A Hard-Won Witte

| November/December 1986

  • Old Gas Engine

  • Old Gas Engine

St. Rt. 2, Box 17, Walton, Wisconsin 25286

I have a story that I think is too good not to be shared with fellow gas engine collectors. About two years ago I heard about an old gas engine sitting in a building on a remote farm in West Virginia.

I learned about it from a fellow with not too good a reputation for telling the truth. Knowing this I kinda dismissed the story. About a year later I ran into the nephew of the people who owned the farm where the engine was supposed to be. I decided to ask him if he knew of a gas engine with two flywheels. He being a very young lad said he knew nothing about this type of engine. But, he said his grandfather had the engine the first man told me about. I had doubted the story, but I guess the tale teller had made a mistake and told me the truth!

To get on with the conversation I had with the young nephew of the original owner, he suggested I talk with his father about buying the engine. This being Saturday night, I waited until I thought his father was out of bed Sunday morning. I was sitting in his driveway, told him my business there, but he was very little help.

He said there were about seven heirs involved and he wanted no part of it on his shoulders. But, he would talk to his father who was a brother of the man who bought it new. A few days passed, then he called me to tell me his father also would not give the go ahead to sell. But while we talked, he gave me the phone number of one of his father's brothers, and told me to call him and get his opinion.

I phoned him long distance and took about an hour to bring him up to date on what was happening in the county where he had grown up and become a doctor. Finally I got a chance to break in on the conversation and ask about the engine. He said he remembered it well; that his brother bought it new to run a cut off saw.