Enginitis In South Central Iowa

George and Stan Hemenway

Courtesy of Art Dickey, 306 West Anthony, Corydon, Iowa 50060

Art Dickey

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 306 West Anthony, Corydon, Iowa 50060

If you are one of those persons infected with the disease 'Enginitis' and happen to be in the south central Iowa area, here are some great guys, infected with the same disease, you should meet.

Corydon is a friendly little Iowa own that once you get there you can get to any place from.

Ersa Williamson lives right on highway #14 in Corydon. Ersa is retired? Anyway, Ersa started setting 'Enginitis' when he had to start helping out his brother, delbert, driving some of Delbert's antique cars in parades. It wasn't long until Ersa bought a few untique cars for himself, one a beautiful 1926 Model T touring car. Then Ersa decided he needed one old gas engine to make himself happy. It took more than one; he usually has around 15 on hand. One. thing about Ersa, he will either buy, trade or sell. He will even going engines out of ditches. The day I took his picture he had 2 from ditches, one was a Fairbanks Morse, and I think the other was a John Deere. Ersa is on the trail of anotaer one he has heard is supposed to be laying in a ditch. An unusual engine Ersa has which I like is an upright Witte. At the last Old Settlers Reunion held in Corydon, Ersa brought a 6 HP John Deere, a chore boy engine, and a single flywheel IHC engine and parked them on the Sinclair Gas Station parking lot. He fired them up and stole the show. Every time these engines were fired up a crowd gathered. The engines were all on trucks and Ersa hooked them one behind the other and then hooked his pickup on to the front and brought the whole works at one time. He always has some trading stuff around, anything from furniture to pocket knives. If in Corydon, be sure to see him. He is a great guy to visit with.

Next you can take highway #2, west of Corydon, 2 miles to the Allerton corner, turn left and down the blacktop road to Allerton. In Allerton, there is a father-son team, George Hemenway and son, Stan. They think they caught 'Enginitis' while attending 'Old Threshers Reunion' at Mount Pleasant, but as George says maybe the disease was just lying there dormant. In the past few years these boys have collected around 14 gas engines, and a scad of small engines such as Maytags, etc. Their pride and joy is their Fordson tractor. This has been sand blasted and repainted and looks like new. An unusual feature of this tractor is that it has a wooden steering wheel, also wide rear axles and is also equipped with belt pully and governor. George is a trader. He traded a 38 Cal. pistol and a pocket knife for a 10-20 McCormick Deering tractor. The pocket knife was an odd knife as it had a monkey wrench on one end of it. These boys have 8 or 10 engines mounted on a trailer. They have two Rock Islands, a Delco plant, a John Deere or two, a couple of Cushmans and I think a Witte or two. I sort of get lost in the crowd of engines these boys have. Stan is a whiz on fixing up Maytags. As an occupation, George is a signal repairman for the Rock Island Railroad. If you get to Allerton, stop in and see these boys.

After you have met these boys, go north to Highway #2 and West until you come to highway #65. Go North to Humeston. About one mile north of Humeston you will see a cemetery, turn east here and you will know Evert Anderson's farm when you come to it. A couple of steam engines are setting in the yard along with 50 HP Fairbanks Morse single cylinder engine and other items. Evert and his two sons, John and Lee, have this disease 'Enginitis' - bad.

Evert says he inherited it as he has an old Kinkade garden tractor and an FM gas engine that his father had. Evert has slipped down in Missouri several times, bringing up an Aultman Taylor steam engine that he has displayed several times at celebrations. He brought up a big steam skid engine, a Minneapolis No. 8501 that had been used on a sawmill. Then went to Garden City, Missouri and brought up the big 50 HP Fairbanks Morse that he been used in a flour mill. His neighbor Dwight Pearson, who lives a few miles east of him, has helped him several times on these projects. After helping on the 50 HP FM, Dwight told Evert 'next time trade for something with wheels on it'. Evert and sons have many gas engines in all states of repair and lots of other interesting items. One item Evert showed me was a hog oiler shaped like a watermelon and that was the name on it 'The Watermelon Hog Oiler'. You will enjoy the Anderson collection.

As I said before, Evert's neighbor east of him, Dwight Pearson, and his son, Alan, have 'Enginitis' too. They have tossed together a nice collection. When I got to Dwight's home to take pictures, it was getting late so I had Dwight stand by a 1936 Case tractor. These boys have some old Farmall tractors, a Model A. Ford Sedan and a Model T Ford (someday maybe). Anyway, they have got parts enough to build one. Dwight has two engines that looked impossible to restore when he got them. One had lain in a hog lot on its side for years, even the valve seats in the head were rusted out, water jackets cracked, etc. One engine looked like it had been used for a boat anchor for years. Dwight, when he puts his mind to it, can weld anything but a broken heart. These two engines run fine now and he had to show me where he had welded the water jackets from the inside, as I sure couldn't tell it from looking at the outside. Alan Pearson lives in Moline (?), Ill. Anyway he has located engines over there. Oh yes, Alan married George Hemenway's daughter, Laura, so this makes quite a team. Alan has kept Dad, Dwight, and Pappy-in-law, George, busy hauling engines back to this County. The Pearson boys have an odd-ball engine I like, a Friend engine made in Gasport, N. Y., also a horizontal Cushman 1-1/2 HP model 21 with a serial number of 495. The engine that makes my heart jump with envy is a little Ideal. This is an old one, as it has Babbitt bearings and with this engine, Dwight has the original parts list. Dwight says he guessed he always had the 'Enginitis' germ because he has a John Deere engine that has been in the family for years.

On highway #2 around 24 miles west of Corydon is the town of Leon. Wayne Holder lives here. Wayne is a former Corydon boy I have seen grow up. Wayne contacted 'Enginitis' when he was in early teens. I remember when he was starting out, picking up small lawnmower engines, Maytags, etc. I knew then Wayne was going to keep getting involved until he had 'Enginitis' too bad to ever be cured. He now has a trailer load of engines which he has displayed a number of places in Iowa. He has made a show or two in Illinois, Minnesota and I think maybe one in Kansas. Wayne is married and his two sons, Steven and Scott and wife, Carolyn, attend most of these shows with Wayne. I think Wayne has around 15 gas engines including John Deere Moniter, IHC, etc., also several old tractors and he has some old and unusual air compressors. Wayne works for the Iowa Southern Utility Co. in Leon. Be sure and look him up.

George and Stan Hemenway of Allerton, Iowa and their 10-20 McCormick Deering tractor

Engine setting in the yard of Howard Farris, near Centerville, Iowa.

Evert Anderson of Humeston, Iowa and his 50 HP F-M engine

Wayne Holder of Leon, Iowa and his trailer load of engines.

Shows Dwight Pearson of Humeston, Iowa and his 1936 Case tractor.

George and Stan Hemenway of Allerton and their Fordson.

Shows Ersa Williamson of Corydon, Iowa with some items

Evert Anderson of Humeston and his Minneapolis skid engine.

Also in Leon, is a man by the name of Roger Gatton. I have met Roger but have never seen his engines. I know he has beside engines, a threshing machine and some old tractors.

On Highway #2, nearly 24 miles east of Corydon, is the city of Centerville. Just a few miles this side of Centerville is an engine man I have yet to meet. Both times I stopped at his home he wasn't at home. This man is Howard Farris and he must be quite an engine man, as he has a large engine setting in his yard. I took a picture of it the last time I stopped by. I think he went to Oklahoma after this engine, so you know he has 'Enginitis' too. Most of the boys know others around them that have one or two engines. I know that, especially in the last seven or eight years, I have seen this part of the County swept by the epidemic of 'Enginitis' and it has infected a lot of people. I think you will enjoy any of these boys. Most of these boys belong to the Central Hawkeye Gas and Tractor Association, Inc.

Can you tell by the picture which engine our son, Brian, thinks more of - his 1 H.P. Ideal or my 20 H.P. Fuller & Johnson? Brian is 9 and Susan is 6.

I have just restored this 3 HP Detroit, Serial Number 2036, made by Detroit Engine Works. The boy in the picture is my son, John.

My Sears Roebuck Saw Rig, 5 HP, 425 RPM, Hercules engine, Serial #283591. I have had this saw rig since 1971 and we use it every year to cut the winter's wood. It runs like a charm. Thanks for a fine magazine!