Secretary-Treasurer, Box 111, Davis Junction, Illinois 61020
DAVIS JUNCTION, IL: As the fog lifted from Hedtke's Hickory-Oaks Farm, Thursday morning, August 6, it took with it the modern way of life and unveiled an agricultural lifestyle common on farms at the turn of the century.
Clouds of billowing black smoke filled the country air as several late 19th and 20th century steam engines were being coal fired to provide the daily power for numerous old-time agricultural machinery, indicating the opening day of the Davis Junction steam show, which marked the 25th year of leadership and threshing show activities for George W. Hedtke, founder of his first steam power threshing show in Ogle County in August 1957. At that time Hedtke owned a 3-piece 50 HP Case steam threshing outfit which he purchased a year earlier. Now, Hedtke's collection of antique engines, threshers, and other farm machinery and equipment exceeds over 300 pieces!
Although the skies were somewhat cloud-covered during the Davis Junction steam and horse power threshing show, August 6,7,8, and 9, the rain held off, except for occasional showers which nicely settled the roadway dust. Thousands of spectators came from far and near including Canada, making the 1981 show a great successful event.
Wheat threshing was a first at Hedtke's Hickory-Oaks Farm during the show. Previous years oats were threshed annually. Other daily activities during the show included the sawmill operation, sawing large logs to lumber, buzz saw operation, shingle making, straw baling, ensilage cutting, baker fan demonstrations, grain elevating with horse power, corn shelling and grinding with stationary gas engines, and woven wire fence making and rope making by hand. Due to a two inch rain earlier that week, field plowing with horses and steam engines was not demonstrated this year.
The antique tractor pull Friday evening drew an exceptionally large crowd, and was well done by 67 participants. Trophies and ribbons were awarded to the winners by class. Stationary gas engine collectors were very well represented this year at the show. Each exhibitor received a commemorative plaque and a Hickory-Oaks ribbon. Thanks goes to all who helped to make the show a great one. Not to be forgotten are the ladies of the show with their great hobbies and crafts so well done and displayed.
Saxton and Ella Person, the 'King' and 'Queen' are seen here riding in style. The 1911 American Austin was purchased new by the Somers family of Linden wood, Illinois, and is being chauffeured by Joe Somers.
KING AND QUEEN. . . Saxton and Ella Person of Rockford, Illinois, were royalty at the North Central Illinois Steam Power Threshing Show, held at Hedtke's Hickory Oaks Farm, Davis Junction, Illinois.
The 1981 King and Queen of the show were Saxton and Ella Person of Rockford. The couple rode in the parade in a 1911 American Austin, owned by the Somers family of Linden wood and chauffeured by Joe Somers. The 'King' wore a tuxedo which was his uncle Claus Liden's wedding suit, year 1901, in Sweden. The Liden family and the Person family came to the United States to live in 1909. The 'Queen' was appropriately dressed in a long skirt, wheat print with flowers and a black blouse with high neck and leg mutton sleeves.
The couples' crowns and flowers were gifts from the ladies of the hobbies and crafts. The 'Queen's' bouquet was made of flowers, cattails, and golden stalks of wheat heads, grown on Hickory-Oaks Farm. The 'Queen's' bouquet with a big light blue bow and long streamers of ribbon, was presented to the Queen at parade time by George W. Hedtke, president of the show. Mr. and Mrs. Saxton Person became members of the Davis Junction show in 1974 and have been annual faithful workers.