One Fifth Engine

| April/May 1992

  • 7 HP Witte Engine

  • 7 HP Witte Engine

7821 Dewberry Lane Cedar Hill, Missouri 63016.

A friend, Tom Brown, told me about an engine in his neck of the woods belonging to an elderly gentleman. Amos' health was not good enough to buzz wood any longer. Tom did not know the size or denomination of the engine, but thought it should be in reasonable condition.

On a one hour Sunday afternoon ride, I located the farm, Amos, and the engine, all somewhat in disrepair. Thank goodness Bob Kitson went with me, as he is rather good at talking.

It seems Amos was a bachelor near 80 years old and was not looking for woman company, did not like tractors (and never owned one), preferred wood heat, did not like the cold, hated ticks, could not find a good pair of work horses, and you guessed it, did not want to sell the engine as he might need it to cut wood. But we COULD look at the 'one lunger,' a 7 HP Witte, not stuck, round gas tank, one piece block, drip oiler, crank, EK mag, and rod shield.

About a year later, I was in Potosi, Missouri, which was near the engine, and stopped to see Amos. Talked about all the same no's again, as if our first conversation had never existed and the 'one lunger' was still needed to cut wood, even though eight to ten years had elapsed since its last spark of life. (The engine was now stuck).

The next summer, I again checked on the Witte, but in the meantime Tom said, 'Amos liked to take a drink occasionally.' Before leaving home, I checked under the sink, and sure enough, there was a fifth of gin that was several years old. Put the bottle in my trunk and left with high hopes.