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Wright Township, Wayne County, Iowa

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Wright Township is a township in Wayne County, Iowa, USA.[1]

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  • George E. Logue Sr.


[ Silence ] >> Well it's a pleasure to be talking with George Logue today. George is a distinguished entrepreneur. The most distinguished entrepreneur in many people's eyes [laughter] in North Central Pennsylvania, having established a career in highway construction and in manufacturing, and he is currently President and Founder -- not President any longer, but Founder of Logue Industries, which is -- I -- which he still, on a daily basis involved with. He's a distinguished graduate of both the Williamsport Technical Institute and Pennsylvania State University, and today we're going to be talking about his youth, his formative years in which he expressed and developed his passion for engineering, for creativity and for making things -- various things that we'll talk about. George was nurtured in part by Dr. George Parkes, the founding head of the Williamsport Technical Institute, and is an alumnus of the Williamsport Technical Institute. George, where were you born and raised? >> I was born at 1031 High Street in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Faxon Lumber Company -- Faxon Construction Company, the sixth house they ever built on High Street -- they ever built, was job number six and that's the house I was born in 1927, it was built in 1923. >> And where did you spend your summers? >> Oh in the summer, we lived in the city and went to school in the city, but my father bought the old family farm to keep it in the family in 1929 when I was two years old, and he got it -- he wasn't too interested in it, but he just wanted to keep it in the family, but after he got it he fell in love with it. So every summer when school let out, we went to the farm for the summertime and that was heaven. That was heaven to me and it still is, I live up there now, and as I tell people when I show them around the farm, I said, "I don't know whether I'll ever make it to heaven or what it's like, but if it's as good as this, [laughter] I'll be happy". >> That's great. What did your father do? >> My father was a dentist. He grew up on a farm up there and he left the farm when he was 14 years old, and was a sort of a janitor for a Catholic Priest in Blossburg, where he rang the church bell and harnessed the horses and fed them and stuff. And then he come back and taught school in Cascade for a little bit, and he decided that there was no future there, so he went to Philadelphia to get a job on a rap -- in Philadelphia, Rapid Transit. And he couldn't get a job there and so he ended up working as a cashier in the Horn and Hardart Restaurant and at -- on the night shift. And there was a guy next to him who was a cashier like he was, but he was always studying and here he told my dad he was going to dental school, so my father decided he wanted to do that, so he went to dental school. They came back to Williamsport as a dentist, and practiced here all his life down at the corner of Fourth -- or Third and Market Street -- Market Square. >> And, excuse me, how many siblings did you have? >> Well, I am one of 10 children. My father and mother had five boys and five girls, and the first three boys they lost, had the same name as the Kennedy's, Joseph Edward, John F. and Robert were the three brothers that died, in that order. The two Joe and John left -- died young and Robert was a war hero. He was killed on a submarine in War World II. >> And where did you first go to school? >> What's that? >> Where did you first go to school? >> Oh I went to Transer [assumed spelling] School in the first grade, because it was close to home and it was a long walk to Saint Joe, but from the second grade to grade 10, I went to Saint Joe, but once I was in Doc Parkes' basement with his son George and saw a metal lathe in the corner there, I was determined that I wanted to come to Tech, Williamsport Tech. So Doc Parkes got me in up here to come on Saturdays, so when I was at Saint Joe, I'd come up here on machine shop course on Saturdays. And then between the grade of 10 and 11, he got me in the National Youth Administration, and I come up here and took machine shop in the summertime and I -- then in grade 10 -- grade 11, I was transferred to Williamsport Tech, and I graduated from here. I went here two years at the full time school. >> Okay we want to come back to those years with a -- NYA and WTI, but before that, from an early age you had a love of tools, and when you were five you said your dad bought a Caterpillar Tractor for approximately 500 dollars and used it up on the farm, tell me about that first Caterpillar. >> Well, I remember when he bought that, it was at the very bottom of the Depression, and he wanted to have it -- he'd -- my father never liked horses, and him and his brother had a horse they shared back and forth, up there in the summertime, so he wanted to get a tractor. So he bought this little Caterpillar at -- down -- it was used at the Kenerhole [assumed spelling] Golf Course in Montoursville, and he bought it at the golf course went financial trouble and the tractors were costing 1100 dollars new and it was only a year old, he got it for 500. And my mother was ready to leave him when he bought that, and I remember when the old Ford Model, Double A dump truck was crawling up the mountain in low gear with that tractor in the back [laughter] at 11 o'clock at night, my mother was over there with the daughters, and she told us we were going to go bankrupt and all that. She had -- and then I turned around, the next morning I went out and I remember I had those pajamas with feet on them, sewed in them, and I remember I climbed up on the dump truck to look at this tractor and it was love at first sight, and I remember when I got in the house I got hell for muddying up my socks [laughter]. Muddying up my pajamas, but from that day forward, I never, never wanted anything but to own a Caterpillar someday. I didn't know how the hell I'd ever get the money, so I figured the only way to get the money was to be a dentist, because dad had enough to buy one, maybe I'd have enough to buy one. So I started to dental school. I was going to Lycoming College and I went to some girl's house, and she had a Penn State catalogue there and in there had it Ag Engineering and courses in tractors. Well, I went home and told dad that's the end of that, I don't want to be a dentist, I'm going to be and Ag Engineer, and so that's what I took and I graduated from Penn State in that. >> So that Caterpillar coming up to the farm, when you were five years old really -- >> Yep. >> -- changed your entire life? >> Entire -- everything, it was a whole -- everything in my life was Caterpillar from then on. Even now I have the largest, in fact I dumped all the other stocks, I have nothing but Caterpillar stock. The President of the Caterpillar, Lee Morgan said one time that Caterpillar had an obligation to three groups of people. They have to take care of the employees, the customer and the stockholder. And I've never been an employee, but I've been well taken care of as a stockholder and a customer. And an interesting thing, the reason I didn't work for Caterpillar is I told Dr. Doyle here, I was a C student in school, and so when I graduated from Penn State, I didn't -- I wrote a letter to the Caterpillar and I got a very nice letter back, and saying come on out for an interview, and be prepared to be here for a week at your own expense and all this stuff and I had no money. So I figured that -- and then a month later, they did it to other students. They wrote them a letter and said sorry, we don't need you. So I -- the bulletin board had a -- I -- ad there for International Harvester -- for engineers to work in a Proving Ground, and so I wrote a letter to them on the work in their proving ground -- applied for a job -- for a job and told them I had some experience with Caterpillar Tractors. And they wrote back and said how much? So I sent them a picture of the bulldozer blade I put on my dad's Caterpillar 10, I got a letter back from Harvester and I still have it, it said, "normally we interview our Harvest applicants when we hire them, but in your case we'll dispense that formality [laughter], come on out and go to work." And I did. >> How old were you when you put that blade on that first Caterpillar. >> Nineteen. >> Nineteen? >> Yep and I built that with a budget of $300. Can't even get a gearshift handle for a Cat for [laughter] that today. [Inaudible comment] >> How old did you have to be before your dad let you drive that Caterpillar? >> I was probably 11 or 12 and I would -- if I wanted to drive the tractor, he'd say, "well George I just plowed the field, if you want to drive the tractor you can go pick a load of stones". So I'd crank up the tractor and go out in the field and pick stones off the field, and load the wagon by handful then haul them down the mountain, and dump them over the bank to drive the tractor 15, 20 minutes, I'd work a half a day, [laughter] just in order to drive that thing. >> Your dad knew what he was doing. >> Oh yeah, he got -- that's the way he got me to work. We still have the tractor, it looks brand new now. >> When you were 11, so that seems to be one of these turning points in your life, you bought your first lathe, tell me about that. >> Oh yeah, when I was 11 years old, I got for Christmas, I got a wood lathe that cost -- I found it out on the internet, cost $1.65 from Sears and Roebuck and it weighed eight pounds. It was two feet long, about. And I took the mother -- the motor off my mother's junked washing machine to run it. When I got that lathe, then and I've had several lathes since. But about two months ago, I just got a lathe, instead of eight pounds, it weighs 54,000 pounds, instead of a $1.65, it cost $380,000 and it was, I think, the largest lathe in this part of the state, till the gas company just got eight of them down in Montoursville and that'll do gas well stills, it'll cut the threads on gas well pipes up to 12 inches diameter and I just got that lathe so, a lathe is something that I had ordered a new South Bend Lathe from [inaudible] Electric when I was a senior at Penn State. I had no money to pay for it, but I thought by the time I got out of school, I'll have it. And the Korean War was on, so you couldn't -- if you want a new lathe you waited a year or two years for it, so I ordered it and it finally came, whoa -- whoa. >> You're okay. >> That's okay just leave. >> You're fine. >> Okay. So that's -- and the lathe -- but then earlier than that I got an Erector Set and I got -- they run from number 1 to number 10, and the biggest one you could get without an electric motor was a 4, so dad got me a number 4, because that had a motor that run on batteries, and it was my goal to own a 10, a number 10 set someday. Well, I got a basement full of them now. [Laughter] I'd say I have probably 200 Erector Sets. >> And you were a Boy Scout, you also built model aircraft is that right? >> No, as far as airplanes were concerned, yeah I even attempted to build an airplane when I was a kid. I remember going over to the A&P Store at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Park, and getting orange crates and bringing them home, and taking the sides off and pulling the nails out, and cutting the shape on my jigsaw. I had in my home workshop, yep it never [laughing] got to fly it, that would have been suicide. But I -- even today I have a private pilot's license through the Multi Engine Instrument and Helicopter Release, and I own and flew my own Twin Engine Beechcraft Baron and my own Enstrom helicopter. >> Speaking of the jigsaw, you said the man next door to you had a jigsaw that you eventually bought. >> Oh yeah. The guy next door had a jigsaw, a little one that had a hand crank on to crank it and the -- I bought that from him, I think for 25 cents. Don McKee, he ended up being Vice President of IBM. He died a couple of years ago, but anyhow, yeah I bought that jigsaw from him, and that was my first power tool and I used the motor off mom's washing machine to run that, and then later I moved up to that real heavy duty $1.65 lathe and I ran that. Then they finished my workshop out, I was a Boy Scout and the Boy Scout Troop there, the Scout Master was Zunk Sullivan, Francis Sullivan [assumed spelling] who was -- ended up an architect in Williamsport. But he was our Scout Master and one scout meeting he brought a Brown Junior Model D Airplane engine, a model airplane engine, and he says he's going to give that to the guy that passed the most tests in three months or something. Well I won the engine. [Laughter] And I sold it -- I had it for awhile and I sold it for $6, and I was able to buy a circular saw and a jigsaw from Sears and Roebuck, to compliment the lathe. So that was my first home workshop tools, were three machines from Sears and Roebuck that all of three of them cost less than $6, and today I have millions of dollars worth of machine tools, you know, in our shop, but that was -- >> So people knew how to motivate you again, but you also knew how to be the entrepreneur and parlay something into -- >> Oh yeah. >> -- what you wanted. >> Yeah the -- I wanted a motor for my bicycle, so there was no way, during the war that you could buy a Briggs & Stratton Engine. So I found a farmer up there that had a washing machine that had the engine on, and the REA had come through and put electricity in. Well guess what happened to mom's old electric washing machine motor? [Laughing] I traded that, I put that on his washing machine and he gave me the engine. And later on, I sold the engine for $23 to buy gas for my car. An interesting thing about cars, my first automobile I had -- I worked in a bowling alley set pins and so forth. But the first car I had, I got where was needed money for gas and stuff, so I started selling tools out of my shop to get gas money to run the damn car around. Well, to this day, after that, I made up my mind that I would never, never, never be automobile poor, and I never have been. And I'm driving a Ford now, and I don't have it anymore, but I was driving a Ford when I had a million dollar -- well at that time a 200,000 dollar airplane. I never, never let an automobile make me poor ever since. >> Uh-huh. >> So they can keep the Cadillacs and the Mercedes and so forth, but I -- right now I have a new Ford, and that's what I drive. >> So practical and grounded is the way to express that. >> What's that? >> You're very practical in your approach. >> Oh yeah, yep. >> And very grounded. >> Yep, yep. >> Speaking of being grounded and the opposite airplanes, tell me about the time your dad gave you money to go to get a plane ride at the Williamsport Airport? >> Oh yeah. My father was up that -- on the weekends -- when I was in school he'd go to the farm, and Sunday night he come home one night and -- he was -- we were all around there visiting, and he was feeling pretty generous, so I told him they were giving airplane rides for 50 cents at the airport. There was a guy by the name Johna Buso [assumed spelling] that had a Waco Biplane that'd haul four passengers and he was giving rides for 50 cents. He was building time up to be an airline pilot, which he ended up being by the way. And he only died a few years ago, so dad gave me 50 cents. So my cousin and I, we walked from High Street to the airport, about 10 miles with 50 cents, and man, we went by, it was in the summer. It was hot weather, and man, we would have loved to buy a coke or something, but we only 50 cents. So we went down to the airport, we went in and saw the guy that the base operator there was Bruce Haums [assumed spelling], and we told him we had 50 cents that we wanted an airplane ride. He says, "well those -- that guy that was given those left with the plane he's not here anymore, and they're a dollar now". So we said, "okay well thanks, can we look at the airplanes?" "Yeah, you can look at them, but don't get in them or anything." So my cousin and I, we knew there was no airplane ride so we went and bought a coke for a nickel and a Mr. Goodbar for a nickel, which now costs about a dollar, and it's half the size, the Goodbar, and we were there looking at the airplanes for maybe half hour or so, getting primed up to walk back to High Street. And Bruce come out, and he said, "you kids still want a ride?" "Yeah, but we don't have 50 cents." "That's all right come on", so he gave us a ride. About several months later, I heard the city council gave him a raw deal and he lost his franchise at the airport, he moved away. And I remember him, of course I was just a 12 years old or something when he gave me the ride, so he disappeared. Thirty years later or something, I'm down in the restaurant at the airport having coffee in the morning, and I look over and I see a guy wearing a Security badge, working at the airport, and I looked at him, I said, "boy I've seen you before somewhere". I said, "did you ever work here at the airport?" He said "yeah". I says, "hell, you gave me my first airplane ride". "Well, I don't remember. Could be", he says, "but I don't remember you at all". I said, "well, I know I was just a kid". So anyhow, we got gadding away about different things, and he found out I had a paving business. And he said, "you know, I moved back to Williamsport, I wanted to come back here. I grew up here, and I bought a house in South Side and the guy that had the house, built a garage, but he never finished it, and he never finished the driveway into it. Do you build driveways? " "Yeah", he said, "well, would you go over there" -- he gave me my address, "go over and look at it, and see what it would cost to fix it up". So I said, "okay", so I went over and sent my -- I didn't go over, I sent my people over and they looked it and figured up what it would take, so -- the following Monday I got a call from him, "hey, hey they were over there digging and they got a lot of equipment, you didn't tell me what that was going to cost", "same price as the airplane ride". >> [Laughter] It was one of the greatest thrills in life was payback time, and so yep, and then he died a couple years later, and his daughter lived in Las Vegas and she came here for the funeral, and asked me to be a pallbearer for Bruce. I told Bruce after that, I says you know Bruce, you taught me a lot by giving me that ride, I said I have never gone down to the airport to get in one of my airplanes or the helicopter I had, that if I saw some kid hanging over the fence, "hey you want to go for a ride"? I gave a lot of rides because of what you taught me. >> That's a wonderful story George and demonstrates your generosity, and also that you remember connections with people. >> Oh yeah I -- I -- you know, there was a guy, I have a debt I owe right now, I haven't been able to pay it, I'm trying to do it. When I was kid Ashar English [assumed spelling] who taught drafting here at the school, lived a block down from me, and had a kid that was about three years younger than me, and he had a bicycle and I didn't. And when they started the dike in 1941, I was 14 years old, I borrowed Buzz's bicycle every day to go over, ride around and look at the Caterpillar's building the dike, and I had his bike every day, and he was too much of a gentlemen to say "hey, you know, I'd like to have it once in awhile", [laughter] but I'd always bring it home at night, take it the next day. Well Buzz English, now I'm 85, if he's living he's probably 82, well I owe his grandson a new bicycle, and by God if I can find -- I'm still trying to find him, and I haven't found him yet and if he's even living or not, but anyhow that'll be a payback for me, if I ever get the opportunity. >> Well you -- speaking of remembering people and you mentioned him a little bit earlier, I'd like us to talk for -- briefly about Dr. George Parkes. You grew up in his neighborhood, where was it that he lived and you and you lived? >> He lived one block north and one block west of me. He lived a diagonal block away from me. And his son was a year younger than me, but we knew each other. And one day we were up -- we went -- run through his basement and over there in his basement, I saw a metal lathe on a workbench and geez, I ran over there and looked at it, it was dark and I -- the kid -- the other kids were playing around throwing pillows or whatever they were doing, and he went -- and young George came over and turned the light on, you know, I was looking at this thing. And I was down there looking at it, and Dr. Parkes came down in the basement and he saw me looking at it and he said well I bought it for George and he never used it, but if you want to play with it you can. Well that didn't last too long, he couldn't get rid of me. So then he told -- he says, "hey we have a course up at Tech on Saturdays for students and you can go up there and join that". So I've -- that's where I started at Tech, from seeing Dr. Parkes' metal lathe in his basement. >> And those first classes you took, you mentioned earlier were part of the National Youth Administration. >> Oh well that -- that was on Saturdays, I went to this stuff, but then when summer came, they had the NYA, the National Youth Administration had a set-up where they pay you like $12 a month or something. >> Uh-huh. >> To be in NYA and you could take machine shop, so boy there's where I was all summer, and then the following year I went there fulltime as a student. >> And what year would that have been approximately? >> Well, I was 19, '43. >> Okay. >> Yeah the year my brother was killed in the war. >> Well that fits, so let me just give a little background, the NYA was part of the -- originally it was part of the Works Progress Administration up in PA. >> WPA, oh, okay. >> Part of a New Deal era, and in 1942, it became part of the War Recovery Act and you were in its last year, because then it [inaudible comment]. >> Yeah it [inaudible]. >> Terminated in 1943. >> Well that's when -- yeah I was in it when it quit, I remember that. >> Okay. >> So what type of projects did you do in the NYA or let's go back for a second, what type things did you use Dr. Parkes lathe for in his basement? >> Well I didn't -- I didn't use it hardly anything, I just started to -- I didn't even -- wasn't even making anything on it, until he sent me -- he saw how wrapped up I was in it, he got me over there [inaudible comment] Tech right away. Yeah real quick. >> Okay. >> Yep, I didn't spend any time in his basement much, except ogling over that lathe. I thought that was the greatest thing in the world. You know in my home workshop now, I have a shop in Montoursville with lots of lathes, but in my home workshop, I have seven metal lathes. And I'm the only guy that works in there, I have the computerized milling machine a Bridgeport CNC up there. I'm building a couple little gas -- I'm building two little four cylinder gas engines up there now. That water-cooled gas engines, building the carburetors and the cam shafts and everything. It's my hobby machine shop, can't you tell? [Laughter] >> That's wonderful George, you're youthful spirit, you do well with that. You were attending -- at the time you were going to the NYA, you were attending Saint Joe's -- >> That's right. >> -- and just for background, Saint Joe's is here in Williamsport -- >> Right. >> -- it was part of the enunciation parish, which is now -- >> That's right. >> -- part of Saint Joseph the worker, but still enunciation church -- >> Right. >> -- it was the grade school for there. >> Right. >> You were attending that, and it also included a high school. >> Yep. >> And as you said your parents wanted you to go to Saint Joe's and -- >> Right. >> -- graduate from there. How did you convince your parents to switch to WTI for your junior and senior years? >> Well they got tired of me fussing about it, so they said, "oh go ahea", they sort -- they sort of wrote me off as a flop. I think of my dad -- my father had a way of encouraging me to do things that -- I remember when I got my first Caterpillar tractor, he -- I was working as an engineer at Sprout Waldron and I was designing machines down there, and I, as a design engineer, I built some pretty fancy machines. But anyhow, he come in the yard with my mother, and he was retired and he come back from being down in Florida in the summer, he'd been down to see my brother-in-law, and he saw a new Caterpillar sitting there, "Well, George, I see you got somebody doing some work for you", I said, "no I'm doing it", "yeah, but who's tractor's that"? I says, "it's mine". He says, "well you don't have any money buy something like that". I says, "no dad, $603 a month for 24 months and it's my tractor". He says "well, who's going to run it"? "I am." "Well "what about your job"? "Well I'm quitting it." "Ooo, you're making a mistake". And the last thing he said when he drove out of the yard, "George besides you never were a businessman". He told me that, and I started 2 construction companies and then I was on the Board of the Northern Central Bank for 20 year, and you can't be on a bank board unless you have a reasonable amount of business ability, or at least they think you do. >> You had a lot of business ability George. [Laughter] Let's just stay with your dad for a second, but your dad had supported you -- you tell me the story -- let's go back to your youth where Williamsport had the soapbox derby -- >> Oh yeah. >> -- tell that story. >> Oh, that was something because I -- my father was never a guy to fuss over us kids, I mean he had lots of kids, and he liked to go hunting and fishing and I never -- I always wanted his attention, but I didn't get it too much. But anyhow, I built a soapbox racer and we went down -- >> Excuse me a second, how old were you? >> -- oh 11, 12 something like that, and I built this soapbox racer and the -- when I -- on the afternoon when I went down the hill -- I choke up on it -- when I got to the bottom of the hill, I won the first three cars that I won and there was my dad. He come over from his dental office in Market Square, to watch me come down the hill. That was the greatest compliment I ever had in my life, I was so glad when he did that. And then I got tired pushing that racer up and down the hill, so I -- my father, the dear man that he was, when I was at boy scout camp, I come home and he said, "George, they had an auction at Bowman's Field and they sold a billy goat up there, and I bought it for you for 2 dollars." So the billy goat was up at Avco there in the tavern, Joe Orso's [assumed spelling] Tavern, was tied up in the back and I went up there and got the goat and led him home, and I took the wheels off my soapbox racer and I made a sulky and I trained the goat, I made a [laughter] harness to pull me and I was in the Mummer's [assumed spelling] parade that fall and I got two prizes in the Mummer's Parade for the originality of my -- I drove the goat through the parade -- the billy goat. And I have yet to see a kid pulling a billy goat on a wagon. I have never seen one before and I had -- you saw the picture I showed you. >> Right, right. >> So that was my first powered transportation, was the billy goat. Then I got the lawn mower engine, and put it on my bicycle and so forth. So I was always building something. >> You were building something, that's right. Well let's go back to your WTI now, you switched then from Saint Joe's to WTI. >> Right. >> For you junior, senior year, what projects were you given as you were a student? >> Oh well we -- I still have the set of V blocks that I made when I was in school, machined them and ground them all over and stuff, I use them now. I have them in my shop. And we made the first -- the very first thing we did, when I was on that Saturday class, we went down in the basement and Horace Lowell [assumed spelling], they had a classroom down there, and he told us -- then we went up and we ran a little South Bend 9 inch lathe. I got 2 of them at home now and I never use them there, they're nothing compared to -- that I have a real good lathe up there and I have the South Bend just down at [inaudible], but anyhow, that they -- I took a half inch rod and cut a thread, half 13 thread on it, that's the first job I ever made on a lathe, on a metal lathe, I had a wood lathe, of course, several. But the first job I ever did I cut a half 13 thread and Horace Lowell, was one of my early teachers and he was a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful man. I thought the world of him, and I remember he left and worked in Harrisburg for the State Department of Education. He got some kind of a good job and when -- but when I went in the Army Air Corps, World War II, I had him write me a letter of recommendation, he wrote me a nice one. And I never saw him after that. 30 years later up at the farm, I had an open house for all my Caterpillars and I had people from all over there. By God, I met Horace Lowell, he was there. It was great seeing him again and I thanked him for all the encouragement he gave me when I was a young, mixed up kid you know and he was a wonderful guy. Then he lived up in the corner of Sixth and Louisa, and I paved his driveway and I charged him for it, but he got a good deal on it and he's gone now, I'm sure, he's been gone a long time. But I had some wonderful teachers at Penn Tech. Erik Gillbody [assumed spelling] was the head of the machine shop, and there was a guy they called Baldy Buyer [assumed spelling], I don't know what his right first name was, he was bald as -- really bald and there was Derrickson [assumed spelling], Hilly [assumed spelling], some of -- they were some of the teachers, they were all real inspirations to me. >> And John Schuman you had mentioned. >> I remember -- he lived across the street from me, but he was too high up in the administration to hear to know who I was. >> Uh-huh. >> He lived across the street, but he didn't teach, he was probably number 2 on our [inaudible]. I knew George Parkes because he lived -- well he lived close -- farther from me than Shuman, but I knew Parkes cause, I knew his son and stuff, but. >> What about Lou Bardow [assumed spelling]? >> Louie Bardow, yeah he was -- he worked for Avco, he was in the shop, but he didn't teach the students. He taught Avco -- people from Avco. Avco had a section of the shop and they had a big 24 inch Cincinnati Shaper there, and I remember when they got a brand new one I thought, oh my God that's beautiful", and they would never let us students use it, that was for the Avco students up there, for the Avco people. >> So as part of your WTI -- >> I got it now in my shop, [laughter] I bought it [inaudible comment], the shaper. >> -- as part of the WTI experience, then you went up to Avco at times? >> Yeah I went there -- in my senior I went up there two weeks of shop, instead of two weeks of shop, it was two weeks at Avco and two weeks in the school, two weeks at Avco, two weeks at school. >> Okay. >> And I ended up -- I remember the lathe I run in there that was really, really beautiful, was way ahead of anything -- well I had two of them over at Avco -- Tech, but they wouldn't let anybody -- the students couldn't use it, was a Model E Double E Monarch Lathe, I got one down in my shop in Montoursville. Double E Monarch and I got the shaper that Avco -- and Tech bought three new Monarch lathes when I was maybe a couple years before I started school, and at that time they cost $5,000 a piece, I remember. And they were -- I mean you had to be a senior before you could touch one, and they were beautiful lathes. I got one when they sold it at auction. >> So they had fairly current equipment at that time? >> They had what? Oh yeah. >> WTI? >> They had a lot of -- they had some pretty good stuff, but a lot of it was mostly -- they had the big screw machine department on the other end, and that was all Avco stuff. Avco -- half the machine shop at Penn College, when I was in school was operated by Avco sponsorship for Avco people that they were training to use up at the plant. >> So there was a direct connection then between -- >> Avco, oh yes. >> Industry and -- >> Yep, very much. >> -- what Avco do -- Avco must have been doing war production then at that time. >> Oh yeah, yeah they were building a -- the big engine that Avco built was the R680 Airplane engine radial, interesting thing about that is right after Lindbergh flew the Atlantic, he had a Wright Whirlwind Plane, 220 horse, Avco designed -- they hired a guy, Val Cronstedt from Curtiss-Wright, left there and came to work at Avco and he was the designer of the Lycoming R-680 radial engine, that was 225 horse, Lindbergh's was 220. So Avco went in the airplane engine business right after Lindbergh flew the Atlantic when I was four year -- three months old, when Lindbergh flew, did he fly '27 or '29? >> I'd have to check, my dates. >> It was one or the other. >> 27 I believe. >> Yeah it was -- I was born in January of '27, but anyhow the -- that's how Avco got in the airplane engine business. And I met Val Cronstedt once and he died a couple -- maybe a year after I met him at a QB meeting, but he designed the Lycoming R-680 engine. He was the very early pioneer up there. >> So where was the building, or the shop located that you were taking your WTI Instruction? >> It's still there, right off Third Street, that first building down. >> And was that -- >> It was pretty new at the time. >> -- pretty new at that time? >> Yep. >> So the conditions were good? >> Oh yeah, yeah it was real nice, yep. >> You, at one time, considered taking automotive courses, and then you talked to Dr. Parkes, so what did he tell you? >> Well [laughter] -- >> And why did you want to take the automotive courses? >> -- well when I come over the first time, I saw the Caterpillar engine that [inaudible comment] that's where I wanted to be, where that Caterpillar engine was, and I told him I wanted to take that shop where that was, he says, "well", the best advice he ever gave me, he says "George, you're too mechanical for that, you take machine shop first, it's more basic". It's the only thing that could reproduce itself in the world that isn't biological is a machine shop. You can go in machine shop and build and build another one, but by God a Caterpillar engine will not build another engine. But a machine shop will build a Cat engine, and it'll build another machine shop, yep, that was the best advice. My youngest son, Joe runs my machine shop now. Graduated -- he took the two year machine shop course, and he was mechanical and I told him the same thing Doc Parkes told me, you take machine shop first, but he was working for our construction company putting in sewers and paving and all that, and now he runs our machine shop. Course he's crippled up real bad, you saw him today. >> And so you think that advice, for machine shop to be the foundation, was very wise? >> The beginning of anything mechanical, it's that machine shop is -- I couldn't -- anybody that likes machines, better go take machine shop first. >> Upon your graduating from the Williamsport Technical Institute in 1944 -- >> Forty-five. >> -- '45, so the war was over at that point or about to end. >> Yes. >> Right? You joined the Army Air Corps what -- >> I joined the Army Air Corps when I was 17, when I was a junior in high school, I joined the Reserve. >> -- okay. >> And I was supposed to, then when I turned 18, I'd be called to active duty and so in my senior year, before graduation, I was called to active duty, and I went to Keisterville, Mississippi, finished basic training, and I wanted to fly, so they -- the war in Germany was over, but we were still fighting Japan, so I volunteered for B-29 Gunnery School, it's the only job open, B-29 Tailgunner. And I had a Japanese World War II submarine commander in my house visiting from Japan and I told his daughter, because he couldn't speak English, he was on a mini-sub into Southern Japan to attack our invasion fleet on Okinawa, and on the 23rd of August these 90 midget submarines were to go down and attack our invasion fleet, and the war ended on the 15th. And I was waiting to go to B-29 Gunnery School, and I wouldn't have been anything else on the airplane, but a gunner. I go in -- I'd be in the back. I wasn't a radio man. I wasn't a mechanic, just a gunner that's all, six weeks on your own on aircrew. I told his daughter you tell your father if it wouldn't have been for the atomic bomb, probably neither one of us would be here talking to each other. >> Uh-huh. >> Because I would've been -- if the war would've lasted two more months I would've been overseas on the -- >> Uh-huh. >> -- on the 29th, yep. >> So upon the -- with -- when you finished in the service then you went to Penn State. >> That's right. >> And you majored in Agricultural Engineering -- >> Right. >> -- and upon graduation, you worked as you said earlier for International Harvester -- >> Right three years. >> -- and then you worked for Sprout Waldron in Muncy -- >> Right. >> -- and in 1957, you'd launched your own construction business -- >> Yep. >> -- and later also created Logue Industries, the machining -- >> Right. >> -- construction that you'd talked about. In what ways have you connected with what you learned from WTI? >> Oh, I couldn't have done nothing without it, when I was at Sprout Waldron, I saw a hydraulic backhoe working, and I wanted one of those real bad. To go out and dig ditches. And I checked and a new one was 3,000 dollars, and they said you could buy a used one for 1,500, so I wanted to buy a used one because I had 1,500 dollars left to finish my house. So I saw a salesman and kept trying to get a used one and I said well if you can't find me a used one, I'm going to build one and he kind of gave me a horse laugh, you know, and that'll be fun. Well by God I built one. I built my first backhoe and I started -- the first job I did for a guy, I charged him $5 an hour for me and the backhoe, and I dug a ditch from his house to his barn for $15, that was the first job I ever did with a homemade backhoe. And while I worked at Sprout Waldron, I had the homemade backhoe, and then I needed a dump truck, so I bought -- while I was at Sprout Waldron, I went to Fred Priest at the Muncy Bank and wanted to borrow 300 dollars to buy this dump truck, and he kind of asked me how much I made at Sprout's and stuff. He says, "well" something like "we'll take a chance on you". He gave me the money and I bought an old beat up Ford dump truck. So now, I had a dump truck and a backhoe, so I started digging ditches after work and Saturdays and stuff. Then the Caterpillar salesman -- somebody had heard that I wanted -- that I had an old tractor, an International, and that I wanted to someday get a new one and he came to see me at Sprout's, and at that time I had a good job at Sprout's, I was designing machine -- build -- build big machine for them that was very successful for them. But anyhow, I went down to see him and -- or he called me at the office, and I went down to the lobby and met him and he gave me a book on the new Caterpillar. I said, "Oh Ray", I said - I met this guy Ray Boan [assumed spelling], I said, "Ray, I never -- where would I ever I get 12,000 dollars?" "You got a homemade digger don't you? "Yep." "You got a dump truck don't you?" "Yep." "Well, we'll get your tractor." I said, "Oh my God", you know, I -- it was unbelievable that I could get one, so we went down to see the sales manager. He talked to me about it, he says, "well, we'll buy your backhoe from you for $2,500, and then we're going to sell you back the backhoe and a tractor with it and you're going to have a $2,500 down payment. " And you'll pay 603 a month for 24 months and it'll be yours. So I went and told Sprout Waldron I was leaving, that I got my own backhoe and Harold Soars, that owned Sprout Waldron, come over to the office to see me and he said, "if you ever decide you don't -- I know you love digging and if you don't want to dig why I won't guarantee you a job, but we'd sure like to talk to you if you want to come back. " So five years later we were building a bridge in Yousville [assumed spelling] and H. M. Soars had to cross that temporary bridge we built, and that man took the time to write me a letter and saying how proud he was of my success in business, and I thought that was wonderful. I really treasured hearing it -- having him do that. But after I left Sprout Waldron, I left on the 3rd of July and he asked me, it was an odd day to quit. I says, "yea, but I don't want to take a day's vacation from you and then leave, so I'll quit before vacation". He says, "well, that's very honorable of you" or something to that effect. All of Sprout Waldron's work they ever did, they never moved a bucket of dirt that I didn't move. I paved -- did their paved their work down there after I quit, they were very good to me, wonderful company, wonderful people. >> Well, you respected people and people respected you. >> Oh they treated me, yep, Harold Soars, he owned the company, he was a wonderful guy. >> Yep, well in 1993, you received the Alumni of the Year award from Penn College. What did that mean to you? >> Well, it meant a lot, you could -- especially to my mother if she would've been living, because whenever my report card come home, she'd always be mad for a couple days, from Penn State and Penn College and like dad always used to say, it's the end of the race that counts, [laughter] and I said -- was 1993, roughly what's that 50 years after graduating from '45 to '95, almost 50 years, or '93, 48 years afterwards, I got that. That's the end of the line and that to me -- I would much sooner have that, you know, I got a letter from the girl who was an English -- PhD in English at the school when I got that award, and she wrote me a letter and I think the first time -- her father was the head of the sanitarium -- authority secretary, but Gene Heller, she never got married, but she wrote me a very nice letter and she knew who I was, because I was in English class with her when I first went to high school, and she said that she was very proud of the fact that I did that, because -- and another girl told me -- Jean Stamen [assumed spelling] from Stamen -- she was in my -- she knew me in school and she made a comment that well something to the affect of, "well George, you finally made it after all, we didn't think you would, but you did", or something to that affect and I saw her, we still -- she -- they were classmates that Mary Jean and Marvin [assumed spelling], yep. >> Well speaking of recognition then 16 years later in 2009, you received the alumni year of award from Penn State, what did that mean to you? >> Oh, that was -- I couldn't -- I know -- when I got it from the local school, like from here, it was a wonderful thing, and I thought then, boy I sure as hell never see one from Penn State as big of school as that was and the -- when I got that I was eating dinner at home, and my wife was at the other end of the table and the phone rang and she answered the phone and I kept on eating and she says, "oh yeah, well he'll be glad to hear that, yep he's right here, yep I'll tell him, it's okay to tell him now, okay, thank you". "Who was that?" "That was the Dean at Penn State. You've been awarded the Outstanding Alumnus Award." "No." "Yep." They'd been working on it for six months and -- for several months they'd been working on it, but they didn't want me to know until they were sure they were going to give it to me. Because they were investigating me, making sure I wasn't in any trouble with anybody [laughter] or anything. They didn't want to get embarrassed. They didn't want me to be in Sandusky or something, so that was -- yeah that was real nice. And the -- I have a some stuff -- I'm building something now that'll never work, but by God I'm going to try and what really I -- I worked on it, and what it is -- I didn't even know what you called it until the Penn State Dean come down here, after I got the award to see my shop. I showed it to him, he says, "well hell, that's an anti-gravity machine". Well what it is, if it worked, and did I show it to you? >> No. >> I didn't show it to you the -- oh, well if this thing worked, you could be sitting on -- have an engineer at Briggs and Stratton and speed it up, it'd float into the air. Now the German Government at the end of World War II worked on it. They worked on it -- they said it would change the outcome of the war, because of their rockets and stuff. The U.S. Government spent billions of dollars trying to defy gravity, and I didn't even know that's what you called this thing. And after I -- after he told me what it was, I went and looked it up on the internet and there's -- I'm pretty close to what some other guys are working on, but it's a thing that well -- it's a series of weights that they're always on the side of the spin, so you're supposed to float where it goes, but it doesn't work. And -- but anyhow, he asked me if he could take a picture of it, I said, "hell yes", you can't patent something if it don't work [laughter] and I don't care who sees it. But I've got some nutty things I'm still working on. >> But you're having fun. >> Oh, I'm having fun, yeah. >> Well as we move to a closure, and I have a few more questions to ask. >> Yep. >> Is there anything significant that we should add that we haven't covered? >> Oh, I don't know there's been so many things, you know, like in aviation, I went down and took an airplane ride, and I ended up with a new twin engine Beechcraft with radar and all the goodies on it and flew all over North America, been in Canada and so on. And then 19 -- the year after I got the Beechcraft, to me Beech is the ultimate airplane. I mean private, they build it, the King Air which is a turbine, and so the -- my first year after I got my Baron, I got the equivalent of the alumni award from them. I was out to the Beech Aircraft Company [music] I was -- oh excuse me. I was elected the Profile Pilot of the year. I'm not going to answer it. But I was a Profile Pilot so when they had their annual meeting, I got up and gave a talk about why I bought a Baron and so forth. That was a great honor, to -- and I met Olive Beech, and she took my wife and the other couple that was with me out to lunch, Olive Beech. And another time, I was in the John Birch Society for a little bit, but I went down to a meeting at Bunker Hunt's house, and they got me a reservation at a hotel. Bunker Hunt's Secretary called me and he was the billion -- million -- billionaire and after they -- I was going to fly down to the Dallas -- to the Dallas, Fort Worth Airport, my two daughters wanted to go along, my two young daughters, so I called the Secretary. I said, "hey, I need another room for my two daughters". So when I got down to the airport and went to the hotel to sign in, there was a note there from Caroline Hunt, Bunker's wife, said if your two daughters aren't otherwise disposed, I'd like to take them out to dinner tonight. So she came to the hotel, Caroline Hunt, Bunker Hunt's wife, and drove the car herself and took my two daughters out to dinner. I said to my two daughters, "just mark that down in your book. That is a big deal [laughter] to have somebody like that." And then as far as people that you've probably heard of Bob Feller, the famous baseball player? >> Uh-huh. >> Yeah, he died last year, it was '93 and he collects Caterpillars, but I'm a big Caterpillar collector. I'm recognized as having a large collection, and he came to see my Caterpillars and he was here for a little league game, and they -- he was down at -- signing books down at the mall and he asked somebody if they knew where George Logue was. And one guy said, "sure I know him." So the guy called me up he says, "Bob Feller is down here, he wants to see you". So I went down there and he was there at a line of people there, and I got in the line and I gave him something to sign. I said, "you're -- I said I'm George Logue". "Oh are you? Oh good, good I want to see your tractors". So all these people are lined up he says, "see you later folks, I'm leaving", [laughter] and they said, "yeah but what about, well, I'll be" And they said, "well, you got to be at the ball field at 6 o'clock or" - "well I'll be there, don't worry about that. I'm going with this guy." So he went up with me, and then I showed him the tractors and then I took him down and left him off at the field and he went out there at the ball field and threw some balls and then he invited me out to his place and I stayed at his place overnight, out in Cleveland, Ohio. And stayed there overnight and his wife gave me breakfast and then I went on out to where his home is out in Iowa. He's from Van Meter, Iowa and he's been here several times to see my -- when he's in this area, he's been to see my tractors and he used to call me regularly about questions about needing parts and service or something on them. So -- but I've had calls from all over the world on Caterpillars. >> So that little Caterpillar your dad bought, when you were five is -- has created quite a journey for you -- >> Oh yeah. >> -- it still is. >> Still up there, looks brand new and runs real good. >> Well as you look at the Penn College Campus now, in fact you commented on it as we were driving in here this morning, what do you think in comparison to when you saw this area as WTI Student? >> Well it's come a long, long ways. Went a hell of a lot farther than I did and I came along ways where I was. Yep it's a beautiful school. I always said that for a town to be successful, it's got to have a college. You name any town that's got a college, and it's a going town and this here place, it's like I told Doc Neuthet [assumed spelling] from Lycoming, and when I saw him and Berger [assumed spelling] together, I told you this before, I said, you know, one thing about Lycoming teaches you how live and Penn College teaches you how to make a living. [Laughter] And yeah I knew both of them. I was on the Bank Board with them and -- but yeah it's -- what this does for the area is -- I can't get machinists now. I can't get them what -- or -- we -- that new lathe, I got a guy that left me about four years ago. I got him to come back to run it because they're just impossible to get. I don't know how many machinists you're training here, but you're not training enough of them. I hear people being out of work. All they do is come up here and learn how to run a lathe, and by God I'll give them a job. >> Well as you look back at your time at WTI studying machinery, what are the most important or satisfying memories? >> You know, we had one teacher, Omar Harris who taught English, and I saw Omar before he died and talked to him, and I said, "you know Omar, the one thing you did, when I was a kid in high school, is you did something that no other instructor did up here, you taught us how to live". I said, "I remember when you'd -- I remember Carl Fielder the contractor, and Carl didn't like you. And I said, "Carl", I said, "I know you didn't like Harris because Harris used to" -- this don't publish this - "I said you know, you didn't like Harris because if you weren't someone who was cutting up", he'd -- in English Class, he'd say, "you act like - says, "oh, it's bad enough to come from Breech Road, but you don't have to act that way". And he used to tell us shop kids -- he used to try to move us a step up and -- because we were the low lifers at high school, the shop guys, and he -- Omar Harris made a real effort to give us pride and behave ourselves, and I admired Omar for that, yep he lived to be in his 90's. Did you ever know him? >> No, I didn't. >> Oh my, he was the English teacher. >> Uh-huh. >> And imagine teaching English to shop students. That was about as far as, I told you earlier on, that was the one subject I thought was a total bore, was never a total bore with Omar Harris, because he never talked about it. >> Well, it sounds like Omar Harris and Horace Lowell and George Parkes had a great influence on you. >> Absolutely. >> And you went running quite far with the foundation that you got. >> They were wonderful, they were wonderful people, they -- when you think, you know, in this life, just like I have 10 children, I have lost one recently, but when I think of raising my kids, the important thing is that they learned responsibility. I never gave my kids an allowance, I said, "hell you'll grow up thinking the Government owes you money, when I don't owe it to you. I don't owe you nothing, you have to work if you want money. Here you got to work." And my kids, they got money, but they had to work for it and I don't want my kids growing up thinking that they're entitled to something every week, just because they're alive. Breath doesn't -- just breathing doesn't guarantee you nothing. You have to do it on your own. >> Which you certainly have done George. I want to thank you for sharing your story of your early years and your connection with George Parkes and with the Williamsport Technical Institute and the faculty, and the many hours of needed to -- many hours will be needed to cover the rest of your life and all the accomplishments you've done. By all signs, you have much more that you can and will do, so thank you for taking time from your busy time of working and playing. >> Oh, Dan you've been an inspiration to me. It's always wonderful to meet a guy like you, because you're the kind of guys that are here -- the kind of people that build America and make people what they are. And you have the effect on the young people more than I do, because you're teaching them all the time, you know. It's just like Omar Harris the way he used to try to you know, get fellas to have pride in themselves and so forth. And some -- yep. >> Well thank you George for your kind words. >> Oh sure Dan. [ Music ]


Wright Township was named for Greenwood Wright, a pioneer settler.[2]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Wright Township, Wayne County, Iowa
  2. ^ Stuart, Theodore M. (1913). Past and Present of Lucas and Wayne Counties, Iowa: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement, Volume 1. S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. p. 306.

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