| September/October 2003

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  • # Picture 01

Long-time subscriber William (Bill) F. Vouk Sr., St. Stephen, Minn., passed away on Friday, May ' 9, 2003, just 12 days short of his 92nd birthday. His casket was carried to its final resting place on an antique steel-wheeled wagon, drawn by an 8 HP Case steam engine n that was used to give the end-of-day signal on its whistle as he was laid to rest.

Bill was an old-time thresherman and sawmill operator, ('Iron Man, Bill Vouk,' Iron-Men Album, Vol. 53, No. 1), beginning at the age of 18 when, upon the death of his father, he took over the family custom threshing and sawing business with an 80 HP Case engine, no. 30357.

He loved attending steam shows, and in 1965, with his newly restored engine that he called his pride and joy ('80 Years with an 80 Case,' Iron-Men Album, Vol. 52, No. 2), he started Vouk's Steam Engine Threshing and Lumber Sawing Show in St. Stephen, a show that ran for 36 years. He was co-founder and the first president of the Minnesota Steam Engine Association, and he was a near-fanatical advocate for the preservation of steam engines and steam engine shows. He was a past member of the Lake Region Pioneer Threshermen's Association, Dalton, Minn., and a charter member of the J.I. Case Heritage Foundation.

He was always willing to share his extensive knowledge of steam engines, threshing and sawing with anyone interested, and he inspired many members of his family and others with an interest in steam power. Two of his sons, a nephew, two grandsons and a granddaughter have become licensed steam engineers.

He is survived by four sons, four daughters and their spouses, 39 grandchildren, 39 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren, and many friends in the steam engine community.

Submitted by James R. Vouk, St. Stephen, Minn.


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