| November/December 1951

Report of the third reunion of Zehr's Central States Steam Engine and Thresher Historical Association held near Pontiac, Illinois

The third annual reunion of Zehr's Central States Steam Engine and Thresher Historical Association was held September 12 through 16th at 4 H Park, near Pontiac, Illinois.

Wednesday, the first day, many visitors came from a distance and also local communities. The weather was fine except in the evening We had a heavy rain. The evening of the 11th the threshers and the Pontiac J C's staked a very large parade headed by the Pontiac Clown Band followed by a Stanley Steamer with Alvin Otto as engineer, and H. J. Lucksinger (Father Time), L. K. Wood, and Dan S. Zehr, as dignitaries. Several steam engines including an Under mounted Avery, and many model steam engines, the Chebanse Volunteer Fire Department, and the Pontiac High School Band of 75 pieces with Professor Jack North as director, followed by the eleven contestants for the title of Queen of the Threshers, Miss Steam Engine, was in the parade. Miss Steam Engine was chosen and crowned on Wednesday evening, during the heavy rain. She was Miss Pat King of Elpaso.

Thursday morning the sun came out bright and warm. At 12:30 our good friend Arthur C. Page of radio station WLS, Chicago, was present to broad cast the dinner bell hour, with our faithful friend Dr. John W. Holland, the loved radio pastor. Thursday was the largest attendance day to date, having an estimated 13,500 persons present. In the evening Professor North and his famous band and the Chief City quartette, had charge of the program.

Friday was another very fine day with the crowd estimated at 7,000. More than 45 large steam engines and many various models were there, all taking part in all of the activities, threshing, shelling, sawing and engine driving. Our good friend Lucksinger was on hand with his Muly saw mill doing its stuff, in a very creditable manner. His associate and superintendent of saw mills, was our very fine friend, A. S. McDonald of Trivoli, Illinois, who had a good time and did a swell job at his work. He had just celebrated his 89th birthday, the previous month. John Vielle of Pontiac, had his all steel modern portable mill there operating every day. His mill was powered by the 18 Under mounted Avery owned by yours truly. Jack as we call him, had to saw the big logs down so the two boys on the Muly could handle them. This Muly saw and the operator, Mr. Lucksinger, attracted much attention as many of the older saw mill men had never seen one operate before. Mr. Blaker was kind enough to loan us his Prony Brake, and also his operator, Paul Curtis to help our show along. This was all very much appreciated by the officers and visitors.

A parade of the models was scheduled as least three times each day, which seemed to attract the attention of many women as well as men. The men who did the deck work were really busy, as were those in the secretary's office. The men at the gates were also very busy as the jam of cars over a mile ling each day kept ticket men engaged. Many of the J. C.'s helped with this.


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