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
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.
Much of the success of the reunion is due to the backing and
work of local people and the Chamber of Commerce who do their
utmost to prove to visitors that Mt. Pleasant is ‘The Home of
Hospitality.’ One visitor expressed the thoughts of probably a
number who come back year after year,-‘Sure I like to come
here. You have nice men, a nice lay out of engines, and good