They bought 16 tons and what did they get?

| September/October 1972

We thank Bill Paulson, Butterfield Advocate Newspaper, Butterfield, Minn. for the article and pictures.

I must confess it was my idea to buy the steam engine.

You see, watching threshing bees the last four years I've developed this compulsion to own an absolutely huge piece of machinery.

When I learned an 80 horsepower Minneapolis steam engine was for sale I laid plans to fulfill my dream. A steam engine was perfect. Not only did it represent an almost extince source of traction, but it was big, big. The Minneapolis weighed 16 tons!

The asking price was much too steep for my pocketbook, so I started putting together a carefully picked partnership. The first man I approached was Clarence Hovdet while he was out on his farm laying fence. He sort of giggled when I told him of my plan, but confessed real interest because we'd often talked of buying a big tractor together. He was very critical to the partnership because of his motto, 'I've never seen anything I couldn't drive.'

The third carefully picked partner was my neighbor, Chuck Bisel, who happened to be leaning on the nearby fence when I asked, 'How about going in on a steam engine?'' His quick 'OK' reflected the frustration of a snowmobiler looking for something novel to ride during the off season. And I suspect his devotion to this union was further heightened with the knowledge a steamer has no spark plugs to change.