The first Exhibition and Show of the Old Settlers and
Threshermen’s Association, organized September 14th, 1954, was
held at Mexico, Missouri, on Saturday, October 2nd, at the Mexico
Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and endorsed by the Lions
and other Civic Clubs, and timed to coincide with the annual Fire
Brick and Soybean Show, the event was a decided success. Downtown
Mexico was crowded for the parade which preceded the afternoon show
an unusual spectacle featuring riding clubs, good horsemanship,
ancient vehicles of all sorts, and traction outfits from all over
Missouri and the middle west.
Much credit should be and was given our Mr. R. O. Keeton,
chairman of the board, who not only ‘sold’ the idea to his
community, but shaped the entire program as well. The Iowa
association was represented by Mr. Ray Ernst, of Wayland, Iowa,
President of the Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers Association,
who brought greetings for the Mt. Pleasant group.
The fairgrounds exhibit was unusually good considering the short
time permitted for its arrangement. Antique articles ran the gamut
from guns to sausage mills and all the ‘things’ between.
Eleven traction engines participated, along with old and new style
seperators, stackers, etc. Included was a horsepower testing
machine to lend or to rob the authenticity of owners claims for
‘the power’ of their separate rigs.
An ancient and unusual sawmill was a featured attraction along
with an exhibition of ancient and modern threshing.
More than five-hundred people were in attendance and stayed for
the show, despite the fact that a considerable and continuing
rainfall made impossible the carrying out of the splendid program
While it is impossible to give all the details, or to recall the
names of folks, we’d like to mention in connection with the
program, we present the following from memory:
The Little Dixie Boots and Saddle Club of Centralia, were
present but unable to show; Red the Clown and his trick mule; Corn
grinding with ancient burrs; prony brake test; engine race,
Engine exhibitors were as follows: R. O. Keeton, Mexico, 18 hp.
Greyhound engine; Fred Hain, Brentwood, 20 hp. Keck-Gonnerman; Ead
Gartley, McCredie, Mo., 20 hp Rumley; Marlene and Josie Shanna, New
Truxton, 25-75 Russell; Harry Davidson, 60h p. Case; Claude
Hazlett, Auxvasse, Mo., Longfellow 19 hp.; Fred Ess, Clark, 19 hp.
Keck-Gonnerman; Lawrence Solomon, Moberly, 3 hp. Model engine; Les
McKinney, Cairo, Mo., 3 hp. Model engine; Edward Hutsell, Mexico,
Advance-Rumley 20 hp.; Henry Groner, Berger, Mo., 22 hp.
Among the really distinguished exhibitors were three fine young
men, all who had witnessed more than 80 summers, who manned the
sawmill and staffed the ancient threshing rig to utmost perfection.
They were Mr. Henry Lucksinger, Mr. Ben Ellenrath, and Mr. Dickey,
the father of Mexico’s favorite mayor. There were others of
course, but none who worked harder or contributed quite so much to
the show’s success.
Ours is not the gift of prophesy we plead guilty to no more than
the average intelligence, yet we predict a great and happy future
for our association. Folks like the idea and have proven their
interest. My own experience indicates that our membership will be
limited only by our ability to tell folks about it frankly, they
plunk down their dollar with few questions asked. We simply cannot
help growing, our future shows will attract far more than we at
present know. Let’s plan big, think big, and be big! We’ve
A friend of mine tells me that ‘TELL and SELL’ simply
means ‘TOLD and SOLD’! Let’s tell ’em what