The nineteenth annual Reunion of the National Threshers Association, was held at the Williams County Fair Grounds, Montpelier, Ohio, during a heat wave when the temperature reached 95 degrees for seven consecutive day, breaking records. In spite of this, the crowds at times equalled or exceeded those of other years, and much activity by the fine engineers provided a splendid program of events of all kinds.
As it is the custom at the NTA Reunions, the program opened Thurs. with the playing of the Star Spangled Banner, flag-raising, invocation by Rev. Elmer Ritzman, welcome by president of the Chamber of Commerce, Eugene Kimmel, response by president LeRoy Blaker. On Thursday evening the annual meeting and Memorial service were conducted from the cement area in front of the grandstand, instead of in the Administration Building.
Rain, just enough to muddy the track and cool the temperature for the time being, prevented having the Friday night parade. Instead, the famed Bud Widmer Rube Band of Defiance gave a most enjoyable hour-long concert before the cr, wds in the grandstand and on the field. The regular Saturday parade was held, with the Montpelier High School Band leading the parade, followed by many floats, steam models, steam engines, gas tractors, oil pulls, antique cars. Moving with clocklike precision, the parade lasted exactly one hour.
Space does not permit the enumeration of all the features of the 1963 NTA Reunion, but mention must be made of the sawmill purchased last fall; in spite of the nearly 100 degree temperature, and with the use of many different engines, Percy Sherman sawed nearly 8000 feet of lumber during the Reunion. John Limmer directed the threshing of the fine crop of winter barley raised for this exclusive purpose on the Blaker farm, and Frank McGuffin was well pleased with the platform and steps built by Harry Mitchell according to Frank's instructions and placed behind the NTA-TNT owned Port Huron, to facilitate inspection by the public of the workings of a steam traction engine.
The program for the ladies was carried out as printed, with Mrs. Val Connolly speaking Thursday afternoon on 'Life in Spain' and Dick Pressler repeating his gift-wrapping demonstration that made such a hit last year. Teas were held Thursday and Friday afternoons, and the locomotive owned by Frank Paul pulled John Maxwell's Joy Wagon downtown for the convenience of women shoppers. The Joy Wagon was again used in the parade, filled with 70 year old threshers. Kramer's calliope was an important feature of the Reunion also.
Almost a last-minute decision to extend the Reunion through Sunday led to an impromptu Sunday chapel service, conducted by Chaplain Ritzman with special music by Guy Laubis of Kenton, Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Kramer of Eaton, and the Gospel Harmonaires of Radio Station WBNO, Bryan, which station had been conducting broadcasts several times a day.
Tremendous interest, especially by the engineers, was shown at the appearance of Eve Stefan, a honey blonde of Youngstown, who was chosen at Atlantic City as MISS PHOTOGRAPHY of 1963 and who posed for innumerable snapshots.
The third annual NTA-sponsored excursion to Greenfield Village, Ford Museum, Detroit and Windsor, included some 35 men and women, not quite as large a group as in the past, but plenty large for interest and enjoyment, which the returning travelers certainly manifested. Without question this popular feature will precede the 1964 Reunion, since many have already indicated a desire to participate, and mention will be made in the Album in plenty of time to obtain information.
This Thresh Meet was held Oct. 20, 21, 1962 about 5 miles north and west of Trent, South Dakota on Cy Halversen's farm land. The Case engine was from South Dakota and a two cylinder N&S engine was also used. The N&S is owned by Jack Kedinger of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The 14 HP single cylinder Case engine is owned by Paul Mausbech, Huron, South Dakota.
The weather was ideal, it could not have been nicer. Three days after the meet, on October 24, 1962, snow fell enough to make the ground white but it did not last long. It was gone by sundown.
The crowd was small on the first day but was much larger on the last day. This field was about 1 mile away from the farm buildings so a small building was taken to the field to serve refreshments. A John Deere farm tractor was hooked up to a power take-off generator to create electricity to be used in lunch building.
There also was a small steam engine on the grounds from Sioux Falls, South Dakota and a 18-36 Hart-Pan which belonged to Obed Sellum, Sherman, South Dakota and a 1 cylinder John Deere engine mounted on a chassis to make a self propelled car which the boys ran around.
The small steam engine model is owned by C. A. Dubbe, Sioux Falls, South Dakota and was made by Jenkins of Griswold, Iowa.
Wm. Gayer, Rock Valley, Iowa