Farm Collector

Threshing Bee Proves To Be Pot-Pourri Of By-Gone Years

Algie Ray Smith, the author of this article, is a columnist for
several county weeklies including The Logan Leader, which is
home-based in Russellville, Kentucky.

Mr. Smith, through his column, Collector’s Cornucopia,
attempts to generate an interest in collecting, antiques and the
preservation of historic Americana.

(We thank The Logan Leader and Mr. Smith for permission to
reprint this write-up. We also give credit to J. A. Miller, Route
1, Russellville, Kentucky 42276 for making the communications on
this available).

Welcome to Collector’s Cornucopia, where we discuss each
week items that people like to collect.

To say that the Tennessee-Kentucky Threshermen’s
Association, Inc. Third Annual Threshing Bee was ‘quite a
show’ is to say the very least. The Steam Tractor Engine and
Wheat Threshing Show, held on the Bell School Grounds at Adams,
Tenn. (home of the Bell Witch), was the very best we have ever
seen. The agenda included grist mill and sawmill operation,
threshing, baker fan and teeter totter, model engines in action,
steam trains, mule team shows, antique cars, antique agricultural
implement displays and household furnishings displays.

If you are over 50, you would have been overcome by waves of
nostalgia; and if you are under 50, the thrill of the old-time
steam power would have been a lifetime first. The Association,
indeed, is providing an invaluable service to present day
generations by keeping alive a part of our American heritage.

We attended the affair on Saturday, July 22, with our nephew
Mike Smith and were well-pleased with the smooth operation and
efficient organization that the friendly folks of Adams put into
the show. Entrance and parking was well-handled and space was no

Upon entering the gate we were given a program and button (the
button is sure to become a collector’s item) and offered the
services of a guide. Instead, we chose to just wander around and
see for ourselves the wonders of the farms of yesteryear.

Some of the machines that immediately took our eye were the 1918
International 8-16 tractor owned by Gray Farms of Trenton, a scale
model of a Nichols Shepard 20 horse power train owned by Ernest
Williams of Pleasant View, a 1918 moline Universal tractor owned by
Soldie Stewart and Johnny Stewart of Whites Creek, a 1908 Peerless
tractor owned by Dorris Bland of Lebanon, and a scale model J. I.
Case traction engine (1915) owned by Willis Wilcox of

QUITE POSSIBLY the most unusual display was that of a
horse-drawn hearse from the 1800’s. The hearse, all original,
had been recently refinished and used in a funeral near Murray
earlier this year. Also with the hearse were two wooden coffins of
the face-plate variety. (This type coffin had a screwed-on lid with
a glass face-plate so that the body could be viewed without raising
the lid.)

The inside displays depicted various modes of 18th century farm
life. The exhibits were entitled ‘The Ingenuous American’
and featured an old country kitchen, household furnishings of
pre-electric days, early American carpenter, mechanical and
agricultural tools and implements, wood-working and bottle
collections. This inside show provided local collectors an
opportunity to display their proud possessions.

For the youngsters there were steam engine rides, miniature
railroads, calf carts and mule wagons.

All in all, we had quite a day. And if you should happen to be
interested in joining the Tenn.-Ky. Threshermen’s Association,
you can do so by writing Donald Bourne, Route 1, Adams, Tenn.

Do your part to keep historic Americana alive!

  • Published on Nov 1, 1972
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