George Logue's Story

In Memory George E. Logue Sr. - Jan. 30, 1927 Oct. 30, 2012

Neighborhood Mentor

A metal lathe in the Parkes' family home inspired a lifetime of success for 1945 WTI graduate George E. Logue. Logue grew up in a house one block from the Parkes' home. He first saw the metal lathe on a workbench in a dark corner while playing with Parkes' son and other friends.

'Mr. Logue and myself on one of his beloved caterpillar tractors!' Image submitted by Brian McGuigan (service and operation of heavy equipment, 1981)"Dr. Parkes came down in the basement and he saw me looking at it and he said, 'I bought it for George and he never used it. If you want to play with it, you can.' Well, that didn't last too long. He couldn't get rid of me."

Watch videoParkes invited Logue to attend Saturday machining classes at WTI. He got involved in summertime National Youth Administration classes held at WTI, and in the 11th grade, began attending the school full time.

He studied in the machine shop; but was almost enticed into another program by his love of Caterpillar engines. As a 5-year-old boy, Logue began a lifelong connection with the iconic brand when his father bought a tractor for the family farm. When he spied a Caterpillar engine in the WTI automotive shop, he was ready to change his course of study.

"That's where I want to be where that Caterpillar engine was," he remembered thinking. But Parkes gave him different advice.

"The only thing that can reproduce itself in the world that isn't biological is a machine shop."

"George, you're too mechanical for that," Logue said the WTI founder told him. "You take machine shop first; it's more basic. The only thing that can reproduce itself in the world that isn't biological is a machine shop. You can go in a machine shop and build another one. A Caterpillar engine will not build another engine, but a machine shop will build a Caterpillar engine and it will build another machine shop."

Machine shop, 1944As the owner of one of the largest collections of Caterpillar tractors and equipment in the world today, Logue still believes Parkes was right. "That was the best advice he ever gave me."

With a backhoe he built in his basement, Logue started his first company in 1957. He later sold that construction business and expanded his manufacturing interests into Logue Industries Inc. He holds five patents. He also earned an award as Outstanding Alumnus of Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences; he graduated from that program in 1951.

In addition to Parkes, Logue shared memories of other early, influential leaders. They included Horace Lowell, who taught the first Saturday WTI class where he learned to use a metal lathe; John Shuman, a key WTI administrator who lived across the street from the Logue family; Lewis Bardo, who taught Lycoming Engine employees on machining equipment that Logue envied from the other side of the classroom; and Omar Harris, an English teacher who had the seemingly impossible job of teaching English to "shop kids."

"He tried to move us a step up. Omar Harris made a real effort to give us pride," Logue recalled.

Logue earned the college's Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1973.

Full interview transcript

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