The 18th annual reunion of the National Threshers Association,
Inc. was concluded Saturday evening, June 30, with a record crowd
and record number of fine engines. The weather was ideal Thursday
and Friday and a shower Saturday was perfectly timed, coming as it
did just after the last number of the parade. Though quite a
shower, the barley was not wet enough but what the last load was
threshed before supper.
Probably the outstanding attraction during the Reunion, aside
from the engines themselves, was the threshing of winter barley
which took place each day. This was the first time in several years
that the barley had ripened in time for the Reunion. WANE TV from
Ft. Wayne, Indiana, took a sequence of threshing scenes, using old
Baker No. 1 for power in some scenes.
Sawing was carried on at the Blaker farm Saturday morning with
LeRoy’s 24-75 Port Huron furnishing the power. A caravan of
cars led by MacKeller left the fairgrounds early Saturday morning
and about 60 people took advantage of the opportunity to see sawing
done and also to view the bronze plaque given by Merle Newkirk to
mark the farm as the ‘site of the first steam show in the
Another feature not recently presented at the NTA Reunion was a
teeter-totter, built by Percy Sherman and demonstrated by him and
other engineers frequently.
In reporting on the 1962 NTA Reunion, the pre-Reunion excursion
to Detroit, Dearborn and Windsor certainly should not be omitted.
Forty-eight people boarded a Wabash train Tuesday evening at
Montpelier. Eight of the forty-eight were repeaters – they had
enjoyed the trip last year so much they were again visiting the
places they found so interesting the year before. Perhaps no
greater compliment could be paid to the tour than that statement,
coupled with the enthusiastic reports all made of the success of
the trip. The closing of the Ford factory on strike gave more time
to see other sights, and no one seemed to regret it greatly.
Probably the excursion will be repeated next year, and if so,
the announcement will be made in plenty of time. Several have said
that they wanted to go again to see some of the things they missed
the first time. The NTA receives absolutely no part of the revenue;
we only promote it for the benefit of our members.
A feature of the parade was a float carrying Lyndon Conrad’s
miniature sawmill and a large colored drawing of the Port Huron
owned by the president, LeRoy Blaker. This drawing was made and
framed by John Hixson as his contribution to the Reunion and was
greatly admired in the parade.
Perhaps the most interesting feature in the parade was Merle
Newkirk’s Cadillac convertible on which were seated the bride
and groom, Miss Elaine Bandelier of New Haven, Indiana, and Dean
Saunders Addison, Mich. This was truly a ‘steam romance’ as
they met for the first time at the NTA in 1961 when Elaine was the
engineer on her father’s Baker and Dean was running his own
Port Huron. Mrs. Leo Clark, president of TNT, presented a gift to
the couple from the NTA and TNT, inscribed to ‘Miss Elaine
Baker and Mr. Dean Port Huron.’ The remark was made that Irvin
Bandelier was not so much losing a daughter as gaining an engine,
and some one else ventured to remark that the outcome of the union
might be some little Advances.
Interesting programs were presented for the Ladies in the
General Offices building, followed by delightful teas. The Hobby
Lobby was crammed as usual with every kind of needlework, antiques,
etc. A commendable step forward was made to improve relations
between the NTA and Montpelier merchants by running a caravan
downtown each morning – Percy Sherman’s rubber tired Russell
pulling John Maxwell’s Joy Wagon, accompanied by Kramer
Brothers calliope. The wagon was filled for each trip.
A program by the Echo Valley Boys of Coldwater WTVB concluded
the Reunion Saturday evening, with everyone glad it was over but
feeling that ‘A good time was had by all’.
This was election year for both NTA and TNT. The ladies elected
the following: president, Mrs. Leo Clark, Washington, Ill.;
vice-pres., Mrs. James Conrad, Auburn, Indiana; sec.-treas., Mrs.
Glen Shepard, McClure, Ohio.
Officers for 1962-64 of the NTA are:
President, LeRoy W. Blaker,
Vice President, Earnest Hoffer,
Chaplain, Rev. Elmer Ritzman,
Sec. Treas., Mrs. LeRoy Blaker,
Ohio – John Limmer, Perrysburg, O.
Michigan – Percy Sherman, Palmyra,
Indiana – Harold Gay, Decatur, Ind.
Iowa – Peter Bucher, Fairfield, Ia.
Illinois – Wilbur Collins, Pontiac, Ill.
Penna. – Elmer Schaefer, Yoe, Pa.
Wis. – Gilmar Johnson, Frederic, Wis.
Maryland and D.C. – F. McGuffin,
Homer Holp, Brookville, O.
Ralph Vincent, Bryan, O.
Dean Saunders, Addison, Mich.