Box 292, Hooper, Nebraska 68031
My acquaintance with gas engines, old tractors and steam engines
began about 24 years ago after my father-in-law and his brother
took me to Bill Mayberry’s threshing show in Niobrara,
Nebraska. At that time I was living near Burke, South Dakota, which
now puts on a small threshing and gas engine show every year the
first weekend in August.
I guess this is where I got ‘hooked’ on the smell of
burned oil and gas that those beautiful old engines put out. I
stumbled across my first engine right in a good friend and
neighbor’s yard. It was a 1? HP John Deere, Type E on trucks.
She had it in an old scrap iron pile, but it was not stuck.
Not knowing the first thing about those things, it was my first
experience. I loaded it up in the trunk of my car and hauled it 250
miles to Nebraska where I lived at that time. After that I
proceeded to tear it down and learn what made this thing
‘putt.’ It was missing a needle valve, which I replaced
with no problem, rigged up a new gas tank and oil pan. There was
also a key sheared off on the magneto gear, which was probably the
main reason it was junked.
Then came a little experimenting and we had it off and
After a new coat of paint I was into a new hobby which I have
loved to do since. Over the years I have acquired about a dozen
engines, the latest being a 1? HP air cooled Galloway from a guy in
South Dakota. It is probably my favorite engine and I have just
finished it after removing the mice nests from it.
I thought you might be able to use the pictures of it in your
magazine. The little guy in the picture is my 16 month old
grandson, Justin Taylor Smith. As you can see, he is already
interested in gas engines, too.