Enginitis In South Central Iowa


| January/February 1976



George and Stan Hemenway

Courtesy of Art Dickey, 306 West Anthony, Corydon, Iowa 50060

Art Dickey

 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 should meet.

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' - bad.