The Antique Engine and Tractor Association held its annual show September 15, 16, 1979, at the Ivan Wildermuth Farm, near Geneseo, Illinois. Many area residents and engine enthusiasts turned out to take in the numerous exhibits at the show and to enjoy the beautiful late summer weather that weekend.
Steam engines are always popular with the public and there were three good ones in operation both days of the show. Club president, John Laue brought his 22 HP Wood Brothers, and his 19 HP Keck-Gonnerman steam engines. These engines are in fine condition and have also been displayed at the Stephenson County Antique Engine Club Show at Free-port, Illinois. Milo Mathews, of Cameron, Illinois, showed his dandy little 10 HP Advance, which was the oldest engine displayed. Milo hauls this engine on a triple axle trailer behind his pickup, which is something most steam engine owners cannot do.
A good variety of gas tractors were also on hand, ranging from the unusual, such as a 40-65 Reeves, 15-25 Fairbanks-Morse, 14-28 Oil Pull, and 12-24 Russell, to the later and more common models of such well-known companies as John Deere, Case, International, etc. Some of the larger tractors took their turn at threshing or running the Baker Fan, while others kept busy moving around the grounds doing various hauling chores or giving rides to interested spectators.
The high point of the day for many youngsters was the ride on a tractor 'just like the one grandpa had!'
A large gas engine display was set up in a grove at the edge of the show grounds. The products of a good variety of engine manufacturers were represented in 'Gas Engine Row.' Many exhibitors had their favorite engines belted to early day machines as they were when in use on farms in the days before rural electrification.
Threshing of stacked oat bundles was featured throughout both days with the separator powered by both steam engines and gas tractors. Bill Sievert of Princeton, Illinois, was in charge of the threshing and kept things running smoothly.
Food was available on the grounds from facilities operated by the club. Joe McCosh was chief cook and bottle washer of this operation when he wasn't engineering his Fairbanks-Morse tractor.
The 1980 show will be held on September 13 and 14, again at the Wildermuth Farm, four miles east of Geneseo, Illinois, on Highway 6. In addition to the show this year, there will also be a Consignment Sale of engines, tractors, parts, and many other related items. The sale is set for Saturday, September 13, 1980.'