Minneapolis-Moline Prairie Gold Rush Convention

Minneapolis-Moline collectors come out in force for annual National Prairie Gold Rush.

| April 2014

  • Loren Book, Nevada, Iowa, at work with his 1920 Universal D. Loren’s Universal was the oldest MM tractor at the show.
    Photo by Loretta Sorensen
  • Prairie gold was easy to come by during the Gold Rush, when Minneapolis-Moline collectors came from several states to join the fun.
    Photo by Loretta Sorensen
  • Gary Olsen with his 1930 21-32 Twin City tractor.
    Photo by Loretta Sorensen
  • This team of Belgians is being used to pull the grain wagon into place so grain can be unloaded into an elevator that is operated with a horse-power driven by the Percheron team at back. The Belgians are owned by John Hansen, Canova; the Percherons by Lowell Grave, Hartford, S.D,; and the truck by Larry Miller, Montrose, S.D.
    Photo by Loretta Sorensen
  • Phillip Fett with his Minneapolis-Moline 4293 combine.
    Photo by Loretta Sorensen
  • Dennis Solvie with his Minneapolis-Moline G900 tractor.
    Photo by Loretta Sorensen
  • Curtis Rink with his original 1927 Twin City 21-32.
    Photo by Loretta Sorensen
  • Gary Olsen’s 1958 Minneapolis-Moline Model UTS Diesel.
    Photo by Loretta Sorensen
  • Although plans for a record-breaking plowing demonstration were canceled because of inclement weather, a number of field demonstrations were held during the show.
    Photo by Loretta Sorensen
  • Plowing with a 3-horse hitch on an MM 1-bottom tractor plow (a fore-cart on the front of the plow makes it possible to use with horses).
    Photo by Loretta Sorensen
  • Antique threshing machines were pressed into service one more time at this mass demonstration.
    Photo by Loretta Sorensen
  • Dennis Solvie’s restored dealership pickup.
    Photo by Loretta Sorensen
  • A display of cast iron seats shown by Don and Arlis Hentges, Humboldt, S.D.
    Photo by Loretta Sorensen

Precious pieces of burnished gold blazed across southeast South Dakota prairies Aug. 8-11, 2013, during the four-day Minneapolis-Moline National Prairie Gold Rush Summer Convention in Humboldt.

The show was held in conjunction with the Humboldt Threshermen’s Assn. annual threshing show and the Siouxland Collectors Club (attracting members from South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Indiana) and hosted by Prairie Gold Rush magazine. It attracted a diverse display of Minneapolis-Moline tractors, plows, combines, shellers, threshers and collectibles that shone under beautiful prairie skies.

Combine collector

Siouxland Collectors Club President Phillip Fett says the group hoped to provide a visual history of Minneapolis-Moline as well as provide opportunity for people to relive memories of their own MM equipment. Tractors and equipment were featured in static displays as well as demonstrations of corn shredding, shelling, threshing and plowing.

“It’s much more interesting for people to see how equipment works,” Phillip says. “Many people no longer understand how this older equipment was used. It’s rewarding to demonstrate it for others to see.”



Phillip brought pieces from his unique collection of self-propelled MM combines. The MM Harvestor, a remnant of the early days of combine design, was advertised as the first lightweight, high-capacity combine and offered “the best way to ensure a profit every year.”

Minneapolis-Moline was well-known for innovative plow designs and many industry firsts, including what may have been the first two-way (or rollover) plow. Organizers of the Humboldt show had planned a 100-bottom MM plow demonstration, in what they hoped would be the largest MM plowing demonstration ever. Unfortunately, untimely rains left fields too muddy to plow. However, show attendees found no shortage of interesting machines to enjoy.



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