306 West Anthony, Corydon, Iowa 50060
If you are one of those persons infected with the disease
‘Enginitis’ and happen to be in the south central Iowa
area, here are some great guys, infected with the same disease, you
Corydon is a friendly little Iowa own that once you get there
you can get to any place from.
Ersa Williamson lives right on highway #14 in Corydon. Ersa is
retired? Anyway, Ersa started setting ‘Enginitis’ when he
had to start helping out his brother, delbert, driving some of
Delbert’s antique cars in parades. It wasn’t long until
Ersa bought a few untique cars for himself, one a beautiful 1926
Model T touring car. Then Ersa decided he needed one old gas engine
to make himself happy. It took more than one; he usually has around
15 on hand. One. thing about Ersa, he will either buy, trade or
sell. He will even going engines out of ditches. The day I took his
picture he had 2 from ditches, one was a Fairbanks Morse, and I
think the other was a John Deere. Ersa is on the trail of anotaer
one he has heard is supposed to be laying in a ditch. An unusual
engine Ersa has which I like is an upright Witte. At the last Old
Settlers Reunion held in Corydon, Ersa brought a 6 HP John Deere, a
chore boy engine, and a single flywheel IHC engine and parked them
on the Sinclair Gas Station parking lot. He fired them up and stole
the show. Every time these engines were fired up a crowd gathered.
The engines were all on trucks and Ersa hooked them one behind the
other and then hooked his pickup on to the front and brought the
whole works at one time. He always has some trading stuff around,
anything from furniture to pocket knives. If in Corydon, be sure to
see him. He is a great guy to visit with.
Next you can take highway #2, west of Corydon, 2 miles to the
Allerton corner, turn left and down the blacktop road to Allerton.
In Allerton, there is a father-son team, George Hemenway and son,
Stan. They think they caught ‘Enginitis’ while attending
‘Old Threshers Reunion’ at Mount Pleasant, but as George
says maybe the disease was just lying there dormant. In the past
few years these boys have collected around 14 gas engines, and a
scad of small engines such as Maytags, etc. Their pride and joy is
their Fordson tractor. This has been sand blasted and repainted and
looks like new. An unusual feature of this tractor is that it has a
wooden steering wheel, also wide rear axles and is also equipped
with belt pully and governor. George is a trader. He traded a 38
Cal. pistol and a pocket knife for a 10-20 McCormick Deering
tractor. The pocket knife was an odd knife as it had a monkey
wrench on one end of it. These boys have 8 or 10 engines mounted on
a trailer. They have two Rock Islands, a Delco plant, a John Deere
or two, a couple of Cushmans and I think a Witte or two. I sort of
get lost in the crowd of engines these boys have. Stan is a whiz on
fixing up Maytags. As an occupation, George is a signal repairman
for the Rock Island Railroad. If you get to Allerton, stop in and
see these boys.
After you have met these boys, go north to Highway #2 and West
until you come to highway #65. Go North to Humeston. About one mile
north of Humeston you will see a cemetery, turn east here and you
will know Evert Anderson’s farm when you come to it. A couple
of steam engines are setting in the yard along with 50 HP Fairbanks
Morse single cylinder engine and other items. Evert and his two
sons, John and Lee, have this disease ‘Enginitis’ –
Evert says he inherited it as he has an old Kinkade garden
tractor and an FM gas engine that his father had. Evert has slipped
down in Missouri several times, bringing up an Aultman Taylor steam
engine that he has displayed several times at celebrations. He
brought up a big steam skid engine, a Minneapolis No. 8501 that had
been used on a sawmill. Then went to Garden City, Missouri and
brought up the big 50 HP Fairbanks Morse that he been used in a
flour mill. His neighbor Dwight Pearson, who lives a few miles east
of him, has helped him several times on these projects. After
helping on the 50 HP FM, Dwight told Evert ‘next time trade for
something with wheels on it’. Evert and sons have many gas
engines in all states of repair and lots of other interesting
items. One item Evert showed me was a hog oiler shaped like a
watermelon and that was the name on it ‘The Watermelon Hog
Oiler’. You will enjoy the Anderson collection.
As I said before, Evert’s neighbor east of him, Dwight
Pearson, and his son, Alan, have ‘Enginitis’ too. They have
tossed together a nice collection. When I got to Dwight’s home
to take pictures, it was getting late so I had Dwight stand by a
1936 Case tractor. These boys have some old Farmall tractors, a
Model A. Ford Sedan and a Model T Ford (someday maybe). Anyway,
they have got parts enough to build one. Dwight has two engines
that looked impossible to restore when he got them. One had lain in
a hog lot on its side for years, even the valve seats in the head
were rusted out, water jackets cracked, etc. One engine looked like
it had been used for a boat anchor for years. Dwight, when he puts
his mind to it, can weld anything but a broken heart. These two
engines run fine now and he had to show me where he had welded the
water jackets from the inside, as I sure couldn’t tell it from
looking at the outside. Alan Pearson lives in Moline (?), Ill.
Anyway he has located engines over there. Oh yes, Alan married
George Hemenway’s daughter, Laura, so this makes quite a team.
Alan has kept Dad, Dwight, and Pappy-in-law, George, busy hauling
engines back to this County. The Pearson boys have an odd-ball
engine I like, a Friend engine made in Gasport, N. Y., also a
horizontal Cushman 1-1/2 HP model 21 with a serial number of 495.
The engine that makes my heart jump with envy is a little Ideal.
This is an old one, as it has Babbitt bearings and with this
engine, Dwight has the original parts list. Dwight says he guessed
he always had the ‘Enginitis’ germ because he has a John
Deere engine that has been in the family for years.
On highway #2 around 24 miles west of Corydon is the town of
Leon. Wayne Holder lives here. Wayne is a former Corydon boy I have
seen grow up. Wayne contacted ‘Enginitis’ when he was in
early teens. I remember when he was starting out, picking up small
lawnmower engines, Maytags, etc. I knew then Wayne was going to
keep getting involved until he had ‘Enginitis’ too bad to
ever be cured. He now has a trailer load of engines which he has
displayed a number of places in Iowa. He has made a show or two in
Illinois, Minnesota and I think maybe one in Kansas. Wayne is
married and his two sons, Steven and Scott and wife, Carolyn,
attend most of these shows with Wayne. I think Wayne has around 15
gas engines including John Deere Moniter, IHC, etc., also several
old tractors and he has some old and unusual air compressors. Wayne
works for the Iowa Southern Utility Co. in Leon. Be sure and look
George and Stan Hemenway of Allerton, Iowa and their 10-20
McCormick Deering tractor
Engine setting in the yard of Howard Farris, near Centerville,
Evert Anderson of Humeston, Iowa and his 50 HP F-M engine
Wayne Holder of Leon, Iowa and his trailer load of engines.
Shows Dwight Pearson of Humeston, Iowa and his 1936 Case
George and Stan Hemenway of Allerton and their Fordson.
Shows Ersa Williamson of Corydon, Iowa with some items
Evert Anderson of Humeston and his Minneapolis skid engine.
Also in Leon, is a man by the name of Roger Gatton. I have met
Roger but have never seen his engines. I know he has beside
engines, a threshing machine and some old tractors.
On Highway #2, nearly 24 miles east of Corydon, is the city of
Centerville. Just a few miles this side of Centerville is an engine
man I have yet to meet. Both times I stopped at his home he
wasn’t at home. This man is Howard Farris and he must be quite
an engine man, as he has a large engine setting in his yard. I took
a picture of it the last time I stopped by. I think he went to
Oklahoma after this engine, so you know he has ‘Enginitis’
too. Most of the boys know others around them that have one or two
engines. I know that, especially in the last seven or eight years,
I have seen this part of the County swept by the epidemic of
‘Enginitis’ and it has infected a lot of people. I think
you will enjoy any of these boys. Most of these boys belong to the
Central Hawkeye Gas and Tractor Association, Inc.
Can you tell by the picture which engine our son, Brian, thinks
more of – his 1 H.P. Ideal or my 20 H.P. Fuller & Johnson?
Brian is 9 and Susan is 6.
I have just restored this 3 HP Detroit, Serial Number 2036, made
by Detroit Engine Works. The boy in the picture is my son,
My Sears Roebuck Saw Rig, 5 HP, 425 RPM, Hercules engine, Serial
#283591. I have had this saw rig since 1971 and we use it every
year to cut the winter’s wood. It runs like a charm. Thanks for
a fine magazine!