Old Threshers Reunion Extended Family

Midwest Old Threshers Reunion offers backdrop for "family" reunion


| November 1999



A vintage Case steam engine displayed at Mt. Pleasant.

A vintage Case steam engine displayed at Mt. Pleasant.

Labor Day marked the last big weekend of the summer show season, and thousands of collectors chose to spend the three-day holiday at the 1999 Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. 

Among the collectors there was a diverse group who've grown close through their shared appreciation for vintage iron. The friendly banter and camaraderie of the group – all of whom camped in close proximity to each other – sounded like the ribbing more typical of a family reunion.

One of those in the extended "clan" was Ken Lage, Wilton, Iowa. Ken brought a 1935 Toro Model A tractor. The Toro Tractor Company made tractors prior to 1920, Ken said, but the company was bought out by Advance-Rumely in about 1924. Five years later, Toro bought back the rights to the name and building from Advance-Rumely, and Allis-Chalmers bought out the other part of the business.

Ken's Toro – built by a company now famous for lawnmowers – features a Model A Ford engine and transmission. The rear end was made by Clark.

"It was a component tractor they built," he said.

Ken found the tractor in June 1980 in a Corning, Iowa, salvage yard. What he found bears no resemblance to the classic he's been bringing to the Old Threshers Reunion every year since.