By Staff
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Scheppele marine engine, 6 cylinder model for an old advertising postcard.
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2 cylinder Scheppele marine engine owned by the makers daughter, Mrs. L.M. Keehner. Engine has never been run.
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R.R. 1, Box 14, Cumberland, Iowa 50843

The Scheppele marine engine was built in Dubuque, Iowa by
Charles A. Scheppele. Mr. Scheppele was born in 1866 and died in
1941. In his lifetime he went from the manufacture of wooden
rollers for roller skates to bicycle repair to building marine
engines to becoming one of the pioneer automobile dealers in Iowa,
selling Auburn automobiles. He built engines for 12 to 14 years
prior to 1912. The engines were 2 cycle, 1 to 8 cylinders and both
cast iron and brass jackets were made. During the years of
manufacture approximately 2000 engines were built. A record of the
engines was not kept so there is no serial number on the Scheppele

Scheppele began engine manufacture alone. He made all cast parts
patterns of wood. After a time he employed 8 to 10 machinists. The
location of the factory was a small frame building between 8th and
9th on Central Avenue, East side of the street. The small frame
building burned in 1914. Luckily Mr. Scheppele had moved to a
larger building next to it.

Picture of Mrs. Keehner’s family album, showing business
card, engine nameplate and various pictures of the Scheppele marine

Quite a few of his engines were exported to foreign countries
including Germany, Canada and Japan.

In 1911 Mr. Scheppele, who was a member of the Dubuque Motor
Boat Club, entered a boat powered by one of his engines in a race
on the Mississippi. His speedy entry won over boats from Chicago,
Believe and other areas and won him a 2-handled silver-plated
loving cup.

His engines were popular with Mississippi rivermen and were used
in boats that gathered shells for the manufacture of pearl buttons
and by commercial fishermen.

This story would not be complete without mention of Mr.
Scheppele’s daughter, Mrs. L. M. Keehner of Dubuque. She
provided the history for this story and has preserved the records
of the company including business cards, photos, wooden factory
molds, etc. She also owns the 2-cylinder engines shown. My thanks
for another bit of gas engine history.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines