Minneapolis-Moline Prairie Gold Rush Convention

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


| April 2014



1920 Universal D tractor

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

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.