Picture of the straw pile

Courtesy of Henry Sanny, he Mars, Iowa 51031.

Henry Sanny

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GEORGE C. GREEN passed away February 16, 1974 at the age of 88. He was a real gentleman and always willing to help those of us who were interested in engines, equipment and antique cars. He enjoyed your publication very much. In later years, he had time to enjoy the small engines he made as a boy and the 1904 Oldsmobile he purchased in 1907. Submitted by James Stoats, 7 Kiltie Drive, New Hope, Pennsylvania 18938.

ELMER B. LARSON, President of Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion passed away unexpectedly May 12, 1975. He was 59. He died of a heart attack shortly after arriving at 'Steamer Hill' at Rollag, Minnesota. He was elected President of the organization in 1967 and his knowledge in restoring old machinery and enthusiasm in promoting projects at Steamer Hill has brought many permanent attractions to the Annual Labor Day Show, considered one of the best in America. He was known throught the nation for his knowledge of early day farm machinery, and his business firm in Fargo, North Dakota restored machines for several Midwest Reunions. Needless to say, Elmer Larson shall be greatly missed by his fellow threshermen. Submitted by Mrs. Jim Briden, Route 1, Box 292, Fargo, North Dakota 58102.

FRED HUNTINGTON - 1898 - to January 18, 1975, from R. R. 3, Bloomington, Indiana. He was at various times in his bountiful life a custom thresherman, county surveyor, school teacher and a farmer. Until recently he owned a 19-60 Keck Gonnerman engine which was always an attraction at the fairs and parades in the area. Fred was an avid conservationist and treated the land with great respect. He was a fine example for us all on how to care for and heal the land. Few men have walked the road of life so quietly, yet left such deep footprints. He is deeply missed by all. Submitted by Michael Lucas, R. R. 5, Bloomington, Indiana 47401.

ARIE KORTHOF - Minnesota:

He's gone now, never again to climb behind the throttle of our Minneapolis steam engine.

Maybe he's chuckling at the thought of four novice steam engine owners trying to figure out what to do next. Or maybe he's a bit sad at knowing the Big Minnie, as he called her, will jerk and sputter under inexperienced hands.

ARIE KORTHOF steam engineer extraordinary - by both his and our description - has left us. Not in the heat of a blustry August after when the steam reached 100 pounds and oat stacks stand glistening next to a beckoning separator. But rather on a winter afternoon when the Big Minnie stands in hibernation and the oat fields are white memories of what has past.

Those memories.

ARIE KORTHOF, the belligerent, barking, bellowing Dutchman whose every word was law around the big Minneapolis. We (Bisel, Hovdet, Friesen, Paulson) owned it, but he ran it. He pampered it, he cussed it. It was really his. We just held a piece of paper naming us as owners.

The big Minneapolis knew him, too. It hissed when he bled the steam down. It groaned the groan of a silent giant as its noiseless piston propelled it ahead at his command. Or it bellowed thick black smoke when he spotted a camera lens.

This picture of the straw pile was my last day threshing in July 25, 1963. Threshing for Peter Kund, Remson, Iowa. Had a 30 SX 50 Huber separator and 401 Case tractor

They were quite a team.

The season ended and the team split up. Arie returned last fall to do some final pampering on his partner before the big engine was shut in its shed. I didn't know it, but that was to be the team's final appearance together.

In his seventy-first year, Arie leaves me with a wealth of steam engine lore and little knowledge. I didn't really try to learn about the engine. I always had the feeling he'd be around as long as I was. But he knew better.

I loved him for the character he was. For those same old stories I'd heard at four Threshing Bees about driving a steam engine across a lake in the dead of winter. Or the three-record album he'd play of all the steam whistles ever used by locomotives in the United States. Or how, after I'd returned from back surgery, he pulled up his shirt and dropped his pants so he could compare his back surgery scar with mine. Or how, when he found out my wife was pregnant, his telephone call of congratulations from Edina was interspersed with a smart comment or two. Or in a winter blizzard, after the highway had been closed, his van sputtered up to our house in anticipation of attending the BTA annual meeting.

Most of all, Arie knew the big Minneapolis was in good hands in Butterfield. His precious Minneapolis, which he'd threshed with in Edina until they passed an ordinance forcing him to sell it. His beloved Minneapolis, which he followed down here from Mankato when he heard it was resold to us.

Yes, Arie, the Big Minnie is in good hands.

But how do we start it?

Submitted by Bill Paulson, Paulson Publishing Company, Mountain Lake, Minnesota 56159