TRIPLE GREAT UNCLE


| May/June 1982



Steam traction engine

Texas, put together a lot of information on the Kitten engine and his family, which we are glad to present. Ed.

Dave Dearborn of West Campton, New Hampshire, is shown on the 1910 Kitten he formerly owned, in a night photo taken at Lebanon, New Hampshire, October 16, 1977. Alex McDonald of 20 Parkhurst Street, Lebanon, New Hampshire 03766, who took the photos, said that this was the only steam traction engine operating in New Hampshire. We have written to Dave to ask the name of the present owner.

The Kitten steam traction engine was the product of the Kitten Machine Works in Ferdinand, Indiana. Quite a few Kittens are still around, a number in restoration.

The Kitten family in this country was founded when Henry and Theresa Kitten came from Ibbenburen, Prussia, in 1850. Joseph was my great grandfather, and Florenz, one of his sons, became the inventor and manufacturer.

We knew of the Kitten machine works in Indiana but didn't use or save any equipment until two years ago. We were spraying fertilizer in Elm Creek, Manitoba, Canada, and when we were coming home I bought a Kitten steam engine and thresher from Orman Dorney, who had bought it from Joseph Lenkin, of Ferdinand, Indiana. So I guess you would say it's back in the family.

Florenz had one son Joseph who ran the factory when his father retired, but Joseph died first. Joseph's wife and her father operated it with Florenz after that. Joseph had five daughters, but no sons.