| January/February 1982

  • Russell engine
    Ilva Hoffer at Wauseon with a Russell engine. Photo courtesy Bob Lefever.
    Bob Lefever

  • Russell engine

Ilva Hoffer was with the National Threshers Association in Ohio from the beginning, when LeRoy Blaker started it on his farm at Alvordton and a few friends got together with their engines.

That went on for several years. It started to grow, and was incorporated as the National Threshers in 1950.

'It was the first reunion of its kind,' Mrs. Hoffer recalls. 'Others came in and saw how it was going and started their own, in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and so on.'

Blaker had a couple of Port Huron steam traction engines, and a Case. The reunion was held at the farm until 1953 and then moved to the fairgrounds at Montpelier. The farm could no longer accommodate the people who wanted to see the threshing rig and sawmill and other equipment in action.

Another move was made in 1955, to the Fulton County fairgrounds at Wauseon. The reunion has been held there ever since, drawing large crowds on each of its four days.

LeRoy and Lucille Blaker were in charge until 1969. Then Ernest and Ilva Hoffer were voted in, he as president and she as secretary-treasurer. They served eight years.