| January/February 1964

Publicity Chairman for Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers Association

It must have been midnight or later the night of September 7th, 1963, when the final blatant peal of the whistles of the giant black steam engines and the small scale model miniatures dimmed and the black smoke settled over the grounds of the Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. This brought down the final curtain of the 14th Annual Reunion, called by far the most successful to date. Attendance was estimated in excess of 100,000 for the four-day event which began September 4th and continued through the 7th.

Now internationally famous, guests registered this year from 37 states, Mexico, Canada, Germany, South Africa, Brazil and Washington, D. C. Many come to the event year after year.

From the first annual Reunion in 1950 with the display of 15 steam engines, the event has grown until, now in the 14th year, some 116 large and small steam and gas engines and miniature models can be seen. The largest engine on the ground is an under mounted Avery belonging to C. R. Willits and son of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. It is 40-120H.P. and was built in 1923. This year 23 old farm tractors were on the grounds, along with 54 stationary gas engines, ranging in size from to 7 horse power, one stationary steam engine and one hot air engine.

Over 100 antique cars are on exhibit, by many considered the most outstanding display in the Midwest. They range from a Stanley Steamer to the sports roadster and some of the cars are worth as much as $10,000 as collector's items. The cars 'come alive' and can be seen in operation as they parade in front of the grandstand.

The steam engines, giant sources of power of yesteryear, are used at the Midwest Old Threshers to thresh grain, saw wood, and make shingles. These are authentic exhibitions.