318 West Madison Street, Pontiac, Illinois
The Fourth Annual meeting of Zehr's Central States Steam Engine and Thresher's Historical Reunion was held in Pontiac, Illinois, September 10-14.
Dan S. Zehr, of Pontiac, is the president of the association and was the originator of the Reunion. Ideal weather prevailed throughout the meeting period. The number and variety of the exhibits was greater than ever before and attendance was estimated at 45,000 for the five day meeting. Spectators registered from over half of the states. Approximately 300 Flying Farmers from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan attended on the first day.
A total of 38 large steam engines were in operation throughout the reunion. The oldest of these was a 6 hp. Monarch built in 1861 and owned by Homer Dickson, Yorkville, Ill., who also had a 12 hp. Case, 1893, on exhibit. Other old engines were a Nichols and Shepard, 1881; Canton Monitor, 1874, and Undermounted Avery, 1914, by Dan Zehr of Pontiac; Case Straw Burner. 1886, by Chas. Atkinson, Polo, Illinois.
Other makes and entries included: 10 hp. Russell, 1901, L. V. Kinsinger, Carlock, Ill.; Stevens, 1905, J. D. Roberts, McLean, Ill.; Peerless, 1905, Ralph Fisher, Assumption, Ill.; Gaar Scott, 1912, C. B. Killing, Coal Valley, Ill.; Huber, 1914, Wilbur Collins-Dam Zehr, Pontiac; Avery, 1916, Dan Zehr, Pontiac; Case, 1916, Amer Cook, Washington, Ill.. Reeves, 1916, Helm-Myers, Tuscola, Ill.; Case, 1917, B. Johnson, Galva, Ill.; Minneapolis, 1917, Jos. Kieley, Clinton, Ill.; Frick, 1917, J. D. Roberts, McLean, Ill.; Case 22-65, 1919, Wilbur Collins, Pontiac; Port Huron, 1919, Glen Thomas, Ottawa, Ill.; Kitten, 1920, Wilbur Collins, Pontiac; Illinois, 1920, N. S. Gould, Elburn, Ill.; Port Huron, 1921, Fred Hasgler, Peru, Ill.; Nichols and Shepard, 1922, Bob Walter, Comstock, Mich., and Melvin Lugten, Hamilton, Mich.; Nichols and Shepard, 1823, Hubert Koopman, Flanagan, Ill.; Advance Rumley, 1923, L. V. Kimsinger, Carlock, Ill.; Advance Rumley, 1923, Dan Zehr, Pontiac; Keck Gonnerman, 1924, Jos. Weishaup, Mackinaw, Ill.; Baker, 1925, Chas. Atkinson, Polo, Ill.; Greyhound, 1925, Carl Litten, Newark, Ill.; Buffalo-Pitts, 1925, Chas. Atkinson, Polo, Ill.; Colean, 1910, Wilbur Collins, and Dan Zehr, both of Pontiac, and Homer Dickson, of Yorkville, Ill.; Advance, 1890, Port Huron, 1917, and Aultman Taylor, 1915, Dan Zehr, Pontiac; Port Huron Double, 1905, Wilbur Collins and Dan Zehr, Pontiac, and Homer Dickson, Yorkville, Ill.; Case Roller, 1912, J. J. Kingston, LaMotte, Iowa; Illinois 25 hp., M. F. Gould, Elburn, Ill.; Wood Bros, Art Erickson, Pontiac.
A total of twelve Model Engines were shown as follows: Steam Model, Hill, Newark, Ill.; Buffalo-Pitts, Dierzen, Newark, Ill.; Model, Ben Fehr, Roanoke, Illinois; Avery, Zehr, Pontiac; Minneapolis, Timberlake, Alpha, Ill.; Boiler, Johnson, Alpha, Ill.; Wood Bros., Bower, West Liberty, Ohio; Gaar-Scott, 1951, N. Lang, Charleston, Ill.; Gaar Scott, 1950, N. Lang, Charleston, Ill.; Steamobile, 1950, Killins, Coal Valley, Ill.; Model, Bloom, Cheurbusco, Ind.; and an Under mounted Avery, Roos, Ind.
Old model tractors were a 1914 homemade one exhibited by Frank Fitzpatrick, Campus, Ill., and a 1915 Mogul by Stroller Bros., of Pontiac. Other old equipment included cradles, nail, early reaper, 4-wing Deering reaper, hand fed thresher and straw piler, dog tread mill, horse tread mill, 4-row hand corn planter, Tower wheel-less cultivator, steam peanut roaster.
A unique feature was a portable sawmill built in 1906 by H. J. Lucksinger, McKittrick, Mo. Demonstrations on this and other sawmill equipment were of much interest.
The Women's Hobby Tent under the supervision of Mrs. Wilbur Collins had a large and varied display of antiques and hobbies. Mrs. Gordon Collins demonstrated the use of her rug loom.
Demonstrations of early threshing procedures were one of the daily features. Operation of engines an the Prony Brake loaned by the J. I. Case Company, was of much interest. Other features included balancing a Huber engine on a teeter totter; recounting early history of farming in the middle west, polo played with model steam engines, square dance demonstrations, pageant of threshing progress, parade of engines and models.
The Rev. E. L. Ritzman, of Enola, Pa., preached the sermon at the church services on Sunday.
Officers of the Association are, President, Dan S. Zehr, Ponitiac, Ill. Vice-President, Wilbur Collins, Pontiac, Ill.; Secretary-Treasurer, Miss Jean Roberts, McLean, Ill.
Directors of the Association are: Dan S. Zehr, Pontiac; Cecil Ellis, Clinton, Ill.; Homer Dickson, Yorkville, Ill.; Amer W. Cook, Washington, Ill.; Harry Vogelsinger, Sr., Pontiac; Reid Tombaugh, Pontiac; J. D. Roberts, McLean, Ill.; L. V. Kinsinger, Carlock, Ill.; Wilbur Collins, Pontiac.