There was but one week-end in June when rain did not fall in
Montpelier, Ohio, and that (fortunately) was the week of the 16th
Annual Reunion of the National Threshers Association, Inc., oldest
and largest of the steam fan organizations. Over thirty large, fine
looking and performing steam engines filled the infield of the race
track at the Williams County Fair Grounds, with many other smaller
engines near them or at the Model Building across the race track.
The ‘railroad locomotive’ owned by Fred H. Paul of
Frankfort, Indiana, provided pleasure for old and young alike as it
sped around the track at 25 miles an hour. This year, for the first
time, supervised ECONOMY TESTS were made of six different engines,
with many engineers watching the hour-long tests with keen
interest. ‘Fantastic’ was the word used to describe the
tests by a member from Columbus. Interest was so great it is
planned to continue the tests in 1961. Photo and data will be in
the next issue of the ALBUM.
As usual at this Reunion, each day’s program began with the
playing of the national anthem, followed by the raising of the US,
the NTA and the TNT flags in their beautiful colors, and the
fitting invocation by Chaplain Ritzman. Two Baker fans were in
operation, but because of the wet season it was impossible to
construct an incline, and the same reason prevented ripening of the
winter barley. However, there was plenty of activity in the infield
and on the track, and Mac Keller’s saw mill provided work for
different engines, and F. M. Bloom put on his usual fine show with
his miniature mill and baler. The setting contests, slow races,
tug-of-war also provided further interest.
The Friday evening parade originated at the town hall with two
rubber-tired engines pulling the calliope and a wagon on which rode
the famous Rube Band. Robert Smith MC’d the Friday evening
parade in fine fashion, and assisted by Amos Rixmann in the
Saturday parade, when Life Memberships were presented to L. R.
Baker, son of A. D. Baker, whose very first engine was a feature of
the 1960 Reunion; and to 90 year old George Hitt of Bray, a
thresher for over 50 years.
The annual business meeting of the association was held in the
auditorium Thursday evening, with election of officers returning
present slate to office with the exception of a new Director for
Pennsylvania, Elmer W. Schaefer of Yoe, Pa. Rev. Ritzman conducted
the impressive memorial services, and announcement was made of the
serious illness of the Kentucky director, Wm. Jones of Winchester.
Word came of his passing during the last days of the Reunion.
Interest of women in this Reunion is very great, since there is
ample entertainment for those who are not especially interested in
steam engines, but come along with their men-folks anyway. Many
said the Hobby Lobby was the best ever, and the Friday program,
‘Christmas in June’ was well received. The afternoon teas
Thursday and Friday were welcome additions to the programs.
Election of officers at the annual meeting Thursday afternoon
resulted in the following: President, Mrs. Leo Clark, Washington,
Illinois; Vice-President, Mrs. James Conrad, Waterloo,
Indiana;Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. Glen Shepard, McClure, Ohio.
The 1961 NTA Reunion will be held again at the Williams County
Fair Grounds, the last Thursday, Friday and Saturday of June, as
usual. A feature of the 1961 Reunion will be another excursion to
Greenfield Village Ford Museum as was held the last year the
Reunion was on the Blaker farm. This year the excursion will
include a visit to the Ford factory and to Windsor, Canada. Details
will be announced in the 1961 NTA Steam-O-Gram in April, and in the
IRON-MEN ALBUM. Watch for this notice, as this will be an excursion
you will not want to miss.