Alden, Minnesota 1934
They were threshing the grain of John Jacob Factor
The power being used was a gasoline tractor,
The governor jumped from its place on the block
Sailed through the air and lit on a shock
The speed went up and the rods went out
Everyone fled from the scene with a shout.
The things gone wild, it’s busted.
With your one-man rig I’m now disgusted.
The weather is hot, I think it will rain
My crop will be ruined, I’ll lose my grain.
It will take a week to fix that tractor
These were the words of John Jacob Factor.
So he jumped in his car and slipped her in high
And was lost in a dust that rose to the sky.
He found an idle old steamer built in ’93
Rusting and decomposing beneath a shade tree.
He bought this engine with two pieces of gold
It looked very good, even though it was old
They filled her with water and started a fire
Greased her and oiled her and welded a tire.
She leaked only at the fire door ring
But that was nothing, she was starting to sing.
Her grates were down, her nozzle leaned
The boiler was dirty and should have been cleaned.
They tried out the injector and tested the pump
The pressure was rising, they had to ‘Hump’.
The gauge was okay, the ‘Pop’ was not stuck
They filled her coal bunker and tanks from a truck.
And sounded the whistle as they left the place.
She seemed delighted and moved off with grace.
To be on the road and alive once more
Reminded her of good old days of years before.
They reached the Factor farm that night at eight
Pulled right in, banked the fire and closed the gate.
At 6:00 A. M. the following day
They whistled the men down out of the hay.
Everyone stepped out and did his ‘stuff’
The dew was heavy, the straw was tuff
They had a strong and husky crew
Who would give the thresher a lot to do.
The engine didn’t care, she made no noise or fuss
But took the load they gave her and didn’t cuss.
The pitchers had ‘Slow Orders’ till 8:30
As the sheaves were moist from dew on the shock.
By nine the sun was high and hot
Twelve teams and twenty men were on the trot.
John Jacob Factor new began to grin
He had a mountain of straw and wheat was filling his bin.
Everything went fine, no stops were made all day
The Steamer made him happy and made the men all gay.
They finished up that evening at five fifty-four
And John Jacob Factor was worried and troubled no more.