Content Tools

Sec.-Treas., 339 West Green St., Decatur, Illinois

In the month of Feb. 1963, a meeting was held in Decatur, Illinois, for the purpose of forming a Steam Engine and Thresher club, later known as THE DECATUR STEAM ENGINE & ANTIQUE CLUB. Three officers were chosen to operate the club, namely--Mr. Loren Hampsmire, Pres. Mr. Albert Rennewanz, Vice Pres., and Mr. Glenn Combs, Sec. & Tres.

Mr. Hampsmire is an engineer for the Wabash Railroad. Mr. Rennewanz is plant engineer for the Swift Co. and Mr. Combs has his own business as gas engine sales and service.

All officers have steam engines and related equipment.

After the forming of the club plans were in the making for a thresher show. A suitable place was found with good drinking water and plenty of shade, plus a picnic grounds with a large parking place. The three officers prepared the adjoining fields for 15 acres of oats. The harvesting of the grain was completed with Mr. Hampsmire's horse drawn 8 ft. McCormick-Deering binder. An arena was made to have the Piatt County Trailblazer horse show displayed.

At the date of July 27 & 28 the thresher show was to begin with a total attendance of 3000 persons.

Mr. Hampsmire had two engines, a 1925 Baker and a 1920 Aultman-Taylor, and his Avery metal separator plus his Twin City and McCormick-Deering Tractors.

Mr. Combs had his 1929 Jumbo Harrision and a 1913 Case engine, also a Keck-Gonnerman 32' wooden separator.

Both officers had five restored small gas, water cooled engines on display and running.

Mr. Rennewanz is in the process of completing a scale model Case engine.

Mr. Reams of Taylorville brought his 26 HP up for the show. A very fine Heider Tractor like new and owned by Mr. Wm. Bragg of Atwood, I11., being of the 1917 - 12-25 model was at the show. A Mr. Kingston of Weldon, I11., brought his 1925 - 15-27 John Deere Tractor to function at the show. Both of these tractors run and looked like new. A saw mill was in operation with power furnished by the Twin City Tractor and the Baker. A Mr. Storm of Monticello, I11. had his scale model engine and wagon hauling loads of people around the parade route. No accidents of break-downs occurred of which the club is very thankful.

A lunch wagon was on hand to serve the people. The place where the show was held was 3? miles southeast of Cisco, Illinois, known as Timber Inn Park.

After the show the officers decided that the show should be an annual event and plans are being made to hold next season's show at a date to be announced later. Since the closing of the show Mr. Combs and Mr. Rennewanz have made a large fan which has been tried out on Mr. Combs Jumbo, and has proven a success. A water wagon also has been added and just refinished and owned by Mr. Combs. A third separator, a 28' Huber Steel has been purchased by Combs, and is being restored for the next show.