COUNTY THRESHING DAYS

By Staff
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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!

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