Midwest Old Settlers & Threshers Hold Seventh Annual Reunion

| November/December 1956

Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

The annual awards to an old settler and an old thresher were made by Mt. Pleasant's Mayor Wade McBeth. A. B. Cantwell, a 90-year-old 'come next St. Patrick's Day,' was presented as the Old Settler, and C. R. Willits one of the organizers and early officers of the association was chosen 'Old Thresher.' Visitors will recall seeing him and the Under mounted Avery which he and his son Bob, own and bring to the reunions.

The Women's Auxiliary had a large part in the reunion and had continuous programs for the ladies in one of the large tents. During the Cavalcade of Power two floats, pulled by steam engines, carrying ladies in sunbonnets and old time costumes attracted attention. One was a kitchen setting and the other a playing group the Kitchen Band. Their own programs included an artificial flower demonstration, a program by the Salem Kitchen Band and another by a ladies barbershop quartette, and a book review.

Mail was stamped 'Carried to the Post Office by Steam Engine' and sent out from Headquarters Tent daily, the local postmaster, Wendell Smith, riding with Charles McMillan on his 12 hp. 1886 Model Case Engine. Letters and cards handled in this way have become collector's items. (Your printer was privileged to receive one of these so-marked cards from Edit: Ritzman from the reunion. The Printer). Over 50 different cards with photographs of various engines and scenes at the reunions were available.

The weather, except for one day, was good picture-taking weather and considerable movie and still film both in color and black and white was shot. Several visitors with long, flowing beards (raised for home-town centennial celebrations) were willing models in posing with engines.

Awards were made to winners of the regular Old Fiddlers' Contest and Checker Tournament. The steam engine fan Trading Post was again a feature, and an engine or two changer hands during the reunion. A visit by Governor and Mrs. Leo Hoegh, their third, to the reunion was of interest.


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