A Minnesota Heritage Renewed

27-44 Twin City tractor

A beautiful restoration of a 27-44 Twin City owned by Dave Milbret of Janesville, Minnesota.

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Rt. I, Box 139, Le Center, Minnesota 56057

It looks like a special kind of gold will be bringing people to southern Minnesota the weekend of August 22, 23, 24, 1997. It is not the real gold that these visitors are looking for it is 'prairie gold,' the name given to the color that distinguishes Minneapolis Moline tractors and equipment from other tractors and equipment.

A group of Minneapolis Moline fans, from all over the United States, England and Canada, formed the 'Minneapolis Moline Collector's Club.' They get together and share knowledge, memorabilia, parts and many more things about Minneapolis Moline and the companies which preceded Minneapolis Moline. These companies were the Twin City Company, Minneapolis Threshing Machine and Moline Plow Company. These machines were painted a more conservative color gray and red.

The Collector's Club hosts two conventions per year. A winter show is held the last full weekend in February. The summer show is held in conjunction with antique power threshing shows somewhere in the United States.

The Amana Colonies at Homestead, Iowa, hold an annual Homestead Implement Reunion on Father's Day weekend. This is the home of the Homestead Implement store, which supplied Minneapolis Moline machinery for many years in the colonies. This is a real fun time, with all the interesting shops and good German food.

The governing body of the Minneapolis Moline Collectors consists of seven officers and directors, living throughout the United States.

The MM Corresponder is a quarterly publication, edited by the Roger Mohr families of Vail, Iowa. They do a tremendous job of keeping the collectors informed of upcoming shows, Minneapolis Moline stories, service tips, letters and pictures from our readers, and also a large classified ad selection. At the present time, the subscriptions are around 1,200 and the list of names is growing.

Minneapolis Moline and related equipment will be lining the grounds at the Le Sueur County Pioneer Power Show in rural Le Sueur, Minnesota.

The Le Sueur County Pioneer Power Association was organized in 1977. This marked the first year for the Association, with the last full weekend in August being picked for the threshing show. It is located six miles east of Le Sueur, Minnesota, or sixty miles south of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, in a country setting of 104 acres of beautiful woods and gentle rolling cropland.

This is the first time the National Minneapolis Moline show has ever been featured in southern Minnesota. The MM enthusiasts are real excited about having Minneapolis Moline come to Minnesota, as the main factories and offices were located in Minneapolis and Hopkins, Minnesota. In the early 1940s, Minneapolis Moline was the largest single employer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

A little insight into Minneapolis Moline history: In 1865, the seed that blossomed into the Minneapolis Moline Power Implement Company of today started growth in the first modest shop of the Moline Plow Company, Moline, Illinois.

In 1887, Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company organized at Hopkins, Minnesota.

In 1902, Twin City Minneapolis Steel and Machinery Company located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

None of these companies had a complete line. In 1929 the companies merged and began the Minneapolis Moline Power and Implement Company, which made it a full line company. Their headquarters were in Minneapolis.

SOME FIRSTS: In 1865-Moline built hay rakes and fanning mills.

1900-The first successful cylinder corn sheller; it would be safe to say that hardly a corn farmer was without an MM corn sheller on the place, shelling corn.

1902-Direct flue boiler steam engines.

1915-Moline Universal tractor. The FIRST all purpose tractor with a complete line of tractor-attached machines built especially for it.

1938-The COMFOR TRACTOR introduced by Minneapolis Moline, the first tractor equipped with cab and many other features as regular equipment.

1940-Minneapolis Moline introduced the first military vehicle called the JEEP, a farm tractor converted to serve defense purposes.

A lifelong resident of the Le Sueur, Minnesota, area and co-chairman of the gathering, Charlie Schleeve remembers his yearly visits to the Minnesota State Fair, where Minneapolis Moline had the number-one display on Machinery Hill. He and his father made many trips to the MM dealers, where Charlie always brought home some beautiful colored literature and toys, which he still has. One of the first tractors he drove was a 1948 Model U, with a four-row planter and cultivator and a three-bottom plow. This proved to be a great line of equipment. Through the years Charlie and his wife Gerry have collected a number of tractors, toys, and memorabilia. In the past fifteen years they have gone to most of the winter and summer shows. They have met many fine people and friends. It is like one big family.

Plans are progressing nicely for the Minneapolis Moline National Summer Show at Le Sueur County Pioneer Power Show grounds August 22, 23, 24, 1997. Bring your families and join your friends.

A quote by a deceased MM Iowa dealer says it all: 'Someday we will take our life's wonderful memories with us, but let us leave some of the marks of things we enjoyed and things we did to our children and our children's children.'