WHERE ARE THE ENGINES?

By Staff
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The Universal Advance Rumeley engine owned by Frank Sylla of Whitehall, Wisconsin.
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The 1909 9 HP Case engine (#21693) owned by Joseph C. Galbreath of Sterling, Illinois.
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Photo is courtesy of Don Throndson, whose father, Thorval, recently died at age 100.

Collectors keep responding to tell us where the engines are, and
we now have more notes and photos than we can use in several
issues. Yet we want you to keep those answers coming! We should
soon have enough for the next booklet with the title, WHERE ARE THE
ENGINES?

Here are two to tell you about…

Frank A. Sylla, of 2040 Lou Blvd., Whitehall, Wisconsin 54733,
has a Universal Advance Rumeley with an interesting story. It has
an 11 inch stroke.

The engine was purchased new in 1923 by a party in Arcadia,
Wiscon sin, threshed a couple of years, and repossessed by a bank
in Blair, Wisconsin. Then it was bought by Able Knuton, threshed a
couple years, and sold to a private tie mill operator. It was a man
and wife operation; she fired the engine and he was the sawyer. A
small operator, when his woodlot became depleted he sold the engine
to a collector of Mondovi, Wisconsin, named George Loomis. It had
been wintered on his land.

‘I have no number on it,’ Sylla writes, ‘as creosote
has destroyed the figures.’ It was fired up at night to keep
the boiler warm; green slabs were used and the stack was
covered.

‘The engine is original as it came from the factory,’
Sylla notes. ‘It has a gear lubricator, marsh pump, two
whistles and one injector. I had it reflued in 1982 by a licensed
boiler mechanic.

‘I am 81 years old and still enjoy firing up, but it’s
hard work.’ Since he is disabled, Sylla does not know how long
he can stay active with the engine.

Joseph G. Galbreath, of 2404 B 12th Ave., Sterling, Illinois
61081, has a 1909 Case, J. I. Case 9 HP engine, serial #21693. He
bought it from the estate of Guy McCausland of Folletts, Iowa, in
December, 1982. He had purchased it from the estate of Justin
Hingtgen of LaMotte, Iowa. Galbreath writes:

‘The story I got was that several years ago, probably the
early 1950’s, the Hingtgens were traveling in Montana. Mrs.
Hingtgen took ill and had to go to a hospital for surgery. While
she was recuperating, Justin was scouting the area for engines, as
he was prone to do. He found my engine high up on a mountain and
tried to locate the owner. The engine seemingly didn’t have a
real owner, so he hired a bulldozer to build a road down the
mountainside. He then trucked the engine down and to his farm west
of LaMotte. I have been unable to find anyone to substantiate or
refute this story, but it is an interesting tale.

‘The engine is in very good condition and is Iowa certified
to operate at 100 psi. We store it in our shed at Kirkwood,
Illinois, and it is shown at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, each year at the
Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers annual reunion.’

Thorval Throndson’s uncle Tom and his outfit stack threshing
near Benson, Minnesota, sometime in the 1880’s. The engine is a
Giant, the separator a Northwest, made by Northwest Thresher
Co.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment