The Last of the Old Wood Burners


| September/October 1958



Mr. John J. Menchhofer, Secretary of the Pioneer Engineers Club of Indiana, Inc., sends this article for the ALBUM. He has gotten permission from the Indianapolis Star Sunday Magazine, Indianapolis, Indiana, to use it with a credit line. Mr. Ralph L. Brooks is the editor of this great Sunday Magazine and is very gracious in this matter. We thank him. Also you will notice that Clifford W. Cox is the writer, and we appreciate his efforts. Elmer By CLIFFORD W. COX

This Hoosier farmer, living near Middletown, has collected a big group of antique tractors

PERHAPS THE WORLD'S largest antique collection volume-wise, that is belongs to Keith Mauzy, Route 1, Middletown, Indiana. Mauzy's collection of steam engines, reminiscent of earlier wheat threshing days, occupies perhaps three acres of his farmland. Almost anywhere you look, his equipment sheds house either an engine or remnants of several. It is an impressive scene.

Mauzy is an active member of the Pioneer Engineer's Club (of Ind.,) which holds is annual meetings at Rushville. Every year members bring together a colorful assortment of engines sporting 'feathers in their bonnets' steamer talk for the vapor plumes spraying from pop-off valves, meaning the steam pressure is up and they are ready to roll.

'Don't know how many engines I do have,' Mauzy says, 'when you count a lot of odd parts and the stationary models. Probably in the neighbor hood of 15.'

The oldest, an O. A. Garr engine built in 1840, is worth perhaps $2,500 depending on how badly a collector wants one. The latest model is a Keck-Gonerman built in 1924. Mauzy has a couple of gasoline models which closely resemble the steamers. With the modern excavating machinery parked among the steam engines one can almost trace the evolution of heavy power. Most of the steam engines were built in the Middle West. Several were produced in Ohio and Pennsylvania and a few models were built in Indiana.