1511 Iglehart, St. Paul, Minnesota 55104
On August 11th and 12th, 1973, the Scott-Carver Old
Thresher’s Association held their annual Gas and Steam Engine
The show site is located on a fifty-acre tract of land owned by
the association about two miles out of Jordan, Minnesota on Highway
169. This year it is estimated thirty acres of rye and six acres of
oats were threshed.
When I attended the show, rye stack threshing was in progress
using a 32×54 Case separator, with wing feeder, operated by a
heavy-geared 22 HP Advance engine. This fine rig is owned and
operated by Bill Olander, who with Ermin Morrell organized the
first threshing show at Jordan in 1964.
This year, Jim Mollenhauer, a young engineer, was running Mr.
Olander’s engine. At the moment, his water supply was low.
Ermin Morrell said, ‘Give these sharp blasts with the
whistle’. He did. People ducked and cringed, but it got
results. Bill Sebiech, the water supply man, soon arrived with the
Dennis Ames was the engineer on Ermin Morrell’s 22 HP
Advance engine. This engine came new to Strous ford, N.D. in 1902.
Plowing Dakota land, Mr. Morrell’s father used the engine when
he plowed two sections of land every year for twelve years. In
1964, Mr. Morrell talked with Tony Baumgartner and Jake Bauman,
sons of the original first owners, who couldn’t believe the
engine was still in operation.
Oats were threshed with a Gopher thresher. This machine was
built at New Prague, Minnesota in the 1920’s. Although they did
a satisfactory job of threshing, competition with the big companies
eventually caused the factory to close.
The lumber saw, protected from the weather by a new roof built
over it, was busy during the two days of the show. Frank Boehne was
in charge of the sawing. Power for sawing was supplied by Florian
C. Karl operating Ermin Morrell’s 16 HP Advance, Joe Sully with
his 22 HP Advance, besides other engineers who wanted to use their
Ralph Kerkow’s steel Rosenthal corn shredder, husked corn
and blew the fodder in a pile. His 10-20 McCormick Deering tractor
ran the shredder. Earn corn from the operation was shelled in an
old wooden sheller owned by Ray Harris. It was then ground in a
burr mill owned by Arlen Petersen. The sheller and the mill were
both powered by gas engines.
Rueben Boettcher’s shingle mill was operated by Arlen
Several steam and gas tractors took turns pulling an 8-bottom
John Deere plow in a nearby stubble field. Among the tractors used
were John Schoening’s 35-70 Minneapolis gas tractor, Walt
Zimmerman’s 65 HP Case steamer, and Bill Olander’s 1910
About sixty gas engines were on display by members of the
association and independent collectors. Some of these were used in
various demonstrations. One of these was log cutting with a drag
A total of seven steam traction engines were available to
furnish: power at the show. Comprising the list was Erwin
Morrell’s 22 HP Advance, his 16 HP Advance, a 1906 Russell
formerly owned by the late Art Krueger of Belle Plaine, operated by
Rudi Adams, John Schoneing’s 50 HP Case, Joe Sully with his 22
HP Advance, Walt Zimmerman’s 65 HP Case, and Bill Olander’s
22 HP Advance.
In the steam model exhibit, Walter Dehn of Rogers, Minnesota,
brought his 8-24 Model Case steamer. Eisner Machacek of Northfield
was there with his scale model of a 1915 65 HP Case.
The Jordan steam fire engine of 1889, now completely restored,
was operated both days.
In a new building housing stationary steam engines, is a
stationary center, crank 110 HP Leffel engine, two 10 HP vertical
Troy engines, a 1 HP German made engine, a steam-powered centrifuge
from a creamery which is really a milk tester, and a small model
steam engine, all run from a common steam boiler. The Leffel, the
Centerfuge and the model steam engine are owned by Reuben Boettcher
of Jordan, who is also the chief engineer of the building. Inside
this building was displays of brass and iron oil cups along with
others. There were also working displays of soap making, quilt
making, wood turning, etc. While Ray Lins and Jack Strand said they
were firemen for the 30 HP boiler, they intend to obtain steam
engineer licenses soon.
In the gas and oil tractor exhibit, one of the highlights was
John Schoening’s 35-70 Minneapolis gas tractor. It is newly
restored and shown for the first time. There was Ray Harris’s
8-16 International gas tractor and several other John Deeres,
Allis-Chalmers and Farmalls. Ralph Altenweg of Dayton brought his
14-28 Advance-Rumely Oil Pull. Other tractors were Marvin
Boettcher’s 30-60 Aultman and Taylor, Mike Kovich’s 1928
Lauson, Frank Boehne’s 1937 Allis-Chalmers, Ray Pearson’s
1924 Nichols and Shepard, Ralph Kerkow’s 1927 McCormick-Deering
10-20 and many others.
The participation of many members of Anoka Branch 12 of the
‘Early Days Gas and Tractor Association’ was very much
appreciated by the Scott-Carver group. Among those who worked and
displayed items at the show, were Walter Dehn of Rogers who brought
his 8-24 model Case steamer, Ralph Altenweg of Dayton who brought
his 14-28 Advance-Rumely Oil Pull tractor, and George Benson,
Ernest and Marvin Zepfi, Adrain Milless, Ron Westphal and John
Altenweg who brought gas engines and worked at the show. Ralph
Kinser also of Anoka Branch 12, brought his 1915 Standard tractor
The Bill Hennes family was all there in early 1900 dress. They
brought their 1925 Model T fire chief’s car, their 1938 Dodge
sedan, and their Standard Twin garden tractor, as usual.
Other cars and trucks included the 1928 Mack .owned by the
association, a 1916 GMC truck owned by Erich Schuft of Brownton, a
1930 Model A pickup, owned by Bill Schoening and several others.
Lee Bundy had a very nicely restored 1951 two-ton GMC truck with an
operating Tom Thumb gas engine and a display board of old tools on
Bill Sebiech, besides hauling water to the steamers, brought his
F 14 Farmall and operated his WITTE drag saw.
Fred Spear of Belle Plaine drove a beautiful team of horses
hitched to a high wagon.
Tractors, both steam and gas, took turns belted to the Baker fan
and balancing on the teeter-totter. I saw Joe Sully doing a near
perfect job with his 22 HP Advance on the latter.
Barrel racing with Shetland ponies and Roman Chariot racing was
enjoyed by all on Sunday afternoon. This event was put on by the
Belle Plaine Prairie Charioteers. The spirited ponies and colorful
costumes of the drivers made a good show.
Live music on Sunday afternoon was supplied by Lenny’s
Concertina Band of New Prague. Arlen Petersen announced the parade
each day. A demonstration of an old time Western gunfight
quick-draw shooting was put on each day by a group sponsored by the
Stage Coach Inn of Savage, Minnesota. The Minneapolis Aqua Jester
Clowns visited the show on Sunday afternoon.
We have all heard the expression, ‘The show must go on’,
and we realize that everything sooner or later comes to an end.
This of course applied to our stay on this earth. So I was shocked
when Florian C. Karl told me of two deaths that occurred during the
last year. One was Arthur Krueger of Belle Plaine, a long time
member of the Scott-Carver Association. His kind personality is
missed by all who knew him. The other was Tom Zahratka of
Montgomery, a long-time associate of the late Joseph T. Rynda Jr.,
(Steam Engine Joe); he became one of the leading steam hobbyists of
the midwest shows. I know that the members of the Scott-Carver
Association join all of us who knew these men in a tribute of
respect, as well as our heartfelt sympathy for their loved ones
left to mourn their loss.
Officers of the Scott-Carver Old Thresher’s Association are:
Marvin Boettcher of Lydia, president; Ron Scott of Jordan, Vice
president; Reuben Boettcher of Jordan, treasurer; and Arlen
Petersen of St. Louis Park, secretary. There are fifty-one active
The Saturday attendance was approximately 1500 and between five
and six thousand on Sunday including all of the kids.
Registered in the guest book were people from Nebraska,
Connecticut, California, West Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois,
Washington, Saskatchewan, Oregon, New Mexico, Arizona, Puerto Rico
The Scott-Carver Association considers the show very successful
and are looking to the future with optimism.