Steam Engine Line-Up

Midwest Old Threshers Reunion, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

| December 2007

  • SteamEnginePreparation
    Saturday morning steam engine preparation at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.
  • MattBirky
    Above and right: Matt Birky, Solon, Iowa, operating a 1915 Woods Bros. 20 HP engine owned by Mel and Judy Kerr, Macomb, Ill. Matt was running the Woods on the Baker fan at the 2006 Midwest Old Threshers Reunion.
  • 1908Colean30HP
    Below and right: A 1908 Colean 30 HP, no. 436, steam engine owned by Larry Nelson, Muscatine, Iowa. This Colean is one of five known to exist.
  • 1914Harrison20HP
    Right: A 1914 Harrison 20 HP, no. 2165, owned by LeRoy McClure, Colchester, Ill. This Harrison is the only known Jumbo.
  • 1889Russell6HP
    Left, above and right: An 1889 Russell 6 HP. This Russell is owned by Steve Perrenoud, Farley, Iowa. Steve’s sons, 7-year-old Cole (left) and 4-year-old Cassey (right), enjoy cleaning the Russell’s flues.
  • 1914Harrison20HP-1
    Below: A New Huber, also owned by LeRoy McClure (left), receives some fine-tuning by LeRoy and his friends. The New Huber 30 HP, built in 1910, no. 9309, is the only known double-cylinder engine.
  • 1914Harrison20HP-2
    Below right: The New Huber 30 HP.

  • SteamEnginePreparation
  • MattBirky
  • 1908Colean30HP
  • 1914Harrison20HP
  • 1889Russell6HP
  • 1914Harrison20HP-1
  • 1914Harrison20HP-2

You could never get tired of hearing about the Mt. Pleasant (Iowa) Midwest Old Threshers Reunion. A place where people come not only to see the best in antique machinery, but also to reunite with old friends, it is an experience that can only be described as going back in time to the good old farm days.

The 2006 show was my second year at Mt. Pleasant. Coming from a farm background, I long for those good old farm days: Life just seemed so much better on the farm. I don't know how to explain it, but once you have farming blood in your veins it never leaves.

As for the people at the show, they are great - from the volunteers, to the exhibitors, to the spectators. It's like a farm family. Everyone is helpful, friendly and happy.

This year I made an effort to snap some photos of the steam engines. When I was growing up we never owned a steam engine. My dad and grandpa went from horse-drawn implements to gas tractors. I can remember the old wagons in my grandpa's barn to this day, and I can just imagine what they would have done with a monstrous steam engine.



In review of the reunion, lets start with Larry Nelson, Muscatine, Iowa. He is the proud owner of a 1908 Colean 30 HP, no. 436, steam engine. He actually owns three of the five Coleans known to exist. Larry's other two Coleans are an 18 HP and a 25 HP. Kent Graham, Bennett, Iowa, was operating the Colean during the 2006 Old Threshers Reunion. Kent began his steam career in 1968 when he started attending shows with his parents. He has two daughters who are seriously involved with steam engines. He noted one daughter is 14 years old, which he thinks is great, since he owns three steam engines himself.

Matt Birky, Solon, Iowa, has been operating steam engines for 20 years. He had the honor of operating Mel and Judy Kerr's 1915 Woods Bros. 20 HP engine for the second time.