Buckeye Memories

| April/May 1992

  • Buckeye tiling machine

  • Buckeye tiling machine

Rt 1, Box 165 Washington, Iowa 52353.

When I saw the photo and pictures of the Buckeye tiling machine (26/12/41) in the December 1991 GEM, it reminded me of my experiences with a Buckeye.

My dad often said, if we just had a tiling machine we could put some tile on the second bottom land I farmed. It had just a little more tile in it than it had when the white man first conned it off the Indians.

One day-December 14, 1960-we were corning home from a sale and we saw it: a Buckeye tiling machine, located about four miles north of Tipton, Iowa. This was about 70 miles from our homes near Washington, Iowa, but that was a minor detail. It was love at first sight and, as all great lovers, we could not rest until we had possessed the object of our affections. Two days later we located the owner, and Dad paid $400 or $500 for it and it was ours! It was frozen down so we chopped it loose and jacked it up. We hired a man from Columbus junction to haul it home on his low boy truck, got all the permits necessary, and set the big day for the move, December 21.

On the 20th we drove back the 70 miles to get the Buckeye started and ready to load the next day. The temperature was 15 degrees. The old Cat 30 engine would not start so we built a corn cob fire under it to melt the ice and drain the water from the crankcase. Part of the valves were stuck so we took off the valve covers and using Vise-Grips, oil, muscles and strong words, we finally hammered and twisted until the valves were loose. We got the Buckeye started and moving.

The big moving day dawned. The thermometer stood at minus five degrees as we made the 70 mile trip again.