Robert Dean Hinshaw

                                                  ┌── James Clarence Hinshaw
                                                  │    1886-1963 
                       ┌── James Harken Hinshaw ──┤
                       │    1914-1977             │
                       │                          └── Floe Elizabeth Harken
                       │                               1886-1975 
Robert Dean Hinshaw ───┤
B: 1940                │                          ┌── William Zeren
                       │                          │
                       └── Dorothy Mary Zeren ────┤
                            1915-2012             │
                                                  └── Gertrude Imelda (Zeren)
M: Nancy Ann Schmidt
   ├── Dean Allen Hinshaw (1961-) 1
   ├── Glen Dale Hinshaw (1962-) 1
   └── Jennifer Lynn Hinshaw (1967-) 1

Robert Dean Hinshaw     [ID 13798] Click here to switch to Ahnentafel view: Ahnentafel View

Robert Dean Hinshaw1 [Bob Hinshaw2].

Born 1940.1  

He married Nancy Ann Schmidt.1  Nancy, daughter of Howard Clement Schmidt & Bernice Alma Schewe, was born 1942.1,3,4,5  

Robert and Nancy currently (2004-2010) reside in Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona.4,6  

The following article was published in the "The Daily Courier" (Prescott, Arizona) on September 3, 2007:7

Prescott man restores treasured Ford Woodie

PRESCOTT - Not long after he laid eyes on the decrepit antique car's body, Bob Hinshaw knew he had to resuscitate its bygone beauty.  

A few years ago Hinshaw, who has restored classic vehicles for decades, took a trip to Maricopa and hauled away a rough-looking 1951 Ford Woodie Wagon from an acquaintance's garage.  

Even though its trademark maple-wood paneling was decaying, its paint job was in lackluster condition and its interior was tattered, Hinshaw brought the unique car back from the dead.  

Today, the Woodie is 80 percent restored, complete with new wood siding, gorgeous kiwi-green body paint, six-way power seats, whitewall tires and a rejuvenated dash that includes the original odometer, clocks and gauges.  

"My folks had one," said the 67-year-old Hinshaw of the historic Woodie model.  "When I was probably 13 or 14, we lived in Boulder, Colo., and our family car was a 1950 Ford Country Squire Wagon.  So I've always had a soft spot for them."  

In December 2004 Hinshaw spotted the Woodie after attending a car show in Scottsdale where he made contact with a man at an auto parts swap meet.  

"I asked the guy if he knew of or had any Woodies," Hinshaw said.  "He said he just happened to have a whole bunch of cars they were going to sell from his dad's estate."  

A month later, on his way to Tucson, Hinshaw stopped in Maricopa to check out a dilapidated Woodie resting in an unlit garage.  

"I kind of walked away from the car the first time, and then I took the flashlight back in.  It was so dirty and dusty," he said.  "Then I started looking inside the car and noticed that even though it was cut up and butchered, the radio, heater and all the interior and trim pieces were there."  

Hinshaw later hauled the Woodie up to his workshop off Navajo Drive, where he painstakingly restored it.  He installed a modified 351 V-8 engine from a 1984 Ford van, as well as a new automatic overdrive transmission and a 9-inch rear end.  

Hinshaw also replaced the Woodie's rotten wood with treated 1-inch maple paneling that he had bought several years ago.  

"When they built Granite Mountain Junior High, they laid half the gym floor, and the school board came in and said the cracks were too big," said Hinshaw, whose father built midget racecars in the 1940s.  "They made them tear it up.  Another guy and I bid on it, and I got about 500 board feet of it.  I've had it stored in my shed for years, and I decided to make my wagon out of that."  

After he has completely restored the car in the next three to four months, the Hinshaws will use it for traveling and pulling an old Airstream trailer.  

Hinshaw said it was quite a challenge to return the wagon to a respectable condition, but he has enjoyed the labor nonetheless.  "The doors are all framework and the middle panels all screw on the inside with about 50 screws," he said.  

In 1951, Ford made less than 30,000 Woodies.  

The car's original owners typically used them for family vacations and performing odd jobs on estates along the East Coast and California ranches.  

The roomy wagon features a hatchback with easy access for hauling bulky items such as luggage.  In the 1950s when passenger trains still were popular, Woodies would arrive at the depot to pick up riders and drive them to their intended destinations.  

"Ford was one of the largest manufacturers of Woodie Wagons," said Hinshaw, a retired firefighter who is a charter member of the Prescott Antique Auto Club.  "They actually produced them in the Model A's in the late 1920s.  

The 1951 Woodie was the last model to feature genuine wood paneling on its exterior doors.  Most of the early Woodies' frames were 75 percent wood, but in 1949, '50 and '51, Ford transitioned to steel-framed shells and bolted the wood on it.  

"In 1952 they went to an all-steel body," he said.

The following article was published in the "The Daily Courier" (Prescott, Arizona) on July 4, 2012:8

Prescott's ladder truck #1 returns to 1931 glory

PRESCOTT - When Bob Hinshaw was driving the Prescott Fire Department's ladder truck on his first fire call in 1962, he couldn't have imagined that exactly 50 years later he'd be driving the same truck in the Prescott Frontier Days parade after the Prescott Antique Auto Club bought and restored it.  

Prescott Fire Department mechanic Josh Spivey originally taught Hinshaw how to drive the humongous 40-foot-long truck - kind of.  

"They were kind of rough on rookies back then," Hinshaw said.  "He taught me how to shift it wrong and I got in trouble.  I buried the four-wheel-drive down into the frame."  

Hinshaw worked out of the relatively new fire station at the corner of Granite and Goodwin, now the Old Firehouse Plaza, built in 1957.  

His first fire call in 1962 was to a kitchen fire at the Hassayampa Inn.  

"It was scary because I'd never driven anything but a dump truck," he said.  

But probably not as scary as training on the truck's wooden ladders that were as long as 60 feet.  Firefighters would climb up those ladders on one side and go down the other.  

Sometimes as many as 20 volunteers would stand on the truck's two-foot-wide running boards and hold onto the long chrome grab handle, below the pike poles used to punch through burning ceilings.  At their feet were pick axes attached to the running boards.  

The late Joe Mackin told The Daily Courier in 1987 that he and his young friends watched the shiny new 1931 Seagrave ladder truck arrive on a train in Prescott from Columbus, Ohio.  It was Prescott's first ladder truck so it was painted with the number 1.  

Mackin later became the Prescott Fire Department's fire marshal.  His son Pat Mackin has now helped restore the fire truck.  

The ladder truck was a fixture in town until it was retired from service in 1983, remembers Pat Mackin's cousin Janet Travis, also a Prescott Antique Auto Club member.  Both the Mackin and Travis families date back to the 1800s in the Prescott area.  

Back when the Prescott Fire Department consisted mostly of volunteers, the fire department would honk out a code system on a bullhorn to let everyone in town know where a fire was taking place, Travis recalled.  

Basically everyone in town had a cheat sheet on the wall of their home that explained which code went with which street corner.  For example, if the number 312 represented the corner of Willis and Cortez, the horn would honk three times, pause, honk one time, pause, and then honk twice.  

The horn also sounded twice at 8 a.m. and twice at 8 p.m., a signal for the kids in town that it was time to go home.  

"Mayberry was a lot like Prescott was," Travis said.  

When Pat Mackin and other Prescott Antique Auto Club members heard the truck would go up for auction, they decided to bid on it.  

Prescott's sister city of Caborca, Mexico outbid the auto club but when Caborca officials found out the water pump didn't work, they didn't want the truck.  So the club got it for $1 with plans to restore it. Someday.  

For years the truck sat in various storage facilities until club members resolved to build a place where they could have room to restore it and conduct their meetings.  

County officials including the late Supervisor Gheral Brownlow allowed the club to lease space at the edge of the rodeo grounds and build a huge Quonset hut.  

Then in January 2009, club members embarked on a 3.5-year project to restore the truck to its original glory.  

Former club president Tom Holden pushed hard to make the project a reality, several club members said.  

"For the (Arizona) centennial, we said we've got to have it done," said current club President Charles Rulofson, who helped build enthusiasm.  

"Ted (DeVries) pretty much got up and said, 'We will have this done,'" Hinshaw added.  

The club has amassed a few hundred members since it organized in 1970, and many of them are experts in various types of auto restorations.  

So they knew their goal was possible, but they also knew it wouldn't be easy.  

For one thing, the truck had several 'upgrades' over its years of service such as the installation of an 8-cylinder Buick engine in place of the original 6-cylinder Hercules, aluminum ladders, and a windshield in place of the two original spotlights.  The club reversed the upgrades.  

The larger engine didn't have the torque to turn the pump anyway.  So Rulofson eventually found the right Hercules engine in Akron, Ohio.  

The names of volunteers are too long to list.  Hinshaw, Rulofson and fellow club member Bob Clover estimated a core group of about a dozen people spent about 3,000 to 4,000 hours on the restoration at a cost of $40,000 to $50,000.  The club collected about $10,000 in outside donations and many local businesses offered discounted labor and parts.  

DeVries donated countless hours of bodywork and painting on the project.  Pat Mackin and Rich Eckert did a lot of the mechanical work.  Rulofson hand-made sheet metal for the pump and other parts.  Ed Hoffman was a former Prescott Fire Department mechanic so he knew fire trucks well.  And Hinshaw now owns a body shop where painting could take place.  The club has about a half-dozen retired Prescott firefighters.  

Sometimes it could be frustrating to try to install a part that someone else removed.  Each bolt that was removed would go into its own individually labeled baggie.  Literally buckets of bolts were sitting around.  

Club members polished every bolt and plated some with new chrome, too.  They found a siren to match the original.  

"It's a labor of love," Rulofson confirmed.  

Looking at all the photos that Travis shot during the restoration process, Hinshaw shook his head.  

"It's amazing what we had to do to put that thing together," he said.  

And they got it done just in time for the Prescott Frontier Days parade Saturday during Arizona's centennial year, where the truck won the top vintage vehicle prize.  

Someday Hinshaw would love to see the truck sit in a fire museum by the old railroad trestle in downtown Prescott, next to a new fire station that the fire department has wanted to build for years.  

"The city was so good to me all those years and I just want to pass it back to them," Hinshaw said.

(photo)Photo: Robert Dean Hinshaw 2007, with his 1951 Ford Woodie Wagon 7


Sources

  1. Contribution from Elbert Ray Hinshaw.
  2. Contribution from Greta Hinshaw.
  3. Obituary of Bernice Alma Schmidt; "The Daily Camera" (Boulder, Colorado), Apr 4 2004; "Obituary Collection": http://www.ancestry.com.
  4. Obituary of Bernice Alma (Sehewe) Schmidt; "Daily Courier", Apr 6 2004; USGenWeb Archives Arizona Gravestone Project:
    http://obits.arizonagravestones.org./view.php?id=2756.
  5. Obituary of Howard Clement Schmidt; "The Daily Courier", Dec 21 2011:
    http://dcourier.com/news/2011/dec/21/obituary-howard-clement-schmidt/.
  6. http://www.anywho.com.
  7. "The Daily Courier", Sep 3 2007:
    http://dcourier.com/news/2007/sep/03/prescott-man-restores-treasured-ford-woodie.
  8. "The Daily Courier", Jul 4 2012:
    http://dcourier.com/news/2012/jul/04/prescotts-ladder-truck-1-returns-to-1931-glory/.


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