302 Highland Avenue, Plentywood, MT 59254
In 1926, the last year we used steam, we worked with a 1909 20
HP Case. Dad took the crankshaft out to have it built up, as some
engineers did not, whether through ignorance or laziness, oil the
clutch and pinion hushing. The shaft was badly worn, so much so
that the clutch would not stand up. We used a chain and bolt to
replace the clutch, while the repair was being made. We needed the
boiler to butcher hogs.
The engine was parked on a grade, as the whole building site was
very hilly. The front wheels were dug down to make the boiler
level. The 12-20 Twin City could not pull it out of the holes as we
had to move it to the site of the butchering. So my brother, Roy,
got a jack and proceeded to jack it out of the holes. I was on the
steering wheel and was turning it as fast as I could to make a
half-circle. Roy wanted to take it for a joy-ride. Roy jumped on
the engine, took the wheel and started slowly to turn the other
direction. Now Roy had been used to engines with much less steering
ratios. By the time he caught on, it was too late to get where he
wanted to go.
Down the hill to the west in a row was a 2 year old 32′
Rumely (the last wooden one), a cook car and a new 12′ drill. I
had climbed up on the boiler and held onto the stack. Well, it hit
the cook car dead on, the tongue was frozen in the ground so the
wheels stopped it. The cook car was demolished. A lot of broken
dishes, flour, sugar, and what have you, all over. The stove pipe
shed soot all over too!
We got careful after that. We had to pull it down a steep hill.
The Twin City had no brakes to count on (most T.C.’s
didn’t), so we cranked up a 17-30 Minneapolis which had very
good brakes and put it behind to hold back.
We spotted the steamer and butchered 35 hogs. Then the work
started-hams, bacon, sausage and head cheese, mostly, hand
grinding, stuffing, curing and eating!