Gas Engine Magazine


By Staff

DUDLEY PETERSON, age 50, of Kensett, Iowa, died of cancer
January 14, 1987. He was a local farmer and an active area business
man. Dudley’s avid enthusiasm for collecting antiques stirred
area residents to become involved in seeking and restoring old farm
machinery. Through his interest in tractors, engines, and farm toys
Dudley met many people. He treasured these acquaintances and the
interesting people he had come to know. His family and his many
friends remember him as happy, optimistic, caring and helpful.
Submitted by his wife, Marlene Peterson, Route 1, Kensett, Iowa

CHESTER J. STERRETT, 72, died February 18, 1987 following heart
surgery. Born December 5, 1914, he was a farmer and former school
bus driver of Battle Ground, Indiana.

By the mid-1960s, Mr. Sterrett was well into the hobby of
collecting and restoring antique agricultural machinery. Chester
was a generous man who enjoyed sharing his hobby with others. For
14 years he exhibited his steam traction engines at the Indiana
State Fair, first using a 1920 Case 40 HP, Serial No. 34945, later
he used a 1927 Baker 21-75 HP, Serial No. 17786.

Chester was one of the 1981 organizers of the Battle Ground,
Indiana, Steam & Gas Engine Show, held annually ever since. He
also was a participant at the Lafayette Home Hospital Fair, as well
as at the Indiana communities of Winamac and Portland, and at
Greenville, Ohio, to name a few.

Each summer the Sterretts would hold their own threshing bee on
their beautiful farm, using a steam traction engine and a grain
separator. On display and operating were numerous internal
combustion tractors.

In a larger sense, Chester planted more than wheat seed to be
threshed later each July. He planted seeds of friendship by his
warm, dynamic, and magnetic personality. To him, each friend was
someone special. He taught us the meaning of the word

‘That which ye sow, ye shall also reap.’

On February 21, the long funeral cortege passed the Sterrett
homestead, where before the casket was lowered, two long blasts
were sounded, recorded from the Baker steam whistle, signifying
that Chester’s work here on earth was done.

We are thankful that Chester Sterrett left us a family by which
to remember him. Perhaps in the seasons to come, as that old Baker
steam engine labors upon a heavy load in the separator, Chester
will be watching from somewhere beyond the sunset. Submitted by
friends of Chester J. Sterrett.

KEITH M. WILLIAMS, age 57, of Rapid City, South Dakota, passed
away on February 6, 1987. Keith, along with his two sons, was an
avid collector of all types of farm nostalgia, including numerous
tractors, farm implements, and blacksmith tools. His pride and joy
was a 1922 Avery 45-65 tractor, which he restored in 1983.

Keith had been a member of the Western Dakota antique Club,
which sponsors the Black Hills Steam and Gas Threshing Bee, since
its second year, in 1970.

Keith is survived by his wife, Marilyn, two sons, Kenneth and
Gene, and two daughters, Joanne and Judy, along with nine
grandchildren, his mother, Margaret, and two brothers and three
sisters. Submitted by his son, Kenneth J. Williams, Box 4,
Whitewood, S.D. 57793

HOWARD H. ‘JAKE’ HAMMER, of Franklin, Virginia, has died
at age 78. Born in 1908, he was married in 1936 to his wife,
Geneva, who survives him. He is also survived by a son and
daughter, in addition to other relatives.

His gas engine friends Brad George, Bob Lutz, Richard Hartman,
Gary Shifflext, Homer White, Rudolph Alt, Phil Baker, and Larry N.
Jones, have submitted this tribute:

  • Published on May 1, 1987
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