A Sleeping ‘Giant’
As found: The Mogul Giant had been sitting in this shed for
decades. Parts originally feared lost turned out to have been
carefully stored by the original owner whose grandfather first
bought the engine.
My father, Gene Reed, has found and collected many engines since
getting into the hobby in the 1970’s. Several years ago Joe
Wilson, one of my father’s engine hunting buddies, came across
a large engine near his home in eastern Maryland. Like my father,
Joe used to collect engines and other pieces of old machinery, but
in the 1980’s he turned his attention to REO trucks. So Joe
told my father about the engine he had found, a 25 HP
International, and said he could try to get it if my dad wanted it.
At the time my father was getting rid of his bigger stuff, so he
asked me if I was interested. I was just getting into the working
world and was focused on other priorities, so I told him no. The
engine sat for the next 15 years.
One day just before Christmas last year Joe was talking with my
dad over the telephone, and out of the blue he asked if my father
would be interested in that big International. Joe was sure it
hadn’t moved, because when he had talked to the owner the last
time the owner said he had plans to restore the engine. My father,
being at a point in his life where moving 25 HP behemoths is not
what he considers a fun time, made the mistake of letting me know
about it. I had forgotten all about the engine, but my enthusiasm
for collecting has grown over the years, and when he asked me if I
was interested in it I couldn’t say no. I live in Richmond, so
my father said he would get directions from Joe and go talk to the
About two weeks later I went with my father and my good friend
Andy Sine to see if we could find the engine. It was a cold, windy
Saturday but that didn’t deter us in the least. The owner, Paul
Trueman, was home and we made our introductions. We told him we had
heard there was an engine on the property and would he mind if we
had a look. He agreed and told us where it was. I could barely keep
from running as we walked toward a broken-down shed, and sure
enough, underneath a portion of the collapsed building rested a
1916 25 HP stationary Mogul Giant.
As we started to look it over closely I was disappointed to find
that a lot of parts were missing. The mag, camshaft, piston, all of
the governor linkage and various other parts, were not anywhere
near the engine. I thought this would only be a parts engine since
you just can’t go to any engine show and buy the necessary
parts. At that moment Paul came down to talk with us, and I asked
him what happened to all the parts. To my amazement he said he had
taken them off several years ago in anticipation of restoring the
engine, which had belonged to his grandfather. All of the parts
were in the garage – he even had the original operator’s
manual. We were back in business.
I would like to relay the history of the engine as given to me
by Paul Trueman. His grandfather, Jusha Trueman, purchased engine
No. 840 from the factory and it was shipped to southern Maryland
where it arrived via water at Trueman’s point. The engine was
then moved in parts using several Ford Model A trucks and driven
approximately 20 miles to where it had sat for the last 84
International Harvester supplied an engineer for two weeks while
the engine was assembled and made operational. Since there were no
motels or hotels, the factory engineer stayed with the Trueman
family at their home. The engine was used to cut hickory railroad
ties and lumber for local farmers, and it was also used to drive a
gristmill to process grains into flour. The engine was operational
for approximately 30 years.
The time of truth soon came when I asked him what he was going
to do with the engine. He told me that at one time he was going to
restore the engine, but due to health reasons he couldn’t
continue, so if I were interested in the engine he would sell it.
Several days later a deal was agreed to and I purchased the engine.
Now the hard part came – getting it home.
It sure helps to have friends when you’re moving something
as big as a 1916 Mogul Giant. Joe Wilson supplied his 13,000-pound
REO rollback so Martin Reed could move his newfound treasure. The
crew, from left to right: John Debowski, Joe Wilson, Gene . Reed,
Andy Sine, Paul Trueman.
I enlisted the help of my life-long friends, Andy Sine and John
Debowski, as well as my father and Joe Wilson to move this beast.
Joe has a 13,000-pound capacity REO rollback, which made moving
relatively easy – only once did she almost tip over as we struggled
to get the engine off its base. After two weekends the Mogul was
under a roof and awaiting restoration.
I consider myself a fortunate person to have such good friends
and family who made this adventure possible. I look forward to
getting the engine running and maybe taking it to a show or two,
although I don’t know how I’m going to get her there.
Contact engine enthusiast Martin Reed at 4318 Erlene Court,
Chester, VA 23831
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