a machine man, but as a personal friend.
The family always used Aultman-Taylor machinery and it would probably not be in error to say it was Charlie's favorite. Our hobby has lost much in his passing but we have gained much from his efforts and experience. He passed the torch to his nephew, Larry Schunke, when shortly before his death, he gave Larry an unusually fine engine. The pall bearers were all his engine friends, many of us who own machinery that Charlie restored or saved.
Junior Christenson had his model engine a short distance from the gravesite and using it. Bob Johnson and his son Mike, performed the only last rite suitable for such a man. The service closed with two long whistle blasts that signal the end of a working day.
Submitted by Lyle Hoffmaster, Bucyrus, Ohio 44820.
NORMAN NEITZEL passed away at Lacey, Washington, April 21,1980 following a long illness. He was born March 4, 1918 on the family farm 4 miles southwest of Tulare, South Dakota, the second son of William and Dora Neitzel. He was exposed to steam threshing and other farm work at an early age.
The family moved to the Yelm, Washington area in April of 1933 and Norman graduated from Yelm Union High School in 1936. Following his graduation, he served in the C.C.C. and then had various other jobs including fruit picking, truck driving, and logging.
In 1940 he joined the 103rd antitank battalion of the Washington National Guard at Tacoma. In 1941 the unit was federalized and some time after that became the 803rd tank destroyer battalion. They were sent to England in 1943 and shortly after D-Day went ashore in France as part of General George Patton's Army. They took part in five campaigns, including the battle of Huertgen Forest, the Ardennes campaign (the Belgian Bulge) and the Rhineland. The war's end found the battalion in Czechoslovakia.
Norman and his wife, Betty, were married in Tacoma in 1942 and after his return from the war they settled in the Olympia area. He went to work at Fort Lewis for the Federal Government and retired in 1977. He was a member of the Western Steam Fiends Association for many years and had served as Washington State Director.
Norman owned a 16 HP Port Huron traction engine and took part with it in the Cowlitz Prairie show several times. He also hosted threshing bees at his home and was instrumental in the forming of, and served as the first president of Branch 20 of the E.D.G.E.&T.A. He served Branch 20 in this position until incapacitated by illness.
Submitted by Carl O. H. Neitzel, Box 401, Manchester, Washington 98353.
WALTER J. JUNGST, SR., died at Evansville, Minnesota on April 13, 1980. Walter learned the blacksmithing and farrier trade while growing up on the farm where he had plenty of opportunity to practice shoeing draft horses and mules. He went to Detroit in 1914 at the age of 23 where he worked for a Scotsman shoeing Clydesdale brewery horses and hand making shoes to be shipped back to the valley of the River Clyde in Scotland. He leased and operated a blacksmith shop in Detroit until WWI when he began serving in the Army. He returned to southwest Iowa, then to Minnesota. His two sons, Walter, Jr., and Ed, were both members of his blacksmith crew at Rollag Reunion where they responded to his shrill whistle in much the same manner as when they were learning the trade in the family shop at Kandiyohi, where he was in business from 1921 until he retired. Walter enjoyed his many treks to the Rollag reunion but his greatest joy was in the large number of friends he made and the pleasure of looking up from his labors in the shop to see old acquaintances again.
Submitted by Ed Jungst, Garfield, Minnesota 56332.
HOWARD D. MILLER of Idaville, Indiana, known by friends as 'Knute' passed away January 9, 1980, at Winamac. He was 67 years old. He had been in the sawmill business for several years. He ran the sawmill at National Threshers Show at Wauseon, Ohio and also at the Northern Indiana Power From the Past Show at Winamac. Knute attended several shows in Indiana and the show at Pontiac, also NTA at Wauseon. Knute in his early life spent several years in the Navy.
Submitted by Frank Miller, Kewanna, Indiana 46939.
ARTHUR P. MASON, of Pitman, New Jersey, a long time member of Rough and Tumble Engineers and Williams Grove Steam Engine Association, passed away of an apparent heart attack on January 16, 1980, just after felling a tree with a chain saw, at the home of a cousin at Benton, Pennsylvania. He was 72 years old.
Submitted by J. Fred Lawton, Millville, Pennsylvania 17846.
PERRY LEE CHARLTON, 71, of Ronceuerte, West Virginia, passed away at his home April 8, 1980 of an apparent heart attack. He had been a member of R & T of Kinzers for a long time. He always attended the shows until last year when failing health prevented him from going. He was also a member of Bridgewater and Berryville, Virginia shows. He owned and operated Charlton Machine and Welding Shop. He was a certified boiler welder. He loved steam of any type, especially railroads. .He always visited the Strasburg Railroad when in Pennsylvania. He owned a hobby steam engine which he would take to parades. He will be greatly missed.
Submitted by William H. White, Route 2, Box 296, Ronceuerte, West Virginia 24970.
HAROLD WILSON, 75, of Hastings, Iowa died February 18, 1980, following a long bout with cancer. Through his efforts many pieces of antique farm machinery and tractors were saved from the indignity of the iron pile and restored for the enjoyment of many. He looked forward to the show season and attended many shows in the Midwest. His special interest was the Eshelman Southwest Iowa Antique Machinery and Threshing Show at Elliott, Iowa. From the show's beginning, he was a faithful worker and was always present through the three-day show, operating some of his restored tractors and helping to demonstrate other equipment on the grounds.
Submitted by Ben Wilson, Hastings, Iowa 51540.