Return To Grandpa's Day On The Farm


| May/June 1986



Keck-Gonnerman

75 HP Keck-Gonnerman, Model-T Ford and Birdsell clover huller.

Rt. 2, Box 30 Tremont, Illinois 61568

For a single day on August 3rd, nearly 1,000 people from Central Illinois boarded a time machine which took them back to the day when steam was king and the whirr of the threshing machine and neighbor working alongside neighbor was a way of life.

This magical trip took place on the Alvin Beutel Farm near Tremont, Illinois as the Tazewell County Olde Thresher's Assn. held their 4th Annual Threshing Bee and Engine Show.

The show strives for realism rather than mammoth size, and the crowds were treated to the sight of Chester Schertz's team of work horses pulling the bundle wagon slowly through the field of shocked oats, as local farmers pitched bundles onto the swaying rack.

Claude Troyer's big 75 HP Keck-Gonnerman steam traction engine barked lazily at the Case 28' steel separator. Old timers and first-timers alike were encouraged to try their hands at pitching bundles. The satisfied looks of the older folks, many grinning with comments like, 'By golly, I haven't done that in 40 years!' make all the hard work and expense of these shows worthwhile.

Other demonstrations of old-time farm machinery showed folks 'how it used to be done!', like an operating buzz saw, Minnie-Moline Hammer-mill, Birdsell Clover Huller, to name a few.