| November/December 1977

Midwest Ole Threshers, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

In 1950, several men had a dream a Reunion of Old Threshers in Mt. Pleasant . . . and the Association was born. Their hope was to record and preserve much of the early history of the midwest territory and especially southeast Iowa and leave an authentic record that will remain of interest and profit to future generations.

The first Reunion had 15 steam engines and eight separators and several thousand people attended. Sideshows were banned, con games, carnival and commercialism and advertising were taboo except for sale of good food and soft drinks. These policies have continued to be the rule through the Association's 28-year history.

Yesterdays in rural America are relived here in the land of the steam powered threshers, vintage trolleys, antique autos, gas tractors and gas engines, and a narrow-gauge railroad. All are part of the hundreds of working exhibits.

Early last fall following the 1976 Reunion, the Board of Directors named a 6 horsepower, 1888 Russell steam engine, owned by Charles and Alden Fricke, Mt. Union, Iowa as the steam engine of the year for 1977. The brothers had acquired the engine in the summer of 1976 from an owner in Cedar Falls, Iowa. It had earlier belonged to the late J. J. Hingtgen of LaMotte, Iowa. It has been featured in many ways during the year and will be the star of this year's show.

The Fricke Brothers own and exhibit three other engines at the Reunion. They include a 6 horsepower Nichols and Shepard, a 16 horsepower Russell, and a 25 horsepower Russell. They also own. and exhibit other vintage equipment at the Mt. Pleasant show.