'Report from Lapland'


Courtesy of Art Dickey, 306 W. Anthony, Corydon, Iowa 50060.

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306 W. Anthony, Corydon, Iowa 50060.

For over two years I have been loading up my camera with black and white film and taking off some direction to photograph some gas engine man and some of his old iron to let you foreigners know who is down here on the Iowa-Missouri border and take in a few who are not quite on the border. That's the way we Laplanders are. We are ever willing to include anyone, that's why they call us Laplanders. I have intended to write these up one at a time but give up as I'm never going to get all the pictures, so decided to write a book instead. Up near the Western edge is Roger Esheleman of College Spring, Iowa. Roger has sent in scads of pictures of engines but I don't think I have ever seen a picture of Roger in the 'Gas Engine' magazine so I am sending one of him and a Monitor gas engine I traded him back in 1967. This picture was taken at the 3rd Esheleman engine show last year. I was too busy becoming a Grandpa this year to go to their 4th show but heard it was a good one.

Coming on East to Bedford, Ia. is another gas engine pair, the Carp Constable 'Game Warden,' Dutch Lemke and his son, Henry 'Hank'. The Carp Constable used to be down in my area. We used to spend much time chasing old iron together, the kind that had stocks, triggers, etc. We were antique gun bugs then and now as Dutch says, 'the blankety, blank gun laws are so nutty that the only person that can abide by the laws is a criminal' and so we became disgusted, not with antique guns but the 'censored' laws. Anyway, Dutch has a farm a few miles south of Bedford and on this has around 35 engines, a model L Case tractor on steel and a good Case separator, anyway that's what he had this Spring. There are probably more there now. I did get one picture of Hank playing with an engine, IHC I think, but wouldn't bet on it. That's one talent I have. I can ask a fellow the name and serial number  of an engine, take two steps away and forget the whole thing.

Engine yard and two grandsons, Mike and Pat Nichel.

Wayne Holder and Robert Swanberg in Robert's Gas Buggy.

Everett Anderson's Aultman Taylor steam engine. That's my grandson, Mike Nichel. Everett is from Humeston, Iowa.

Van Fleet Bros, of Corydon, Iowa putting on a threshing show this last July.

James Thorp and David Campbell of Lomoni, Iowa and their Scott two stroke engine at the Denmark Iowa Show.

George Hemenway of Alberton, Iowa and a Witte engine.

Hank Lemke of Bedford, Iowa

My Model T Tractor, now owned by Dana Davis of Lemons, Missouri.

Roger Eshelman of College Springs, Iowa and a Moniter Gas Engine.

Coming further East and almost on the border is the town of Lamoni. Here dwells 2 gas engine men, James Thorp and David Campbell. On these boys I have to slip in a colored picture as the first time I saw their engine I had two cameras, one loaded with colored prints and the other colored slides. Anyway, these boys have a rare engine, a Scott two stroke which was designed by a man at Lamoni and several were assembled there. These boys are going to write this engine up for the Gas Engine magazine. They have patent papers and all kinds of goodies that go with it.

Somewhere in Missouri south of the border is the Maxwell Bros, at Ridge-way, Mo. I didn't get any pictures here, but saw their Nichols Shephard steam engine and a hot air engine made in Chicago. They also have several old Caterpillar tractors, among them an old 60 which they sometimes use on a sawmill.

Next stop East is at Leon, Ia. Wayne Holder who works for I.S.U. I have seen Wayne grow up. He has helped me haul in a few engines and took his trailer and went with me to Prole, Ia. to haul back the remains of a Smith form, a tractor which I assembled on some Model T parts I had. I traded Robert Swanberg of Prole out of this rig. Robert Swanberg lives approximately 65 miles or so from here, north up near Des Moines. Robert Swanberg has a good collection. The outstanding items of Robert's collection was a Playboy calendar on his shop walls and an oil-cooled Fuller and Johnson engine. I forgot the year and serial number of the Fuller and Johnson engine but remember the calendar very well.

Up in this direction also are the Ries boys at Murray, Ia. I have known these boys for years. Leland and two sons, Larry and Dick, and Leland's brother, Wilbur, who has a Flour City engine that makes my heart beat lively. Wilbur needs a hearing aid, everytime you ask him how much for this engine he goes stone deaf. I have slides of these boys but never did get any prints of them. A lot of you around the Mount Pleasant, la. show know these boys well.

East of Leon, Ia. and north is the town of Garden Grove, Ia. Here in this town or nearby are 3 old iron men. Jim Smith who has a Case Steam engine and maybe a gas engine or two, Mr. Barnhart who has old gas engines and cars and Harry Olsen who has acres of old cars and a few tractors and gas engines.

East of Garden Grove and a Little North is Humeston. Here in town is Floyd Beakler who has a New Huber steam engine and several gas engines and lots of other goodies. North and East of Humeston is Everett Anderson who has a shed full of gas engines, a yard full of tractors and an Aultman Taylor Steam engine.

Coming back south and east of Humeston is the town of Allerton. Here is George Hemenway who had no engines, then in one day came up with 2 Witte engines and an old Briggs and Stratton. Then he sneaked upon an old Fordson tractor. With it he also got the attachment to convert it into a row crop and later found in a farmer's scrap pile a Rock Island gas engine.

Coming from Allerton north and a few miles east is Corydon, my home town. After mowing an acre of grass for over 10 yrs., I bought another home. My lot is 60 feet wide and 80 feet long. My property line is somewhere around 11 feet from the back of the house so I don't have much room. I'm sending you a picture of my engine yard. I have 2 engines, single flywheel, IHC which was the last new gas engine sold here in Corydon and an old Associated made in Waterloo, Ia. No I don't remember the serial numbers of either and I'll be danged if I'm going to get up and go outside to find out. Since I'm so short on room, 'I have a 1911 Cycle car also'. I sold my model T-tractor to Dana Davis of Lemons, Mo. Dana lives on a farm near Lemons and does carpenter work and runs an antique shop too. He collects gas engines, has another old tractor or two. He is outstanding on barb wire collecting. Now this is about the close of this writing. I expect, for everyone 1 have mentioned, there are 3 more in these areas whom 1 have never met but hope to.

My Nichols & Shepard Oil-Gas Tractor, 25 x 50, 192/. weight 15,500 lbs., 2-cylinder, Serial No. 8737. Valve in head.

My Ohio side shaft 6 HP engine. It has a side shaft with a vertical fly ball governor. At present, it has a Wico EK magneto. I am sure an ingenious blacksmith must have installed it, as there are signs of other ignition on it. I would like to know what the original ignition is like and the color scheme. Also age and any other data pertaining to this engine. It runs like a new one.

My wife and I attended a fine show at Denmark, la. this year. Here I saw a Crosley Motorcycle that I had never known existed. Does anyone else know of any? There were 5 more and this is the only one known. It's owned by Paul Garrell, R. R. 2, Burlington, Ia. Also on this trip I picked up a water motor which you connected to a water pipe. I had never seen one of these before so rooted over a peony bush and put it in my engine yard.

My son-in-law, Norman Nickel (my mechanic on good old stuff) and I went to the Mt. Pleasant show on Labor Day. Here we met a lot more engine fans and we had a dandy time. This show is terrific. Well as my arm is wore out I will close.

Would you believe I found another picture. This July the Van Fleet boys of Corydon took their Dad's old Farmall and Thresher out to the E. E. Williamson farm north of Corydon here and threshed some oats. This was a first time for a show around here like this and I look for more to come as this was really enjoyed by a lot of people. Now, if I don't find anymore pictures I will ring off this time.

I had just been reading thought he July-August issue and everything is so interesting. A special picture that caught my eye was from Mr. Clyde J. Nichols of Seattle, Washington and the question he asked about how much the old super large power tractors would develop.

I've heard that this big Twin City six cylinder would go up to 120 HP burning gasoline. Pictured above is my Case 40-72. These big fellows would do up to 95 HP on a dynameters test.

I see on page 29 that the Rollag, Minnesota show is going to have a Twin City six cylinder 60-90 there. Sure is nice to have Gas Engine Magazine, so I can tell where all these giants are being shown.

Pictured is my 20 HP International Engine, serial number 984, 240 rpm. Patent date July 18, 1905. 8?' bore and 15' stroke, weight 3 tons. I bought it three years ago, but didn't get it home until last fall. I worked on it most of the winter. It is all original except the exhaust. It had a muffler. I put on a five foot by four inch stack. It really sounds good. When it fires, it will rock the squirrels out of the trees for a half mile in all directions.

I have about thirty more old engines and a Chicago wooden washing machine powered by a little Tom Thumb.

H. B. Detterman on his special made cart.

Picture shows the power that makes it go.