Huber Museum Dedicated at Marion, Ohio Show

S. G. Baxter
July/August 1996

Stanley Winck's 1928 Superior Huber Thresher needed a little TLC before it cooperated during set-up for an active demonstration of grain harvesting. Winck is on top of the situation and on top of the machine, as well.
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3203 Norton Road, Radnor, Ohio 43066

Once again Father's Day weekend came to Marion, Ohio, bringing with it the Marion County Steam and Gas Engine Society's annual show. It was their 18th show, and was held on the Marion County Fairgrounds. Early on set-up day, Thursday, June 16, exhibits rolled onto the grounds. The Huber equipment line was the 1995 feature, and there were fifty Huber exhibits. Richard and Dorothy Buckwoldt of Dixion, Iowa, Barney Dusseau and his wife of Grayton, Ohio, and Don and Marty Huber (no relation to the great inventor and innovator Edward Huber) from Moline, Illinois, brought several semi-truck loads of Huber tractors. One of them was Don Huber's 1928 25-50, which appears on the April page of the Dupont Antique Tractor Calendar. Another was Marty Huber's 1943 Huber HK tractor, which was a twin to Mose Miller and Gerald Brenley's HK. They hail from Baltic, Ohio.

Burdell Huber from Bluffton, Ohio, brought his 1925 15-30 Huber tractor. Dan Ehler dings brought his 1916 15-30 Huber tractor which, when he bought it, was in pieces with some pretty important parts missing. Some of these were pistons, valves, guides, a cam gear and many other parts which were present and badly damaged. Restoration began in 1991 and went on for four years, picking up speed at the end because Dan wanted to have it put together for the Marion Show. At show time it was not in running condition, but it was easy to see that when all the kinks are worked out Dan will have a great Huber collectible to his credit. Dan has stated that at some future date he may donate this machine to the Huber Museum where many more people can see and appreciate its original design. I'm sure all will marvel at Dan's restoration work. One of the rare Hubers on exhibit was Dan Ehlerding's 1916 15-30 which was featured in an article in Antique Power magazine (Nov-Dec 1995).

One of the most interesting Huber tractors at the show was never un loaded. It was a quarter-scale Huber steam engine which was crafted by Paul Jacobs of Toledo, Ohio. It is fully functioning and was demonstrated using compressed air, but could easily run on the traditional coal/wood and water. Another unusual display was of Huber road equipment, manufactured in the Fifties, owned by Marion County and still in use by the county, after forty years of service. Ed Axhelm, Parker Garwich and Gary Bader were in charge of the tractor displays while Howard Hinnamon set up the gas engine displays.

Edward Huber was one of Marion's first philanthropists. He had a hand in nearly every good thing in Marion's early history, including manufacturing as well as institutions for the public good, like the first library, and the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). He founded a bank so money would be available to his workers to build homes of their own. His first in vention was a reversible wooden hay rake, and when he found the necessary woods in plenty in the Marion area, he settled here and set up a business which, over the years, expanded to foreign markets and was responsible for the manufacture of the large earth moving equipment which made the building of the Panama Canal possible. The machinery Huber manufactured was popular for its utility and now it has become popular among antique collectors. To honor Huber's memory, a museum is being built in Marion, Ohio.

During the show, the Edward Huber Memorial Association dedicated the new Huber Museum which is being constructed on the Marion County Fairgrounds. Anna May Schwaderer, a member of the Society and also president of the Edward Huber Memorial Association, was in charge of the drive to raise funds for the museum, and this need for funds continues until the interior of the display and meeting area are complete in the final stages of the effort. The shell had been completed by show time. On hand for the ceremonies were Mayor of Marion, Jack Kellogg; Kirk Moreland and John Watkins, county commissioners; WMRN radio reporter Terry Cole; and Charlie Evers, who heads up the Marion Area Office of Travel and Tourism. Show patrons, Society members and officers attended. Stanley Winck, Society president, presided.

Surprisingly, though the Huber name has been a dead issue in the machinery manufacturing business for some time, like a Phoenix rising, the Huber name once more appears on a piece of road grading equipment. Don Braden of Galion, Ohio, has acquired the patents and rights to produce a maintainer, bearing the Huber name, and has already sold fifty or more across the country. The first and 'youngest Huber,' a 1995 Huber maintainer was on exhibition at the show.

We were delighted to welcome back 'Old '79,' the oldest intact John Deere tractor, owned by Frank and Irene Hansen. Their documentation proves this tractor's claim to fame, and enchants us when we learn it was once sold as scrap for five dollars, and after restoration and documentation, has been appraised for a million dollars. It is a one of a kind exhibit.

Often Stanley Winck powers the stationary saw mill owned by the Society with his steam engine, but this year a breakdown rendered it out of commission, so Bill Kennedy, of Grafton, Ohio, put his 1914 Gaar Scott and Company steam engine to the job. It is a 20 HP machine built in Richmond, Indiana. Bernard Theil was at the saw mill controls.

Winck's 1921 28-48 Superior Huber thresher, serial #16134, was used during an active demonstration. At first it wouldn't cooperate, but with a little tender love and coaxing it hummed along. Helpers were Bob Judson, David Baxter, Tom Myers and Stanley Winck. This is really 'Hot' work.

The show is noisy, busy and loaded with fun, like looking over the Henry Hardin Motorcycle Show, which is a show within the steam show; or checking out Stanley Winck's washing machine display trailer; or the kid's tractor pull; or the antique tractor pulls for the 'big boys' on two separate nights; or the growing antique car and truck display and the parades.

Many explore the Flea Market or check out the Craft Show for unexpected finds. Good food, interesting displays are satisfying, and there is always something new to see and new to learn. We'd love to welcome you at next year's show.

For the 1996 information brochure listing chairmen and their phone numbers, send a self-addressed stamped business envelope to 1996 Information, 585 Cleveland Ave., Marion, OH 43320.


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