JOHN MILLER was born May 6, 1909 in Honey Creek, Wisconsin, son of Henry and Hanna Miller. He went to elementary school in Honey Creek and high school in Burlington, Wisconsin. He worked with his father at the lumber yard and feed mill in Honey Brook.
John attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering for two years and then worked as a machinist at Waukesha Motor Works and Hein-Werner Motor Works in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He met Alta Guell in Fond du Lac and they were married June 17, 1944. They lived and raised their family in Brook-field, Wisconsin and were active members of Elmbrook Church in Waukesha.
John joined Allis Chalmers in West Allis, Wisconsin, in 1946 and was with them for 30 years as a heavy duty electrical draftsman.
Upon retirement, John and Alta resided in Leesburg, Florida, during the winter and in Sister Bay in summer where he helped at John's Lawn Service for 18 years. He enjoyed a hobby of rebuilding and restoring antique gas engines was member several steam engine clubs. also busy with variety woodworking projects, especially games toys.
He was always willing to give of his time and help his family and friends. He will be greatly missed.
John died at Door County Memorial Hospital, Monday, July 31, 1995. He is survived by his wife, Alta; two daughters, Linda Anderson, of Sister Bay and Emily Walker of Lyons, Colorado; two granddaughters, Elisabeth and Rebecca Anderson; two sisters, Alida Classon of Chester, California, and Dorothy Duxbury of Kenosha, Wisconsin. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Lester. Submitted by Ken Hollenbeck, P.O. Box 238, Ellison Bay, Wisconsin 54210.
DELBERT M. ENGLERTH, 74, of Vermontville, Michigan, passed away on June 21, 1995. He had been ill for about six months.
Del and his twin brother were born May 9, 1921 in Kennan, Wisconsin. They were raised on a farm in North Dakota where farming was done by horses and steam tractors. It was there he developed an interest and a love for steam engines.
He had collected large and small steam and gas engines for many years. He was a member of several clubs. He loved attending the shows, displaying his engines and looking at all the other engines and displays.
He especially enjoyed talking with his many friends discussing and asking questions about engines. He was always trying to learn more about them.
He will be missed by his many friends and relatives. Submitted by his wife, May Englerth, PO. Box 156, Vermontville, Michigan 49096-0156.
OSCAR OLIVER COOKE, 94, passed away July 29, 1995, at Glendeen Nursing Home of natural causes.
Oscar was born to Riley and Fannie Palmer Cooke on March 8, 1901, in Gueda Springs, Kansas.
As a young lad, Oscar followed his dad's threshing machine, accompanying his parents who operated the rig. His mother was cook for the threshing crews and traveled with her family through out the area. By the age of 9, Oscar was firing his dad's steam engine during grain threshing. When he was 16 he was farming his own small piece of land, had learned to fly, and had his own threshing crew. Oscar studied math, commerce law, and banking at the Emporia Business College in Emporia, Kansas.
During the 1920s and '30s Oscar barnstormed around Kansas with his plane. His love for aeronautics continued and he built many air strips in the Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Montana areas and attributed a great measure of his success to his flying background.
Oscar began in the machinery business as a salesman for Allis Chalmers in Emporia, Kansas. He continued with Allis Chalmers and was promoted to Branch Manager in Omaha, Nebraska. Oscar sold a trainload of Allis Chalmers combines in one day. He made 33 landings in four states to complete these sales, and all the combines were shipped on one special train. Oscar was instrumental in the development of the round baler. He helped Mr. Lubben obtain the copyrights to the baler and formed the mass production agreement between Mr. Lubben and Allis Chalmers. Oscar has the #1 Round Baler in his collection today. While in Omaha, Nebraska, he continued in his aeronautics by putting on an air show and doing stunt flying himself.
Although he was too old to be drafted into World War II, he became a volunteer member of the Civil Air Patrol, where he held the rank of Captain. This patrol was made up of volunteer pilots who flew their own planes along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico checking for enemy submarines.
In about 1944, Oscar moved to Chillicothe, Missouri and started his own business there named Cooke Sales and Service Company. He also set up branches in St. Joseph and Sedalia, Missouri. During these years he was also mayor of Chillicothe, Missouri. While he was mayor he worked to get a new airport built. Oscar even dabbled in the banking business by buying three banks in Kansas and Missouri. He built them up and sold them back to the local people. Oscar also had a Cadillac/Oldsmobile franchise and a Piper Aircraft dealership.
Oscar married his wife, Marcella Reilly, in 1952. By 1958 they had purchased die CX Ranch at Decker, Montana, and moved to 'Big Sky Country.' He began collecting old engines about this time. He saw a steam engine at Big Horn, Wyoming, that he decided he wanted, so he bought and restored it. He had picked up antiques from all over the United States and Canada. Oscar received die Blue Ribbon Award for his display of antique farm implements at the 1968 Yellowstone County Fair. Oscar was honored by the Northern International Stock Show and Rodeo Association as Agri-Businessman of die Year in 1977.
Oscar put his collection together in what is known as Oscar's Dreamland, Yesteryear Museum in Billings, Montana. It had been Oscar s dream to preserve a slice of America's agricultural past for many future generations to enjoy and learn from. Oscar was recently selected as the first inductee into the 'National Gas and Steam Hall of Fame,' an award he was chosen to receive because of his many years of hard work and dedication in preserving our early American heritage.
Oscar was an avid story teller and could lighten up the most boring dinner party or the dullest business meeting with any one of his hundreds of stories. Oscar always loved people and was an active joiner. He belonged to Quiet Birdman and OX5 (two flying clubs). He was a Mason, Scottish Rite, Shriner, Rotarian, Elk, and active member of the J. I. Case Heritage Foundation, the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association and many other groups.
Oscar was preceded in death by one daughter, Irene Cooper. Oscar is survived by his wife, Marcella Cooke; five children: Marie Windle of Independence, Missouri, Oscar M. Cooke of Chillicothe, Missouri, Bette Cooke of Monett, Missouri, Riley Cooke of Laurel, Montana, and Marcie Limpp of Roberts, Montana; one brother. Earnest Cooke of Boulder City, Nevada; two sisters, Elma Findley of Soquel, California, and Aileen Haislup of Houston, Texas; one grandson, six granddaughters; three great-grandsons, and seven great-granddaughters.
Oscar was a dreamer whose dreams will never die! Oscar's Dreamland will open again May 1, 1996, for what Oscar's family hopes to be one of the best seasons yet. Submitted by Marcella Cooke, 3100 Harrow Drive, Billings, Montana 59102.