By Staff
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Horse power threshing at the 1973 Kings Show being demonstrated as it was done years ago with six teams.
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Pitching bundles into a threshing machine is a treat nowadays, compared to what it used to be like over a half century ago. Seen at the top of the machine is George W. Hedtke, president of the show at Kings.
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This picture shows the Westphalion All Stallion Hitch at the Kings Show, August 5.
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This picture shows the out-door Church Services at the J. Floyd King Farm, August 5.
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Steam Power Threshing with a complete 50 HP Case Outfit as was done in the early 20s.
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In this picture is Mrs. Emil [Ethyl] Svanda of Davis Junction, Illinois, the ''1973 Threshing Bee Queen'' of North Central Illinois Steam Power Show, King Farm, Kings, Illinois is seated in a 1893 Surrey, pulled in the parade Sunday, August 5, by a team o

The North Central Illinois Steam Power Show, Inc., closed its
1973 four-day Steam and Horse Power Threshing Show, Sunday evening,
August 5, at the J. Floyd King farm at Kings, III. The show was a
great success in big measures, making it the best in 7 years at
Kings. The weather was beautiful all four days with plenty of

A record breaking crowd of over 18,000 attended the old time
agricultural show of numerous field demonstrations, August 2 thru
5, using the power of draft horses, mules, steam engines, and large
gas tractors. Evolutions of plowing, steam and horse power
threshing, straw baling, saw milling, shingle milling, corn
grinding with horses, elevating oats with mules, and woven wire
fence making by hand, was the greatest daily attractions. Other
daily attractions was the teeter-totter act of balancing a steam
engine with Harry Woodmansee of Dowling, Michigan at the controls,
the Baker Fan demonstration of engine power, a belting contest with
steam engines, slow race with steam engines, and the numerous
stationary gas engines that were in operation daily. Also not to be
missed was a tread-mill, powered by a Jackass, which in turn
powered a grinding stone for sharpening tools. This was something
new at the Kings show.

Oh! yes, we must not forget the large Ladies Hobby Tent, that
was full of sale items, antique displays, and demonstrations of rug
weaving, spinning wool to yarn, wicker basket weaving, rope making,
soap making and candle making. It was a day of fun for everyone who
attended the show at Kings. There was activity all over the farm
all four days.

Visitors from 26 states, Canada, France, Norway, and Australia,
registered in the 1973 guest book. Approximately 7,000 curious
spectators jammed the Kings show grounds, Sunday, August 5, the
last day of the show. This was a special day of attraction by
having the appearance of the Westphalion All Stallion Hitch, the
only one in the world, at the Kings show grounds. These stallions
were brought to the United States from West Germany in 1965 for
exhibition at the New York World’s Fair. The Stallions are now
owned by Midwest Park Service, Inc., operations of Pioneer Park,
Aurora, III. Harnessing and hitching demonstrations of the 6 large
stallions was performed at 10:00 a.m. and at 1:30 p.m. at the Kings
show for the public’s interest and entertainment. The
Westphalion Stallions are known to be of the heaviest breed,
weighing in the vicinity of 2,700 pounds each. They added much
beauty as they pulled a large heavy duty wagon in the parade on
Sunday. The Steam and Horse Power Show at Kings with  its
numerous count of old time field demonstrations, was filmed,
Friday, August 3, by officials of the J. I. Case Company of Racine,
Wisconsin, to be used as a documentary film. A duplicate of the
film will be presented to George W. Hedtke, president of North
Central Illinois Steam Power Show, upon its completion.

Mrs. Emil (Ethyl) Svanda of Davis Junction, Illinois, was
selected the ‘Threshing Bee Queen’ of the 1973 North
Central Illinois Steam Power Show at Kings. She appeared in the
parade, Sunday, August 5, riding in a Surrey, a vintage of 1893,
pulled by a team of bay horses. The ‘Queen’s Carriage’
was decorated with stalks of golden grain tied with red ribbons,
symbolic of an old fashioned harvest. She held a bouquet of
assorted flowers arranged in a small bundle of oats, bound with
rainbow ribbons. The bouquet was presented to the Queen by the
Ladies of the Hobby Tent. George W. Hedtke, president of the show
at Kings, announced and introduced the Queen to a crowd of
approximately 7,000 that lined the parade route on the last day of
the show. Mrs. Svanda has been one of the leading and outstanding
workers of the Kings show and the Ladies Hobby Tent for the past 7

As in past years, ‘The Ogle County Liberty Bell Float’,
led the daily parade at Kings show. This huge bell with its
structure of beauty, pleads with us to ‘Keep America Free’.
It rings out against government controls, which are rapidly turning
our beloved America into the old world kind of tyranny, from which
our ancestors fled. This show report would not be complete without
mentioning the fine out-door church services at 9 a.m., Sunday,
Aug. 5, conducted by the Union Church of Monroe Center, III. The
Fifty foot rest tent was filled and the crowd extended beyond the
sides. We stand in need of more services like this in our 
great land, a visitor said.

The freedom of speech and services that we all have enjoyed at
the Kings show, has allowed us to help preserve our American
Heritage by demonstrating old time agricultural practices on a farm
in reality. As time goes on we hope to continue with old time
agricultural practices in reality, at  a new show site at
George W. Hedtke’s farm, 2- miles east of Davis Junction, III.,
on Highway 72. Mr. Hedtke is making plans now to build large
buildings on his 45 acre farm to house most of his collection of
large steam engines, gas tractors, threshing machines, and other
large farm machinery of by-gone days. He hopes by next  
spring that he has one of the large buildings erected, providing
the building material is available. This will eliminate the hard
work and long hours of moving his large show machinery and
equipment   each year, and the cost of transportation.
Hedtke’s farm with about 7 acres of hard wood timber joins the
Kilbuck Creek on the north and on the west, and is only a 
short distance from the farm site where Hedtke staged his first
Steam Threshing Show in 1957, one mile east of Highway 51 Junction,
on Highway 72.

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