Box 111, Davis Junction, Illinois 61020
Cutting and binding golden grain with a horse powered binder was a first during the 1978 show at Hedtke's Hickory-Oaks Farm. Seen here is Walter Skaar with his Belgian horses hitched to the 10' grain binder after he demonstrated to the crowd of spectators how it used to be done in olden days. The overflow of the crowd on Saturday and Sunday caused car parking to take place among the shocked grain. Walter is a good horseman, however, and never scraped any fenders when driving between cars and the shocks to do another round of cutting and binding.
Another first at Hedtke's Hickory-Oaks Farm during 1978 show was an antique tractor pulling contest, Friday evening. This included all makes of tractors built before 1940 on steel or rubber. Norman Wills and his family headed this fine contest which lasted nearly four hours. Hedtke's show grounds are flood-lighted throughout the machinery area. Numerous tractor owners entered this pulling contest which drew a large crowd. Trophies and ribbons were awarded to the winners of the five classes.
Davis Junction, Illinois: Steaming and dreaming is a great pleasure at Davis Junction, that is if you can keep up with the age and the pace now days, says George W. Hedtke, President, of North Central Illinois Steam Power Show and the owner of Hickory-Oaks Farm. It's a lot of work, but it also is a lot of fun to plow with steam engines, draft horses and mules, and to do steam and horse power threshing. It is something the general public likes to see year by year, knowing their forefathers worked in the agricultural fields that way years ago and made a living for their family. They come because they care.
The 1978 show at Hickory-Oaks Farm certainly drew a big crowd daily and was a great success. Weather was ideal with four beautiful days of sunshine. Visitors registered from California, Oklahoma, Colorado, Washington, Arizona, Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Minnesota, Oregon, Massachusetts, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, Mexico, and of course numerous from Indiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Numerous campers and tourists in mobile homes spent the weekend at Hickory-Oaks Farm.
Two firsts were held at Hickory-Oaks Farm during the 1978 show. On Friday evening, August 4, an antique tractor pulling contest was held for all makes of tractors built prior to 1940 on steel or rubber. The new attraction drew a large crowd and participants. Several trophies and ribbons were awarded to winners of the five pulling classes. The other first at Hickory-Oaks Farm during show time, was the cutting and binding of oat grain with a horse-powered binder, using four draft horses daily for the field demonstration. A large crowd gathered in the field to see this done. Those with cameras found themselves busy taking pictures of the horse-drawn binder. Others watched with great interest as not very often this is seen at show time or any other time. The five acres of bound grain is reserved by Hedtke for one of the added features during 1979, perhaps to be held in June as a threshing day.
The evolutions of plowing covering a span of 138 years was seen in action by hundreds of spectators during the 1978 show. Plows were powered by horses, mules, steam engines and old gas tractors. Hedtke's 110 HP Case steam engine worked so hard Friday afternoon pulling the 14 bottom plow it blew its smoke stack off the engine. Harry Woodmansee, the engineer, of Dowling, Michigan, saw the smoke stack toppling to the ground, so quickly stopped the 22 ton engine before the back wheel got it. It was quick action, and with the great help of John Schrock of Rives Junction, Michigan, and Dennis Jerome, of Hoopeston, Illinois, the smoke stack was welded back in place and the 22 ton iron giant never missed a day of work. When not hitched to the 14 bottom plow, the 110 Case is generally seen powering, the big sawmill. Hedtke owns 4 other large steam traction engines besides the 110 HP Case that has steam power steering. He also has four large old time gas tractors and eight smaller tractors which are all put to work during show time, as well as steam engines and tractors that are brought in at show time by friends of other shows. All in all, its fun for everyone, even though we all know its a lot of work to have a good show.
At Hedtke's Hickory-Oaks Farm spectators see a first quite occasionally. Last year a large petting pen was put up for numerous animals and pets of the farm life. Pictured here is Mrs. Larry (Linda) Svanda of Oregon, Wisconsin, demonstrating how milking a cow can be done. It appears the cow is gentle and likes to be milked by hand. Linda was raised on a farm and from past experience knows its best to hold the milk pail between her knees so the cow wouldn't tip the pail over if she decided to move.
The home talent show held Saturday evening, August 5, in Hedtke's big building drew a large crowd. It was well done by Dawn and Rodney Hayenga of Kings, Illinois. There was a large variety of talent, vocal and instrumental, ranging from the real young to the old, and from country western to classical numbers. Needless to say, all the numbers were well applauded. At the closing of the show, George Hedtke announced and introduced Mrs. Tom (Jeanette) Draus, of rural Davis Junction, as the 1978 Queen of North Central Illinois Steam Power Show. The new queen received a great hand of applause. Mrs. Draus is a annual worker with the show, her husband serves as vice-president of the show.
On Sunday, August 6, 'Queen Jeanette' rode in the 2 o'clock parade, holding her bouquet of harvest color grain and flowers. With her was her youngest daughter, Mary, age 3. The queen's float was decorated in red, white, and blue colors and she was seated on her chair between two shocks of golden grain. The large float was pulled through the parade by a Case tractor driven by John Sandvik of Davis Junction. The Freedom Bell Float which leads the annual parade at Hickory-Oaks Farm banked with seven American Flags, was pulled in the parade by a nicely restored Model L Case tractor, owned and driven by Clarence Eltz of Arlington Heights, Illinois. The 810 pound bronze bell was rung daily by Emil Svanda at parade time, proclaiming liberty for all. The bell rings out against government controls, zoning controls, and such like, which are rapidly turning our beloved America into the old world kind of tyvanny from which our ancestors fled.
(R. to L.): 1967 - Mrs. Harry (Annis) King, 1968 - Mrs. Don (Honey) Wolf, 1969 - Mrs. Herman (Elsie) Hintzsche (deceased) (empty chair), 1970 -Mrs. Harm (Berniece) Hayenga, 1971 - Mrs. Lester (Doris) Lindenmier, 1972 - Mrs. Menno (Ella) Hayenga, 1973 -Mrs. Emil (Ethyl) Svanda, 1974 - Mrs. Herman (Mary B.) Hedtke, 1975 - Mrs. Paul (Ethel) Hardesty, 1976 - Mrs. Floyd (Virginia) King, 1977 - Mrs. Herman (Winnie) Baumez (standing). We salute the young and the old.
The Joe and Richard Green threshing outfit in its 'heyday' -14 HP return flue Minneapolis Compound - this engine exploded while shredding corn November 1913. Courtesy of Gilmar Johnson, Route 1, Box 309, Frederic, Wisconsin 54837.
Threshing at home with 6 HP Huber steam engine and 20 x 34 Frick hand feed separator. Courtesy of A. L. Heiland, 15323 C. R. 25A,Anna, Ohio 45302.