Donald Ellison

Courtesy of Art Dickey, Corydon, Iowa 50060

Art Dickey

Content Tools

306 W. Anthony, Corydon, Iowa 50060

The Central Hawkeye Gas Engine and Tractor Association put on a popping good show at the Living History Farms Grain Festival on August 4 and 5, 1973. The Living History Farm located near junctions of Highway 35 and 80 west of Des Moines, Ia. is a project that was started sometime in the 60's. This consists of a pioneer farm of 1840 complete with log buildings, rail fences and an oxen team. Darwin Thede is the top man on this project.

Darwin is also a member of the Central Hawkeye Club, but was too busy putting on demonstrations of shingle making with a frow. Also around this pioneer farm were demonstrations of threshing with a flail, soap making, rope making, and several other items of interest.

Future plans for the Living History Farms area 1900 farm and farming with the most modern method of farming that is possible. The Central Hawkeye Club sort of adopted these Living History Farm events for some of their biggest meetings. This is one of the many lucky breaks the Living History Farm have had because the club really puts on an attraction.

Rich Parsons of Indianola, Ia. said there were 70 gas engines on the grounds August 4th but he hadn't taken a head count yet on Sunday, August 5th. Mrs. Rich Parsons and others were right on hand with a headquarters set-up to sign up new members and said the club now had 170 members signed up. I met quite a few of the members, some I have known for a long time such as Dick Ries of Des Moines. I never have gone to an engine show in Iowa that there wasn't a Ries around somewhere. It was his Uncle Wilbur Ries of Murray, Ia. who twisted my arm to join this club. As soon as my arm healed up I wrote Bernard Cline of Norwalk, Ia. and told him to get me in this club as soon as possible. Bernard was at this meet with an 8 HP Fuller Johnson 1914 model gas engine and I think had the 8 HP? economy engine that run the slowest of any engine I have seen for some time - a real gas saver.

Thayne Henderson of Waukee, Ia. was also on hand with a Monitor engine and an Associated engine like mine. The boys tell me Thayne has a whole farm full of goodies.

Jerry Klienbeck of Murray had at least 4 engines at the show, one a little double flywheel model that was homemade. The crankcase at one time had been a Maytag, I think, then from there on it was anybody's guess and Jerry said the fool thing would run too.

I met another laplander who lives about 40 miles eat of me, Donald Ellison of Unionville, Is. He had brought a nice little Stover 1-1/2 HP engine of around 1924. I saw lots of engines that made my pulse beat fast, a big Aeromotor gas engine and a Gode engine. In fact, there were a lot of engines at this show I would like to have.

Rich Parson had an engine that really got to me, a Scott Bros. engine made in Kansas City but this engine was designed down here in Lapland at a town west of here, Lamoni, Ia. Campbell and Thorpe of Lamoni have one of these engines and are supposed to really put out the information on this engine for the Gas Engine Magazine. This club believes that engines should run something and this was sure in evidence at this meet.

One engine was running an old wooden tub washing machine that had a pair of red flannel underwear in the wringer. I never did see them get wrung out but it wasn't the engine's fault if they didn't, as it was popping right away. Some engines were shelling corn and some grinding corn. I really enjoyed some of the people's remarks on these engines. It was sure plain that many of them never knew such things existed but I could tell from the talk they will be back for the next show. Who knows how many of them will come down with the fever and will be joining up also in the future. I didn't get to meet Duane Parsons who puts out the club newsletter 'It's a Gasser', a darn nice little informative letter.

Donald Ellison of Unionville, Iowa with a Stover 1-1/2 HP engine made around 1924. Picture taken at 1973 Central Hawkeye Gas Engine Show.

I know I haven't covered this show enough but my wife says I write like I talk, too much, and since I have to have her type this I had better stop. I thought it was a banging good show.

Demonstrating shingle making with a trow. Don't let that beard fool you - he is a young man!

All these scenes are from the Central Hawkeye Gas Engine and Tractor Association Show held in August, 1973.