The photo I submitted to the February 2006 issue of Farm
Collector concerning the OilPull tractor and water wagon
should have had more information. As for making silage in the
1930s, that was not too possible in southeast Iowa. Due to the
drought, there was not too much green, and what the grasshoppers
didn’t eat, the chinch bugs finished. I wonder how many people
remember the trenches, filled with oil, and then ignited usually at
night, to kill the bugs. It finally took freezing weather to finish
In 1947 I worked for an oil exploration company in Louisiana and
asked why soybeans were planted around the corn fields. I was told
it was to keep chinch bugs out of the field.
The photos are of the first Old Thresher’s Reunion, Mt.
Pleasant, Iowa, in September 1950. I thought they would be of
interest. The event was planned by persons interested in
exhibiting, demonstrating and promoting equipment used in the past.
Some of the people involved were Milo Mathews, Pete Butcher, Ray H.
Ernst, Shellabarger Implement and a Deere & Co. block man (name
The first show was held mostly by word of mouth. There were five
steamers and some equipment on display, but not a great amount. The
steamers were shown on the Prony brake and a separator threshing
oats. One woman told me her father’s steamer burned the floor of
the trailer bringing it to Mt. Pleasant.
At the evening parade there was only a handful of people in the
grandstand. The big part of the parade was Pete Butcher balancing
his steamer on the teeter board – quite a feat! I also remember
there was a LaCrosse tractor in the parade.
The reunion had phenomenal growth when we attended again in
1962. There were many more exhibits, including a building for
antique autos. Railroad items were also shown. The Mark Twain
Zephyr train was a surprise, since I had ridden it to St. Louis and
it was the best train ride of many. It was amazing how the event
had grown in 12 years. Since I now live so far away, I have not
been able to attend but enjoy reading Farm Collector
articles about the event.
– Dale H. Brumm
1916 W. Palmer Ave.
Sioux City, IA 51103