Reunion Reports


Old Time Thresher Show

Here is a picture of turning around on top of the hill at the 1962 Old Time Thresher Show.

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The 1962 'Old Time Thresher and Saw Mill Operator Show' was held on the James Whit berry farm north of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, turned out to be one of the best attended shows held on these or any other grounds. People by the thousands turned out to witness and enjoy one of the best planned shows held in the country.

This year, in addition to the daytime activities, a full schedule of events was advertised and held each evening. This was done for the benefit of those that worked during the day, so they could enjoy the same program scheduled for the day visitors.

Since there had been no rains in the Ft. Wayne area for some time and due to the extremely dry and dusty condition of the show grounds, the Hunter-town, Churubusco and Wayne township fire departments were kept busy wetting down the exhibition areas so that the visitor could enjoy the show without walking ankle deep in dust. These fire departments are to be thanked for their wonderful cooperation and consideration.

One feature of the show that was of great interest to the crowds was the three saw mills in operation at one time. The two permanently installed mills were powered by the various steam engines on the grounds. The third mill was a large portable brought by Mr. Richard Link of Star City, Ind. Anyone wanting additional information on this mill should contact Mr. Link at the above address.

Another very popular feature of the show was the plowing demonstrations, using the large, eight bottom prairie plows loaned to the show by Mr. Frank Miller of LaCrosse, Ind. and pulled by the larger steam engines. Even Sherrill Bonnells' 30-60 Aultman-Taylor gas tractor did it's part in the plowing performances. A novel feature was the Waterloo Boy tractor pulling the walking plow. Shay Bonnell of Kewanna, Ind. Manned the plow and his 10 year old son, Tommie, operated the tractor.

Other popular attractions of the show were the hill climbing stunts put on by Harry Wood man see of Dowling, Mich. He would steer his engine to the to p of the hill, then, while still on top, he would turn the engine completely around. Melvin Lugten of Hamilton, Mich, thrilled the folks with his engine balancing acts on the large balancing platform. He also brought to the show a veneer mill to show everyone the process used in slicing the thin sheets of wood off a log. Elmer Egbert of Botkins, Ohio, demonstrated how wooden shingles were made, in by-gone years, with his shingle mill.

As always, the visitor is interested in the threshing of grain. Enough oats was cut and shocked and then loaded on wagons to put on several threshing performances each day. It was a double feature. One outfit would thresh a load out, then the second outfit would thresh it's load, much to the enjoyment of all.

For the evening program, threshing was done by Rolland Maxwell of Huntington, Ind. with his Ellis Champion hand fed separator and powered by his Robert L. Gearge portable steam engine. The hill climbing was performed at night with the 30-60 Aultman-Taylor gas tractor; the engine balancing was put on nightly, the Baker fans were in operation, sawing of logs with the portable mill and many other attractions. Not to be overlooked, was the wonderful act put on by Nancy Lee and The Hill-toppers, musical comedy stars from Radio Station WOWO.

Westinghouse Radio Station WOWO and their farm service director, Jay Gould, co-sponsored the 'Old Time Thresher Show'. Personal from the station set up their mobile transmitting equipment for broadcasts direct from the show grounds. Jay Gould, who is known to millions of listeners throughout the tri-state area, gave his 'Dinner On The Farm' broadcast and Bob Sievers, gave his 'Man On The Street' program direct from the grounds. Other spot broadcasts were made, from time to time, throughout the day. Other personalities from the studio were also present to greet their listeners, in person.

People! People! Men, women and children; from the very old (one fine old gentleman was 97 years) to the babe in its mother's arms - where did they come from? They came as far away as India and Sweden, from every state in the U. S. and from several Canadian Provinces and some from places this writer did not know about. The visitors from foreign lands were College and International Farm Youth Exchange students from the Indian nation and an exchange student sponsored by the American Field Service from Sweden. One lady from Baltimore, Maryland won a clock radio and one man came from California to see his steam engine.

The Old Time Threshers were proud to have as their guests, the youngsters from the Allen County Children's Home. One thing, in particular was observed of these youngsters. They were well-mannered and very well-behaved, a credit to them and their counselors. One young man, speaking for his buddies, thanked everyone concerned for the good time shown them.

SEE YOU IN '63, Harold J. Gay, 633 Cleveland, St., Decatur, Indiana


One of the most successful shows ever held was presented at the Howell Leppo farm in Green mount, Md. from Sept. 20 to 22 with very large crowds, especially on Saturday when the grounds were crowded throughout most of the day.

Several new features this year were: Two steam engines working the Baker Fan at one time. Gilbert Wisner, had his Frick and Elmer Ebersole had Raymond Leppo's very old Frick puffing away at the same time on the fan to the delight of the spectators at numerous times during the show. Wilbur Baublitz had a portable sawmill in operation that he built this past summer, which proved quite interesting and operated very successfully. Another unique exhibit which perhaps was a first with steam shows was a display of Civil War weapons with firing of authentic 12-lb. cannon and muskets by the 2nd. Md. Artillery, Balto. Light C.S.A. As a special attraction on Saturday, there were three men that made parachute jumps during the afternoon. They were members of the Balto. Sky Divers Club. This was a show stopper and drew the attention of everyone present.

Another favorite attraction was the demonstration of a dog operating the tread-mill, churning butter. Silver, the dog from Red Lion, Pa. eagerly does his stuff at several shows in Pa. and Md. and always pleases the folks and we hope he can continue for the years to come.

There were exhibits of steam engines, gasoline engines, threshers, old farm equipment and other Early American items with about 40 antique cars on display on Saturday. Among the excellent line-up of gasoline engines was a 21 hp Otto engine, displayed by Sterling Walsh, which he has painted up and running like new. Practically all the machinery was in operation at various times and demonstrated how our fathers and grandfathers worked with them in years gone by, on our farms.

We were blessed with fair weather throughout the show, although it became quite cool in the evenings. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and we welcome them for next year.

The Show Committee wishes to thank everyone who had a part in any way to help make the show a success. It is only through the cooperation of everyone that a show of this nature can be staged.

J. RUSSELL EIKER, Route 2, Hampstead, Maryland


We had 2 Threshers, 2 Case 50, 2 Russell 16, 1 Port Huron 19, 1 Aultman Taylor 20 and a half scale model double that hauled kids all afternoon, 8  model steam engines and 6 steam cars running and one calliope playing pretty music. Program of day was: 7 A. M. Kiawanis Club served thresherman breakfast. 8 A. M. Chairman Tubbs set 2 big rigs between grain stacks ready to thresh, looked rainy. 9  A. M. Visitors ate breakfast, looked like rain, no big crowd yet. 10 A. M. Clouds began to break, sun came out and big crowds began to gather. 3 Rainier Sky Divers landed on Fair Ground. All steam engines whistled. 11 A. M. All big and little rigs started running. NOON - Governor Rosellini arrived by helicopter. 1 P. M. Gov. Rosellini crowned Threshing Bee Queen and had coro nation for her. 2 P.M. Big parade, dozens of beautiful horses, steam engines, steam cars, old cars, models and calliope. 3  P. M. Pony races and stage coach races. 4 P. M. Sheriff Stojock horse posse and Lariats Horse Club put on a horse opera. 5 P. M. Threshing almost done. Everyone was so happy and thankful it did not rain and ruin a day that is so dear to our hearts. The grain was slightly damp enough to make clean threshing and make each engine bark - the most thrilling-My! What I would have given for an oil-pull to help them bark. There are not enough English words to describe this wonderful day.

CLYDE J NICHOLS, 4214 - 37th So. Seattle 8, Washington

On September 8th and 9th, K. A. Thompson and Sons of Cottonwood, Minnesota held their 5th Annual Steam Threshing Show.

A Case 30 hp No. 25560 pulled a Case 1890 Agitator Thresher. A Case 75 hp No. 30445 was belted to an Advance Rumely 36 inch wing fed separator. Also sawing lumber and going through the paces, were a Minneapolis 40-80 No. 734, an Aultman Taylor 30-60 No. 1488 and a Case 20-40 No. 12531, a Moline Universal Tractor, a 16-30 Rumely, a Titan 10-20 and a great deal of antique machinery and gas engines were on display. Also several model engines attracted a great deal of interest. Several thousand people attended this interesting show.

EDWIN BJORNEBO, Cottonwood, Minnesota

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