REUNION REPORTS

369 S. Harrig St., Madisonville, Kentucky 42431

On August 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, 1970, the Tennessee Ky.
Threshermens Assn. held its first show at Adams, Tenn., ‘Home
of the Bell Witch.’ There were steam engines, threshers, a
sawmill, old gas tractors, gas engines, models, antique cars and
other antique machinery. There were other interesting displays
including a taxidermy show, Old Country Kitchen, Antique
furnishings, etc. An estimated 5,000 persons will remember it for
years to come as whistles blew and the engines’ exhaust gave
forth with a nostalgic sound of a not too distant past.

The oldest person attending the first show was 101 year old Dan
L. Kenner of Elkton, Ky., who grew up with steam and has owned 7
steam engines and separators. His last engine was a 32 hp. Cross
Compound Reeves, which he sold to Charles Harris and was scrapped
sometime after 1955. His last separator was a 32 inch McCormick
Deering which was sold to the writer, and pulled by his 16-60
Double Cylinder Rear Mounted Nichols & Shepard at the show. For
all those people with cameras and tape recorders what a sight and
sound it was! Many hours had been spent restoring this equipment
which eased man’s burden before the advent of gas engines and
electricity and the feeling and affection of these people towards
their engines were evident as you could tell by the different ways
of whistle blowing and the sound of the big engines on the Baker
fan. There’s hardly a way to describe it but hearing the
‘Tucka, Tucka, Tucka’ of the exhaust so effortless, that
you know here is something that can really do the job. You can hear
and feel it long after the sound is gone.

A blacksmith shop was set up under some big oaks. It was
something to see as the blacksmith shaped the bright orange metal
to whatever his desire. A big attraction was the threshing. A
perfectly matched team of mules pulled their load of oats to the
waiting machine. The long twisted belt connecting the engine and
separator began to move, the men on the wagon began feeding the
bundle of oats into the thresher mouth; the engine exhaust became
louder; black smoke spurted into the stiff breeze. Chaff and straw
began to fly from the windstacker, grains of oats flowed smoothly
into a waiting truck. Nowhere has anyone seen more dramatically
man’s harvest of his labor.

There were rides for the children on model steam engines, real
banjo picking and guitar picking, old farm implements of many
kinds, a wood lathe originally hand-powered which was used making
small rolling pins and ball bats.

Of the big engines, there were two 19 hp. Keck-Gonnermans, one
12 hp. Russell, one 16 hp. Peerless and the writer’s Nichols
& Shepard. There were 2 model Garr-Scotts, 2 model Cases, 1
traction and 1 portable, a model Nichols & Shepard and a free
lance with a Stanley Steamer Auto Engine for power, plus several
stationary steam and gas engines with a portable Keck-Gonnerman
Boiler for furnishing steam for the stationary engines.

There were several old tractors, the oldest being made in 1912.
There was Gospel singing in the big tent every evening at 7:30 p.m.
and on Sunday morning all the churches in the community took part
in a tent meeting on the grounds. The sounds of favorite hymns like
‘There Is A Fountain,’ ‘Bringing In The Sheaves,’
‘Are Ye Able,’ and ‘Just As I Am’ created a feeling
of reverence and warmth and there existed a real spiritual
experience. The first Tenn-Ky. Thereshermen’s Assn. show was a
real success and we hope that this will be the first of many more
to come. The show for 1971 will be held at Adams, Tenn. July 16th,
17th, and 18th. Adams is on U.S. Highway 41, 7 miles south of the
Ky. line and 41 miles north of Nashville, Tenn.

The idea for this Assn. came from J. E. Evans and Earnest
Williams, neighbors in Pleasant View, Tenn., which resulted in it
being formed March 23, 1970. At present the officers are: J. C.
McMurtry, Pres; Omer Walker, Vice-Pres; J. E. Evans, Sec, and B. H.
York, Treas. The directors are V. E. Griffin, Earnest Williams, G.
P. Stewart, Doris Bland, H. L. Spencer, Wallace Freeman and Mode
Hampton.

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