International Harvester was focus of Rollag farm show in 1998

by Paul Gubrud,

100 years ago, August 30, 1923

• Fatal Threshing Machine Accident

Clarence, the 16-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Heggen was killed instantly on the O. P. Western farm at about 5 p. m. Thursday. Stack threshing was in progress and Clarence was pitching bundles from the ground, and in pitching over the drive belt, the tines of his fork struck the belt, and the handle struck him over the heart with terrific force. Dr. Serkland arrived promptly but found the boy beyond all earthly aid. He was picked up unconscious and expired shortly afterward in the arms of Andrew Wangen, who was working on the crew. The threshing outfit belongs to Andrew Mattson, who appalled by the tragedy, shut down for the day.

Clarence was a quiet and industrious boy, and his tragic and untimely death came as a shock to his many friends in the vicinity. Besides his parents, he leaves four brothers and one sister, who have the sympathy of all in their hour of grief. – Rothsay Enterprise.

75 years ago, September 2, 1948

• Forced Landing of Airplane at Night

During Sunday night a two-passenger airplane from Wadena, which was returning home from North Dakota, was forced to land on the John Thompson farm east of town.

They had run out of gas and they stated that a heavy fog obscured the ground and they thought they were landing on water. They had taken off their shoes in case they had to swim but miraculously landed without much damage to the plane and without any injury to themselves.

The plane struck a fence and bounced over a ditch and the Thompsons were roused out of bed to pull the plane out to safer ground.

• Berlin Airlift

The Berlin problem is not becoming any nearer settled than when it first started. Russia is conceding nothing and food, fuel, and other necessities to keep the Germans in the allied sector of Berlin from suffering privations must be brought in by airplane. This cannot go on indefinitely and in all probability when winter comes the burden will be increased tremendously. It costs the American taxpayer $60 for every ton of coal shipped into Berlin by air.

Eventually, the Allies will have to abandon Berlin if Russia will not make some concessions, and there is no hope she ever will.

50 years ago, August 30, 1973

• Purchase of 2 New Fire Trucks is Considered

The Pelican Rapids fire department may receive two new trucks under a proposal being considered by officers of area townships.

The townships had earlier agreed to pool their resources to purchase two new trucks plus additional fire-fighting equipment, but when bids were opened the amount of money they had agreed to contribute was short of the amount needed.

During a meeting of township officers and the village council Monday evening, interest was expressed by representatives of several townships in adding to the fund so that the entire package could be purchased at this time.

In order to purchase both the trucks, a pumper, and a tanker, plus the optional equipment, the townships would have to raise nearly $37,000. Under the proposal, six townships served in full by the Pelican Rapids fire department would be asked to contribute $4,600 each to the fund. These townships are Pelican, Scambler, Norwegian Grove, Lida, Dunn, and Erhards Grove. Maplewood, Trondhjem, Tansem, and Erhard Village would be considered half-units and would be asked to put in $2,300 each.

The fire department covers only half of Trondhjem and Tansem townships, while Maplewood State Park takes out a major portion of Maplewood township.

A final decision is expected when the village council meets on September 10 in order to meet the 30-day deadline on the bids.

25 years ago, September 2, 1998

• International Harvester to be Featured at This Year’s Steam Threshers Reunion

International Harvester collectors are in the limelight this weekend in Rollag.

The 45th Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion is featuring an International Harvester Exposition at Steamer Hill. Organizers expect the largest collection of International Harvester machinery ever assembled.

Vintage IH tractors, trucks, crawlers, pickups, engines, harvesting equipment, auto buggies, and assorted types of farm equipment will fill the display area. Toys will also be displayed.

One of the chairmen of the expo, Larry Mitchell of Kindred, N.D., says true International collectors will love the exhibits.

The volunteer staff at the reunion has been lining up exhibits from across the country.

The Smithsonian is loaning its 1961 turbine tractor, an experimental model made by IH. Only a few were made and the Smithsonian has had it since 1963.

Another interesting item, an auto buggy built in 1907 by International, is one of the first built by the company. International’s auto buggy was produced from 1907 until 1915 when the company elected to produce auto wagons, an early truck.

Rare International tractors from the late teens and early 1920s are being arranged in chronological order. Some are in “work clothes” and others have been restored to top condition.

One unique machine is a friction drive tractor made in 1908 by International. The company’s first tractor, it didn’t work too well in the field, according to Roger Haugen of Hawley. Haugen says the owner, Vernon Iverson, Lamberton, told him his father used it once to plow a field.

The exhibit will also include a long line of Farmall tractors which were first built in 1923 and designed for all-purpose use on the farm. Its lighter weight and tall, narrow design allowed farmers to cultivate row crops.

• New Fire Truck

The Pelican Rapids Fire Department has a new weapon in its arsenal of fire-fighting equipment: a “rural” pumper which arrived earlier this month. The GMC truck chassis was purchased from Falls Automotive, Fergus Falls, at a cost of $26,473. The contract for the truck’s equipment went to Central States Fire Apparatus, Lyons, South Dakota, on a bid of $85,290. Co-operating in the purchase of the unit were the cities of Pelican Rapids and Erhard, plus the surrounding townships under contract for fire department service. The new truck responds to all fire calls and is joined by a second pumper unit when the department responds to fire calls within the city of Pelican Rapids.