ALLEN F. WHEELER, 83, of Louisville, Kentucky, passed away February 22nd following a long illness. He was a charter member of the Kentuckiana Pioneer Power Association, Inc.
Known to his many engine collecting friends as 'Pop' Wheeler, he loved working with old engines. He welcomed the challenge of a 'Hope less' project, and spent many hours restoring his engines to better than new perfection. Perhaps more than the engine, he enjoyed visiting with friends at the many shows he attended. As an engine buddy mentioned at 'Pop's' funeral, he was 'always consistent...always in a good mood'. Three of his sons, Jim, Warren, and Lloyd, are also old iron collectors and will hopefully keep his tradition of high craftsmanship and friendliness alive.
Submitted by: Dave Baas, Vice President of KPPA
'I regret to announce the loss of my grandfather, HOWARD E. VAN DRIEST, of Concord Township, Painesville, Ohio on January 26, 1989. He was born July 13, 1910 in Euclid, Ohio.
He began working for the Cleveland Tractor Company in the 1930's and eventually became Experimental Engineer. He was influential in the development of most of the models of Cletracs and later Oliver crawlers. (Oliver bought Cletrac in 1946). He spent many hours in the dynamometer room, and made many trips to Hercules in Canton developing engines for the tractors. He also travelled all over North America, trouble-shooting and correcting problems nobody else could figure out. After Oliver Corporation shut down the Cleveland Plant in 1961, he went into the excavating business with his son Howard.
Van Driest collected many antique engines and tractors, including numerous Cletracs and a 28-50 Hart Parr. He also owned a 1930 Model A Ford coupe and a 20 HP Buffalo Pitts steam traction engine, which he displayed at many shows in Ohio.
He was a director of the Pioneer Steam and Gas Engine Society of Northwestern Pa. and of the Historical Engine Society in Kirkland, Ohio. He was a member of the Ashtabula County Antique Engine Club, Penn-Ohio Model A Ford Club, U.S.D.A Stabilization Service, and a life member of the National Rifle Association.
He is survived by his wife Olive, a brother, a son and daughter, four grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.
Gramps and I were best friends and were almost always together since I was born. He taught me about every thing I know about mechanics. Together, we restored a General tractor when I was ten. We got into this antique engine hobby in 1975. He always said that he 'brung me up' and I know he did it right.'
Submitted by Blake Malkamaki, 10839 Girdled Road, Concord Twp. Painesville, Ohio 44077.
On December 11, 1988, Big JOHN BRIGHAM of Big John's Stagecoach Lines, Inc., died unexpectedly of a massive heart attack at age 51.
Big John appeared as the character 'Big John' on Bill Mack's Western weekend movie program on KXTX-TV Channel 39 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Big John owned the stagecoach that was used to give free rides at the 1988 Holland Corn Festival. He and I had become close friends due to his interest in antique tractors. Big John had seen my antique 'D' John Deeres at a show and he wanted one also so he contacted me to see if I could find him one. Later, when I found out what business Big John was in, I told the Festival committee that Big John leased stagecoaches to festivals and events all over Texas. We then arranged to have one at our festival.
His stagecoaches and train cars were used in various affairs such as the State Fair, the Texas Sesquicentennial Trail Ride across Texas and many others.
Big John and I had a trip to Kansas planned for early January, 1989 and were were going to bring back some antique tractors, one of which was the 'D' I had found for Big John.
Big John was a likeable Texan with lots of friends, always dressed as a stagecoach driver. He was carried to his final resting place by his own wagon and mules. He was a member of the Texas Early Day Tractor and Engine Association and subscribed to Gas Engine Magazine.
Submitted by Darwin 'Monk' Ivicic, Chairman of the Holland Com Festival, P. O. Box 333, Holland, Texas, 76534.
NORMAN WILSON, 78, of Ocheyedan, Iowa passed away January 21, 1989.
He was a farmer and pioneer gas engine and Model 'T' man having shown at the Butterfield, Minnesota Show for 18 consecutive years.
Norman loved to drive in a parade and blow the many whistles on the Little Red 'T' Racer.
His infectious smile and laughter will always be remembered.
Submitted by Ed Wheeler, Sibley, Iowa.