Edgar Flowers, 83, attends his 5 HP Economy gas engine at Ohio Valley Flywheel Show, 1986. Rudy Kasteal and Hartzel converse in the background.
Told by Edgar Flowers, written, by William Flowers, Route I, Box 332 Adena, Ohio 43901.
In 1919, the Tri-County Farmers Club was formed in Eastern Ohio consisting of 25 families living in Harrison, Jefferson, and Belmont Counties. The purpose was to buy and operate a threshing rig to thresh among themselves. This move was motivated because they could not get a thresherman when their grain was ready.
They bought a new Aultman & Taylor 22/42 wood separator. The first year it was powered by Walter Whinnery's 15/27 Case Cross motor tractor. The second and third year it was powered by Arch Lough's 15/27 Case Cross motor. After the third year they purchased a 22/40 Case Cross motor that had been bought new by the Short creek Township to pull the maintainer. This tractor proved too small for the maintainer so the township bought a 25/45 Case Cross motor.
My dad then took over the operation of the threshing rig using the 22/40 Case and ran it until 1926. In 1926, the club decided to dissolve as a threshing rig and started being a social club which is still in existence. Since there was a mortgage on the outfit, my dad bought the complete rig from the Adena Bank. He then ran the rig for himself until he traded the 22/40 Case and the Aultman & Taylor thresher for a new Rumely 22/36 thresher and ordered a 22/36 McCormick Deering tractor in the summer of 1929.
Before the 22/36 McCormick Deering tractor arrived, the dealer loaned a Titan tractor to pull the new Rumely thresher. The Titan gave my dad an awful scare that summer. It ran out of power going up a steep hill and the brakes were unable to hold it. The engine started running backwards back down the hill and didn't stop until it reached the railroad tracks next to the creek. He had been able to steer enough to keep it straight.
In 1931, a huge wheat crop was expected and he knew that they would never be able to get everything through the little Rumely thresher so he purchased a new 28/48 Avery steel thresher. Also about the same time, the Cadiz bank re-possessed a 18V22' Ohio stationary hay press built in 1898. My dad bought it for $50.00. He used it for a couple of years before having it completely rebuilt. He had bought a wrecked bailer that had the plunger busted up in an accident to use for extra parts.
In 1932, Short creek Township decided to sell the 25/45 Case Cross motor that they had purchased new in 1918. It was put up for bid so my dad bid $201.00 for it. Being the highest bidder, he now owned the second Cross Motor Case.
In 1935 the tire law came into effect in Ohio so he bought rubber tires from Sears Roebuck for the 22/36 McCormick Deering and bought rubber tires from three Mack trucks from a junk yard. Four tires were used to rubberize the Avery Separator and the remainder of the tires were used on the rear of the 25/45 Case. Two tires went around the rear wheel of the Case once. It took twelve tires and a lot of hard work to install them on the old Case. The Avery Thresher, the Ohio Hay Press, and the 22/36 McCormick Deering tractor are still in our possession. The 25/45 Case went to the war effort during World War II except for anything that I (being a kid) could take off of 'Old Casey'. Several years ago a man from Ontario, Canada advertised in the Iron-Men album for a 25/45 Case crank. We wrote to him that we had one and the next week he came from Canada for it.
The last of our threshing was done in 1950. My dad had gone to work at the coal mine so I threshed six sets on our ridge using a 1948 Case D.C. that we had bought new. In 1951, we bought a John Deere wire tie bailer and the neighbor bought a A.C. Combine so that finished the threshing.
In 1965, my dad had a chance to fulfill a dream that he had since a youth. He bought a 24 HP Greyhound steam engine which since has been shown at several Ohio steam shows. My dad is 83 years old and goes to all the steam and gas engine shows that he can. In the last twenty years, he has acquired a collection of about 70 gas engines which he loves to exhibit and has helped restore twenty tractors.