The threshing rig and Peerless steam engine


| November/December 1993



Peerless steam engine

This picture was taken in approximately 1920 near Fisher, Minnesota. The threshing rig and Peerless steam engine were brought by rail to Fisher. The outfit was owned by John Everson, who did a lot of threshing around Bygland and Fisher, Minnesota, with it. He often hired 'drifters,' or willing workers (IWW) for the crew. Occasionally a fight would start and John would settle them. He was known for his strength. He could out lift most any man around here.

Sam Sorenson, who submitted the picture, used to watch the threshing crew on his walk to and from school. He and two brothers also on the picture, Soren and Obed (Obie) Sorenson. Also shown are Lars and Martin Larson, Tom and Ole Olson, Ole Stallmo and Andrew Peterson.

At left, photo found by one of our staff members in her husband's barn in northern Lancaster County. No details are known on this photo. Does anyone have an ideas about its origin or the identity of the engine?

In 1923 Sam started hauling bundles with horses. Sam continued doing this for John Everson until 1950, and with other engineers also. The crew worked very late hours at night. It was so dark, you couldn't see except for the light of the kerosene lanterns burning. John Everson was a carpenter, too. Once when working on a neighbor's farm, one of the neighbor's bulls started chasing him. He quickly climbed a tree but was surprised when the neighbor called to the bull and the bull went right home. It was a well trained bull.

John Everson used the Peerless engine to move the schoolhouse that Sam attended and other buildings, too. The steam engine was scrapped in the 1940s. Courtesy Sam Sorenson, RR 1 Box 124, Fisher, Minnesota 56723.