THE GOLDEN ROLL


| September/October 1981



In the July-August 1976 issue of the IMA we gave you the life story of WILLIAM F. HOVETTER, and now we must add his name to the Golden Roll. He died April 16 at 100 years of age and could bask in a successful life of satisfaction.

He was born January 20, 1881 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. At 12 years he was operating his father's threshing rig. Soon, between the threshing seasons he would be working as a part time mechanic in the Frick shops at Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. In 1910 he sold his rigs to become Frick branch manager in Harrisburg. As the gasoline engines started to replace steam in powering a thresher, their rpm was sometimes irregular, thus reducing the performance; however, the thresher got the blame. Bill Hovetter was not to permit such a small item to reduce his thresher sales. He had a tacro-meter made to fit a Frick thresher which he sold as optional. The true source of trouble was soon correctly established.

Mr. Hovetter traveled far and wide as branch manager, mechanical consultant and goodwill ambassador of Frick Company. In 1916 he helped to organize the Pennsylvania Thresher-men and Farmers Mutual Casualty Company. In 1941 he reluctantly resigned from Frick Company to become general manager of the insurance company he helped to found. He supervised the construction of a new insurance headquarters building, and he retired in 1956. The company is today known as Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Company.

With his 6th grade education, he was also a valued member of the board of the Dauphin Deposit Trust Company of Harrisburg. In his retirement years, he attended all the reunions in the area, where he could reminisce. He made it a point to attend every reunion at the Kinzer R&T Old Threshermen's Reunion until 1979 when he called to say sadly that for the first time he would be unable to be with us. He lived in retirement at his home in Walnut Bottom near Carlisle. His life conforms to the example as set forth in Longfellow's poem, 'A Psalm of Life.'

Submitted by W. J. Eshleman, 722 East End Avenue, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

JOHN FLOYD KING, 70, Kings, Illinois, died March 28, 1981, from a massive heart attack in his lifetime home where he was born. His sudden death came as a great shock to family members, neighbors, friends, and his steam show associates. He was a member of First United Presbyterian Church of Kings, Illinois and a charter member of North Central Illinois Steam Power Show, which he helped organize. The annual steam show was held on the King farm several years prior to 1974, at which time the annual show was moved to a permanent site at Hickory-Oaks Farm, two miles east of Davis Junction, Illinois.