By Staff

CALVIN STOLTSFUS of the Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Association at Kinzer, Pennsylvania, died several months ago, in 1979. He spent much of his time at the R & T grounds, where he kept several very old gasoline tractors tuned up to perfection. His favorite was a two cylinder Hart Parr which he drove many times in the Grand Parade.

He was quiet and unassuming and one would hardly know he was around, until some old motor would bark roughly. But after a short while under Calvin’s hand it was purring like a kitten. It will be difficult, if not impossible to fill his place

Submitted by Wilmer J. Eshleman, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17602.

JOHN PHILLIP WIEBE, Newton, Kansas, died March 24, 1979. He was a retired car inspector having worked for the Santa Fe Railroad for 44 years, retiring in 1966. He belonged to the First Mennonite Church at Newton and was a member of Harvey County Historical Society, Eagles Lodge, Wheat Heritage Engine Club, Brotherhood of Railroad Carmen and Senior Citizens. He had many interests and hobbies. He enjoyed working with and exhibiting his gas engines. He had a special concern for friends in nursing homes and hospitals and visited them often. Among special joys were the times spent with his grandchildren.

GEORGE M. MELBY, 83, of Ashby, Minnesota, died August 18, 1979. He had resided in St. Olaf Township where he was a farmer, carpenter and thresherman. He served as choir director for many years at Kyam Lutheran Church. He also served as a director on the board of the Farmers Equity Association. The great love of his life, outside of his family, was the steam engine and he was one of the founders of the Lake Region Pioneer Threshermen’s Association of Dalton. The beginning of this organization evolved 26 years ago with the first threshing reunion being held on his farm. The organization, under his enthusiasm and those of his many friends with the same interest, has grown over the years and the annual reunion was one of the things George looked forward to each year with great anticipation. His many friends will greatly miss him.

George Melby Superb Choir Director

In the middle thirties, I had the gratifying experience of being a member of the Kyam Choir of rural Dalton, Minnesota. We would put in many evening hours practicing for fall and winter concerts which were given in surrounding communities.

George Melby, as director, commanded perfection that is seldom attained in many such organizations, but then George was a perfectionist when it came to carpentering or machining or any other job that needed to be done.

I well remember the Christmas concerts singing eight parts, memorized, and without accompaniment. This was music at its finest.

When I purchased a steam engine from my uncle in the late 60s, and subsequently moved back to Dalton-Ashby area, I had many occasion to reminisce with George about the former days and share in the joys of being involved with the Lake Region Pioneer Threshermen’s Association.

To the many people who had the occasion to meet George, you will well remember his warm greeting and very firm hand shake!

The above submitted by Milton B. Martinson, Ashby, Minnesota.

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