NORTH CENTRAL ILLINOIS STEAM POWER SHOW A GREAT SUCCESS!

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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.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment