Threshing Days at Goessel

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Box 131, Goessel, Kansas 67053

The eighth annual Country Threshing Days at Goessel, Kansas, proved to be the largest turnout of steam engines and gas engines and various displays that the Wheat Heritage Engine and Threshing Co. had put on to date. There were five traction steam engines of various sizes on display. Dave Sibbets had his nicely restored 30 HP Case; Jerry Toews had a 40 HP Case and a 65 HP Case; Dan White had his beautiful 20 HP M Rumely; and a newly restored Reeves was displayed by Richard Wall. Richard and Tom Terning of Valley Center had just put a new boiler on the old Reeves and Richard had feverishly been working on the engine to get it ready for show time. He was persistently determined to road the engine to the showgrounds, which was about 15 miles from his home. It proved to be a very grueling trip for Richard as all bearings were poured new and some would heat as others would seat in and need readjusting. There was the problem of fuel along the way as well as the need for water. I think I heard Richard say, 'Never again!'

A new acquisition for our club was the beautifully restored and sweet-running 40 HP DeLavernge crude oil engine. The engine was donated to the club by John DeForest of Peabody. It was a club project to clean and restore the giant; however, the main engineers were the ever capable Bartel boys of Hillsboro. Old man Bartel said one night he went to bed at 1:00 a.m. after working on the big fellow and he thought his boys stayed up until 3:00 a.m. working on it. Bud did it ever pay off; for those who saw it running will attest to that. The engine weighs 17,380 pounds, has a 12?' bore and a 21' stroke. The piston and rod weigh 606 pounds.

Another new item for our club this year was a new 50' x 100' steel building that the club put up on the showgrounds. It was a great place to find shade and will be enjoyed by many through the years.

Side view of the 40 HP DeLavernge sideshaft crude oil engine. Total weight: 17,380 pounds. Rod and piston weigh 606 pounds, 12?' bore, 21' stroke.

Light at night was provided by the Diesel Electric plant furnished by the Bartels. They also provided a dyno to test horsepower of the old tractors and steam engines.

Threshing was a big item at the show. Bundles were threshed from 10 acres of wheat, and that's a lot of threshing. Jim Wiens provided most of the wheat to be threshed. We had two threshing machines blowing the chaf into one central pile which was about 25 feet tall after the first day. Some people were getting quite worried as to what to do with the straw stack, however, by some feat of magic, the pile somehow mysteriously disappeared through the night, and turned into a giant stack of straw bales. It seemed as though the exhibitors just were not tired enough at midnight to sleep so they pitched the straw into Jim Wiens' wire tire baler until the pile was gone. This feat was again repeated the following evening.

Our club president, Elmer Schrag, was providing homemade ice cream which was cranked by gas engine power. The parade of power around the grounds at 1:00 p.m. displayed any contraption that could move under its own power. Wives of the engine club members served a dinner on Sunday after the church service under the tent. Entertainment on the grounds throughout the day and evening was provided by various drama and musical groups.

The steam division of the slow tractor race was won by Dan White and his 20 HP M Rumely. The gas division was won by Alvin Jantz and his 1919 Fordson. Many small engine displays too numerous to mention filled the gas engine grounds to the pleasure of many spectators. Two rare engines on display were a Fruit Jar Maytag owned by Alvin Jantz and a 7 HP spark wheel Abenaque owned by Jerry Toews.

The Wheat Heritage Engine and Threshing Co. would like to encourage anyone who would like to come and have a great time with us this year to bring a display and show it off. We are also in need of several good steam men to help with the traction engines. Don't be bashful. Our show dates are: July 23, 24, 25, 1982. See you there!