Milwaukee Model T Club History



* * * Tuesday, May 31, 1960 * * *

Don Chaulk

A parade of 15 Model T cars journeyed out to the Roger Liesener farm near Jackson Monday as the car owners went on a Model T digging expedition. Donald Chaulk of 1624 S. Sherwood dr., New Berlin and his son Douglas, 12, carefully checked over their 1923 roadster after arriving at the farm.

15 Model T Cars Chug to Hinterland in a Search for Another Masterpiece.

By William J. Normyle of the Journal Staff

As if there aren't enough automobiles jamming the highways, they're now digging them up.

Armed with shovels, picks and high hopes, owners of Model T Fords spent most of Monday seeking what to Model T lovers is the prize discovery -- an unrestored original, ripe for loving attention.

Even though the underground Model T turned out to be badly battered and almost worthless, the buried car provided plenty of memories -- on Memorial Day -- for the men and women who think Henry Ford should have quit before the Model A.

Escorted by Police

Fifteen of the creaking Model T chugged north out of Milwaukee on the quest, escorted by motorcycle police, a repair truck and a long line of curious modern car lovers.

'We took the truck along as a precaution,' said Martin Anderson of Cedarburg. 'Something usually goes wrong on the road'.

Anderson is a director of the 1,200 member Model T Ford Club International. He orgainzed Monday's outing to help form a Greater Milwaukee chapter of the club.

The objective was the RogerLiesner farm near Jackson in Washington county. Liesner had told Anderson that his father, Paul, had butied a 1918 Model T touring car at least 20 years ago, to help fill the basement of an abondoned house.

Tried Engines Get Rest

At the farm -- reached at a sedate 25 miles an hour which nevertheless forced several stops to rest the tired engines -- the club members solemnly stood over the site and held a brief ceremony.

The digging, it turned out, took all day. It was spurred on by the occasional discovery of a rusted seat spring, a broken wheel rim -- which might have, belonged to a buggy -- and other treasures.

Liesener helped with a bulldozer. His father, it seemed not only filled the hole with the Model T but also with and assortment of large and larger boulders.

When the car finally was uncovered and hauled from the its grave, it was found to be faintly recognizable as a Ford -- vintage undetermined. It brought $1 at auction for the springs.

Trailers Bring Cars

Among the Model T's which made the trip -- several were brought to the starting point in trailers -- was the 1913 brass and black model of Marvin R. Young and his wife, Hannah, of Matteson, Ill.

Their car, fully restored at a cost so far of $5,600, has wonevery competition in the last two years and is currently the best ModelT of the international.

Young said that parts wer bought from all over the United States, and many others were handmade. He bought the car for $750 -- it sold for $600 when new -- and worked on it for 18 months, bringing if back to the orginial red and black, brass bound beauty.

The oldest car at the metting was a big 1909 touring convertible owned by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Clark 1916 N. Oakland Av. It is a Clark family heirloom, and is only partly restored.

Model T Ford Club of Milwaukee

(It's humble beginning and its rise to the existing club today)

Martin Anderson, a Director in the International, started to round up Model T car owners in the Milwaukee area in 1960. By May 30th, the group was organized and a tour run (to dig up an old buried Ford on a farm near Jackson). It was here that the charter was signed. There were twelve members plus two gentlemen from Illinois to complete the necessary number required by the International for a Chartered Club. On July 30th, 1960 the Greater Milwaukee Chapter of the Model T Ford club was official.

1960 Martin Anderson - 1st President
Events of the first year are very vague. There were picnics and tours for sure. One was to the Anderson's home in Cedarburg after a tour to the covered bridge. The club also played host to a group from Chicago who came over on the ferry from Michigan, toured Miller Brewery and picnicked on South Shore Beach.
1961 Bernie Peck - 2nd President
A National tour was attended by several members and Mickey Peck won the Best Dressed Lady Award. That was also the year the club hired a bus to attend the National Banquets on January 21st, in Whiting Indiana. It was great except on the return to Milwaukee in subzero weather, the heater failed to work and it was a VERY cold ride, but the members survived by what was known in those days as Bundling.
1962 Don Chaulk - 3rd President
Best remembered tour that year was to a picnic at Whitnall Park on August 26th. There was a great turn out, many games and races played. Also remembered was a tour with coffee and doughnuts at Chaulk's before hand which was a jolly affair, perhaps the first such started in the club. A practice that was to follow many times later in the years to come.
1963 Ray Paul - 4th President
Ran a tour of city parks on the East Side, in early spring, that was the year the club decided never to run and early spring event on the East Side. It was a bit chilly to put it mildly. There were lots of picnics and the first Treasure Hunt of many to be hosted by Joe Konecny. The first big Halloween party was held at the Paul's home in their recreation room.
1964 Bernard Hearley - 5th President
Among the activities held this year was a judging contest; 1st place Ray Redell, 2nd place Bernard Hearley, 3rd place Ray Paul. One illustrious member, Ray Redell, a commercial artist had his drawings on the covers of two Model T Times Magazines, September/October, 1964 and November/December 1964. Really neat. This was also another year of many picnics.
1965 Robert Clark - 6th President
On June 13th a Picture Tour, run by Tom Seibers. Now that was one worth repeating. It was also the year of the 1st Schlitz Parade. The AACA had a large group in the parade, but most of the T members belonged to that club also, so most attended. That was a day no one will forget, either participants or spectators. This was also the year of the first over nighter run by Bernard Hearley to Wautoma Wisconsin and the Pecks Plantation. It was a buet, no big troubles, gorgeous weather, terrific time. Tom and Pat Seibers were editors of our 1st Planetary News Letter.
1966 Tom Seibers - 7th President
Tom ran a Historical Plaque tour in the downtown area followed by a picnic at his home.
1967 Ken Griesemer - 8th President
Over nighter to Elgin Illinois. First tour for Dave and Sandy St. George in their so called "Restored T". That you should have seen. This year there was a tour and picnic to Pewaukee Lake hosted by Robert Renner. I think this was also the year Ken ran a terrific Fall Telephone Book Rally. Bowling party had already become a tradition.
1968 Bob Renner - 9th President
Seems to be the first of several South gate Shows (for money). Also the first of several Bill Secord Splash Parties. Dave St. George's Dragon Party, at his farm, huge turn out, loads of fun. There was also a grand tour of Kettle Moraine area, run by Jim Lynch.
1969 David St. George - 10th President
Another Southgate Meet complete with trophy's as usual. Also another St. George Funny Farm picnic which attracted everyone and his uncle. Both Dave and Sandy worked like crazy to make each picnic a fabulous affair. This year was the first of buying and wearing badges at all affairs of the club. Dues went up to $3.00 from the previous $2.00.
1970 John Considine - 11th President
Johnson Wax tour by Tom Underwood, Bowling party, as usual, Southgate also. Picnic with the Kettle Moraine Chapter. First mention of Wally Rank show. On January 17th was the first Wernsman T Party. John was the first to suggest that a club photo album be started.
1971 Bob Leu - 12th President
This year the Model T Club was involved in the Schlitz 4th of July Parade. 1st Annual All Ford car show on display at Southridge. Tour of Don and Marion Woelberg's farm then onto the EAA Museum.
1972 Bob Wirth - 13th President
Annual Kettle Moraine Picnic at Fireman's Park in Germantown. How about the campout at Lazy Day Campground in West Bend. Christmas Party - Model T club and the Triumph Club at the Patio Club. The Triumph club presented Fred Lutzke with a picture of a Velocipede Car #19. Many lucky winners received liquid Christmas cheer.
1973 Don Chaulk - 14th President
Annual Wernsman Party - Kettle Moraine group put on a snack assortment that would make any hostess green with envy. Everyone had a great time as usual.
1974 Joe Konecny - 15th President
Roaring Twenties Party. As the title indicates this party roared. Everyone in costume. Audrey Luedke and Audrey (Rendflesch) Smirtnik were two red hot mama's. Bowling Party, this was a party of gutter balls, bouncers, curves and even one gal (on all 4's) was trying to coax her ball back to the fowl line.
1975 Dave Malbrun - 16th President
Bob Wirth begins the club photo album. Annual Wernsman party. Evening of good food, loads of fun and barrels of laughter. Tour to Kettle Moraine Railway - had a 7 mile round trip excursion to Merton. Family picnic at the Mattison household. There was a rally race track cutting and curving through Jim's a joining field. Hard Times party - I hear Bob Clark has a corset minus the garters and Ralph Van Zile came in shorts and an apron. Bob Renner won the lucky door prize, a decorative toilet seat.
1976 Jim Mattison - 17th President
Picnic at Luedke's posh picnic grounds - 72 people in attendance. How about the July 4th Whitefish Bay Bicentennial Parade when 19 T's showed up. The T's were the main attraction. Everyone helped and Carl Staples celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary at the spring outing at Army Lake.
1977 Vic Kasnierski - 18th President
Ride in the country and trip to Carl Staples Bee Farm. Remember the Holy Hill tour where the avid T'ers followed the Renners. Only one point were we all worried and that was when we were traveling East and noticed our fearless leaders passing us by going West. Made one have that lost feeling. Las Vegas Night at Betty and Jean Jenista's home and Ruth Venski bought a gallon of Polish pickles for $3,893,000.
1978 Carl Staples - 19th President
1st annual Blue Ribbon Rod Run. A day of fun. fun and more fun. Our club won the participation award for the day. Ice Cream couldn't have tasted better on a hot August day at our Ice Cream Social. Or how about the Poker Run with the Kettle Moraine group.
1979 Andy Anderson - 20th President
Spring tour to Watertown and the Octagon House. Alice Van Zile made a cake shaped into a T for everyone's sweet tooth. Fish never tasted so good as when Bob and Alice Wirth had the club to their home for an old fashioned Fish boil.
1980 Bill Hansen - 21st President
No one attended the annual over nighter can forget this one we had to Fond du Lac. The visit to Galloway House and Octagon House proved most interesting. How could anyone forget our dinner at the Atrium - remember Sh-h-h-h all night long?
1981 Ross Arnold - 22nd President
Annual Blue Ribbon Rod Run and our club winning the participation award once again. How about our great wives learning to drive. Maynard, you have patient's of an angel. Received an award from the Watertown Parade for the best antiques. Or how about our brave souls that weathered the over nighter to Jefferson and the surrounding towns - remember Mud Road?
1982 Dan Agnello - 23rd President
Events included PAC Tour, a drive to the Kissel Kar Museum in Hartford and a fall over nighter to Port Washington. Even the ladies became involved by participating in a driving seminar.
1983 Larry Ciganek - 24th President
A winery tour and a summer campout were two of many tours which were taken as the club members showed off their new red 'T Club' jackets. Larry, the club has never quite been the same since you and Kathy moved out of the state. I hope the Rockford club appreciates your unique sense of humor the way that we did.
1984 Bud Armstrong - 25th President
A year filled with Historical Tours and an abundance of 'Want Food - Will Travel' get togethers. Bud capped off his presidential year by running an outstanding 25th Anniversary Presidential Dinner.
1985 Mark Rasper - 26th President
Square dancing, a market place tour and an over nighter to Port Washington all added to the normal summer events to make this a memorable touring year.
1986 Myron Gouza - 27th President
The highlight of this year's numerous activities was the International Model T Club Tour held in Wisconsin Rapids. Seventeen families joined in on this unforgettable event.
1987 - 1989 Tim Kirst - 28th President
Our club's first multi term president. Three years of tours throughout Southern Wisconsin and even into Illinois, plus miscellaneous parades, plays and parties made Tim's Presidency not only unforgettable, but a hard act to follow.
1990 - 1993 Kevin Esser - 29th President
This year, inexperience replaced the journeyman President. The weather became the memorable factor of the year with a bitterly cold spring tour to Waukegan Illinois. 50 MPH wind storm on the way to the Palmyra parade in June, an unbearably hot 4th of July Picnic/Parade and a rainy August Steam Engine Show. The New Year's Eve Party was brought back by Michelle on a cold January night and a new money maker, the Stone Wood Village Show brought a continuing event to our future Fall agenda.
1994 - 1995 Tod Wirth - 30th President
Tod Wirth
1996 - 1997 Mickey Walbrun - 31st President
Mickey Walbrun
1998 - 1999 Tim Kirst - 32nd President
Tim Kirst
2000 - 2003 Erv Wilkowski - 33rd President
Erv Wilkowski
2004 - 2005 Maynard Knudson - 34th President
Maynard Knudson
2006 - 2007 Kent Sumner - 35th President
Kent Sumner
2008 - 2009 Erv Wilkowski - 36th President
Erv Wilkowski
2010 - 2011 Bob Wirth - 37th President
Bob Wirth