A DAY TO REMEMBER

John Deere model GP belted to a buzz saw

Courtesy of Donald Weisbeck, 11400 Broadway, Alden, New York 14004

Donald Weisbeck

Content Tools

11400 Broadway Alden, New York 14004

On October 30, 1966 a gas-up was held by Kenneth Roloff and Donald Weisbeck members of the Pioneer Gas Engine Association at Don's place in Alden N.Y. This was the first such affairs ever held in this area and it sure created a bit of news. Alden is or was a farming community but is now being built up as a residential area. The affair was held at the rear of Don's home and Gasoline Station. The people would pull in for gasoline or service and hear the sound of the old Engines and ask what in the world that noise was; well Ted Beirig, operator of the station, would tell them to pull around the building and see, which they did. Some just sit in their cars and look but most would get out and look around. We had the old TIFFIN Cider Mill in operation. Many children and adults as well enjoyed the sweet cider as it flowed from the press. The day was clear and cold but pleasant. The cold weather created a problem that some of us forgot and that was that these old engines don't start and run as good in cold as in warm weather. Ken's big Lazier a 6 HP beauty ran very well on the cutting box but when corn was fed into the machine the engine would miss fire and die but that big Lazier is in perfect condition and when it warmed up a little she went to work as only these old reliables do. The 4 HP New Way ran very well on the cider mill but it was inside the building. Don's Ottowa Drag saw was in operation. I (Don) purchased this machine about six years ago, it was still in the crate and had never been sold or used, it was manufactured about 1922.

A John Deere GP tractor, year 1923 and buzz saw, which Don Weisbeck found in a junk yard and later reconditioned. Here, Gordon and Don Weisbeck are manning the saw and John is operating the tractor.

At the cider press, made by the Tiffin Wagon Company at the turn of the century and used in West Alden until 1940, are Don Weisbeck and Bud Wahl. It is powered by a New Way gas engine made in Lansing, Michigan between 1914 and 1917. This is operated by John Weisbeck.

We also had the John Deere model GP belted to a buzz saw. A total of twenty one pieces (engines & equipment) were shown and operated. About 65 persons were present. Many more just stopped and looked but did not get out of their cars.

Ken Roloff and I agreed this little gas-up was a grand success as everyone present seemed to enjoy themselves. I will always remember this first affair with pleasure, but sadness struck me and my family the next day. On Oct. 31, we had to take my father to the hospital; Dad never returned. He passed away on December 6th, 1966. Yet Dad milked his cows on Oct. 30 the day of the Gas-Up. I would like to write a few lines about my father in his memory. Dad was a dedicated farmer and feed mill operator. Dad was typical of a small American farmer, he was typical of the people who in my opinion, and I do not stand a-lone in this opinion, of the people who really backed our leaders of this country when they needed help. In times of trouble and wars these men did not head for the big shops and bigger money jobs. They kept right on farming. They plowed a little longer furrow to up their production and feed the country and other countries if necessary. The only compensation they received was a little better market for their products. In times when the shops were not paying so well or hiring so fast and the part timers returned to the land these dedicated men seldom complained of the poor market prices. They would merely experiment to grow a better quality of produce. They were busy and happy. How else did this country become the best fed and the most desirable place on earth to live? Men like Dad had many friends. I have 5 brothers and 3 sisters. We never had much money to spend but we were always happy. I consider ourselves very rich. When Dad was laid out at the funeral parlor, he had over a thousand persons visit him. Now in my book if you have that many friends on earth at age 74, you will have that many more in the next world. You can bet your boots those pearly gates will be wide open for you and believe me you are rich.

My 8 Hp. Stover and as close as I can tell age, it was sold in Portland by Mitchell Lewis Stover in November 1920. The engine is one of my prizes which is the largest I have. Total weight is 1600 pounds. The engine is a hit and miss type. It is also in top running condition.

Dad always said a man of his word was a man every time, Dad lived by his principals. I remember an incident a few years ago. I was working as a mechanic for a rather large dump truck operator, a friend of my boss; a decent sort of fellow whose worst fault probably was bragging about his money. Now, he was a man of means no doubt. Anyway, one day he and my boss asked me where they could buy some good veal calves or a good steer. Well, I told them my dad had some good calves and one steer but that the steer was not for sale. Well my boss and Mr. Riggs went to see my Dad. When they returned they told me that they bought a calf and the steer. Well I laughed and agreed they bought the calf but I also told them they did not have enough money to buy the steer. They said, 'Oh money talks to a farmer.' I agreed, but not when the farmer did not want to sell. They then admitted I was right. Later Dad told me he almost sold it to them when they offered him one third more than top market price. Dad also said he thought they were a couple of nice fellows and that when the steer was butchered he thought he would give them a couple of steaks which he did, but the fellows wanted to pay for them anyway. Dad refused the money saying that steer was never for sale. Well, Mr. Riggs smiled and shook dads hand and said, 'A man of his word is a man every time' . . . That was better pay to Dad than money. I could go on many pages of my experiences with dad and the summers I spent on the threshing rig and Oh those meals we had, WOW! I have often said and anyone who has been around the farms on a threshing machine will agree, those good old time farm women could cook up a meal so tasty they could make our finest French Chefs look like a group of Boy Scouts on their first cooking test. Now as I write this I should say some of these fine cooks are still in existence. My wife is a city girl. Of course, I rescued her from that and she is a pretty darn good girls when it comes to cooking. To top that off I just returned from my daughters home where we had supper, now Mrs. Laurence Thomas (My Daughter) is a bride of little over six months and the supper we had there would keep a man going a mighty long time. I must close somewhere and this is a pretty good place as I don't want to over stay my welcome.

A skunk sat on a stump. The skunk thunk the stump stunk, and the stump thunk the skunk stunk.

'A Man's Heart may be in the right place, but that doesn't help if his head is a wooden block.'

This is the oddest looking engine I have. It is an upright. It is a 3 Hp. make and brake type engine. It was sold by Mitchell Lewis Stover in Portland in 1918.

Here is an old one! Age unknown. But the party I got it from has had it since 1920. It is a 1? Hp. Z Model Fairbanks Morse home light plant.

My whole collection of 15 engines. They consist of Fairbanks, Morse, Cushiom, Int. Novel, Witte, Wade Drag Saw, New Way and John Deere. This collection I started two years ago with the help of Tom C. Grave of 14020 S. W. River Lane, Tigard, Oregon.

Tom has a very fine collection of engines. My favorite engine of his collection is a Fuller & Johnson, 20 Hp.

Here is my pride and joy. This 1918 Witte 4 Hp. engine was the starting of my collection. It was found in Eastern Oregon completely buried in sand except about two inches of flywheel. This engine was completely frozen up. It took about two months to get it running. It is in perfect running condition.

This tractor I built for it is made of Int. Crosley Dodge and Chevrolet. This little machine has been the talk of the town as of today I have. 212 miles on it as the whole sum of 12 miles per hour. The engine, is a hit and miss type one. The bore is 5? inch, the stroke is 7 inch. It weighs 400 lbs., 320 rpm. It runs on gas or kerosene.

As you notice in picture it has a license issued by the State of Oregon as a 1966 Assembled Farm Type Tractor.