The NTA slogan, ‘The Reunion Where Good Engineers Give Good
Engines a Good Workout’, was never more justified than at the
14th annual Reunion of the National Threshers Association, Inc.,
June 26-28, 1958, at the Williams County Fairgrounds, Montpelier,
Ohio. Over 30 large engines were in operation, with many of them in
such splendid condition that they rivaled or even surpassed the way
they looked when they left the factories many years ago. They not
only looked beautiful but they were kept in constant use, running
the sawmill, testing on the Prony brake, running the two Baker
fans, or climbing an incline as they used to do at the threshing
‘Steam Challenges Gas’ was the theme of the 1958
Reunion. Dealers were invited to bring in large new tractors, and a
large Case 600 tractor with loaded tires and many wheel weights
pulled nearly 8000 lbs. at the drawbar. Loaded down with all the
men who could sit or stand on it, it was hooked tail to tail with
Percy Sherman’s (Palmyra, Mich.) smooth wheel Russell. Percy
let them drag him backwards with steam shut off, but when he gave
the Russell the steam he dragged the Case back, with the wheels
still turning forward and the tires plowing deep furrows.
James Conrad’s (Waterloo, Ind.) 25-80 Case surged the
dynamometer scale upward to 30,000 lbs. when hooked to a 20 ton
Caterpillar tractor. This test used a dynamometer brought by A. E.
Rixmann of Oklahoma City, who also served as the MC of the two
John Holp, Brookville, Ohio, put on a great show with his 20 hp.
Advance, restored only as the Holp father and sons can do. His
Advance turned the Baker fan 544 RPM, developing 82 hp. Leroy
Blaker’s 22-65 Case turned the fan 650 RPM. His 24-75 Port
Huron that normally develops 93 hp. put out 110 hp. with the
auxiliary valve open, running a little live steam in the low
The propane gas McCormick turned the Baker fan at the same speed
as Blaker’s McCormick-Deering W40, 420 RPM, or 52 hp.
Blaker’s 22-36 McCormick-Deering with a 6 cyl. 450 cu. in.
motor turned the Baker fan 550 RPM, developing 87 hp. On the Prony
brake John Limmer’s (Perrysburg, Ohio) 20-60 Russell developed
72.6 hp. Irel Asbaugh’s (Defiance, Ohio) 20-60 Minneapolis made
103 hp. Wilford Bunyea’s (Wayne, Mich.) 20-60 Jumbo 70.1 hp.
Percy Sherman’s 25-75 Russell 103.7 hp. with 133 lb. steam.
James Conrad’s 25-80 Case 114 hp. with 150 lb. steam. The Case
600 tractor developed 50 hp. Lack of space prevents listing the
records of some of the other engines.
Models at the Reunion were so numerous that since all can’t
be mentioned, we will say only that they played a big part in the
great success of the Reunion; especially since the 16 hp Port Huron
boiler was set up next to the Model Building and many of the models
were taking steam from a to fascinate the big crowds always around
that part of the grounds. Many of the larger models also
participated in the parades. The small rail rod with the locomotive
pulled by ‘Little Foot’ and providing free rides, was a
great attraction as she sped around the 100 ft. diameter track
carrying a full load of children.
Entertainment and instruction for the ladies is stressed at the
NTA Reunions, and this year three excellent cooking schools were
again conducted followed each day by Get Acquainted Teas or
Coffees. The Hobby Lobby, with the greatest display of handiwork to
be seen anywhere, had an especial attraction this year. The
Williams County Historical Society set up an old kitchen, furnished
with authentic antiques, down to the china cats sleeping under the
150-year-old stove with the raised oven. Right next to the old
kitchen was a modern kitchen, and it was difficult to believe that
the two rooms so dissimilar were used for the same purpose,
providing food for the family.
At the annual meeting Thursday evening the same slate of
officers was reelected, with Gil Cowden taking the place of the
late Louis David as Michigan director. The names of 32 men were
read during the Memorial Service conducted by the Rev. Elmer
The TNT officers elected were, Mrs. Earnest Hoofer, Toledo,
Ohio, president; Mrs. John Maxwell, Plymouth, Michigan, vice
president; Mrs. Glenn Shepard, McClure, Ohio, secretary-treasurer;
Mrs. Ralph Vincent, Bryan Ohio, retiring president will continue to
handle the sale of the Famous TNT Cook Book.
Five bands featured the parades Friday evening and Saturday
afternoon. A Stanley Steamer and a 1904 Oldsmobile led the
Huntertown Pioneer Auto Club, with all the big engines and many
small ones falling in after the six floats. At the suggestion of
one of the Charter members, LeRoy Blaker drove his Port Huron
pulling the Charter member float up the incline during the parade,
providing an unexpected thrill for the crowd which packed the
A bumper crop of winter barley was shocked at the Blaker farm
waiting to be brought to the fairgrounds 14 miles southeast to be
threshed each afternoon. Rain in the forepart of the week prevented
threshing until Friday, and a quarter inch of rain which fell
Friday afternoon at the farm but not at the grounds, prevented any
threshing until Saturday after the parade. The rest of the barley
was threshed at the Blaker farm with the Port Huron steam engine
the week after the Reunion.
Perfect weather, the largest crowd ever at an NTA Reunion and
the greatest number of fine engines combined to make this the best