Rock Crusher

To Be Featured Again At Old Timers Days May 23-24, 2015

   The rock crusher was first owned by Edmund “Butch” Kaempfe, the father of Kenny Kaempfe, a member of River Hills Antique Tractor Club. Kenny said his dad owned a lot of other equipment including a Kek Gonnerman threshing machine and tractor, pea huller and this rock crusher. Edmund eventually sold the rock crusher to Walter Luehrs. Mr. Luehrs was the uncle of Lois Fritsche, the owner of the crusher.
   The Kaempfe’s had a large family and they all worked hard to make a living. They lived in the river bottoms, just north of the town of Menfro. Kenny said he does not remember the rock crusher, but has a picture of the other equipment and a truck his dad had. He also said he recalled that when they moved the threshing machine up or down Menfro Hill they had to put it on a truck so the steel wheels would not damage the blacktop road surface.
   The rock crusher was used on the farm to make limestone. They would haul rocks on a pile in the middle of the field and then he would come and crush the rocks for lime.
   We would use a lime spreader and spread the lime on the fields. When the trucks came into existence to spread lime, the rock crusher was left in the shed.

 Demonstrating the old rock crusher at Old Timers Day is LeRoy and Lois Fritsche, the current owners.

Photo showing “Butch” Kaempfe when he was in business using the old machine.

   In 1987 a farm auction was held and the rock crusher was sold to K&L Repair Shop. When Old Timer’s Days was held at the East Perry County Fairgrounds, they demonstrated it several times.
   In 1991 an auction was held on old equipment at the fairgrounds and it was sold to Leroy and Lois Fritsche for $25.00. Since it was a memory piece to the Fritsche’s, they didn’t want it to be sold for scrap metal.
   As far as we can go back, it is between 90 and 100 years old.
   The rock crusher has been a popular attraction at Old Timer’s Days for the past three years. It is hard for the owners to load, haul and handle the big machine. The machine uses a variety of screens to sort the crushed rock. It can make fine lime, small gravel, and larger gravel. Lester Hudson always brings rocks from his farm to feed the crusher, as it can have a large appetite. ∆
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