Annual Nebraska State Antique Tractor and Horse Plowing Bee

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Box 21,Rt. 1 Winnetoon, Nebraska 68789

On August 23 and 24, 1997, the 15th annual Nebraska State Antique Tractor and Horse Plowing Bee was held two miles northwest of Petersburg, Nebraska, on the Charlie Huisman farm. This year's feature was John Deere tractors, engines and machinery, with about fifty John Deere tractors, but not so many John Deere engines. There was one John Deere tractor BR, 1945, 1248 HP, also a John Deere stationary WHI water cooled 42 HP.

The 'big daddy' was a Minneapolis steam engine made by Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company. It was a 25-75 horsepower belted up to a Rumely threshing machine. This machine was also displayed at the Nebraska State Fair. A unique machine was an old Birdsall sweet clover huller, with all wooden spoke wheels and wooden body of the machine. Also different was an IHC hay baler that uses button wire. This is wire already made up to length that has a small button on the end which is inserted into the loop and then squeezed shut and the bale is tied.

Also in the baler class was an old stationary IHC, 6 HP unit mounted right on the baler. Another oddball was a Gibson tractor I 1949; a 40 HP Friday, (which is the name of the tractor); a McCormick Farmall with spade lugs; a Twin City tractor by Minneapolis Steel and Machinery Company; 1926 20-35 HP OilPull Rumely; and a B.F. Avery tractor, model A. As always, there was homemade wind power plus a John Deere 60 Hi-wheel and a John Deere D with six inch extensions on rear steel wheels. There was a John Deere crawler 420 and a four hole corn sheller, plus a shingle mill with the nice smell of newly sawn red cedar. Plowing was going with both tractors and horses, and as it was extremely hot, the horses didn't plow that long. Sweeping hay and stacking it was done with an overshot stacker. In the small engine department there was a Cushman Cub 2 HP made right here in our state at Lincoln, Nebraska; the Busy Boy 1 HP; Tom Thumb; a 1912 air cooled Titan and Ingeco 11/4 HP all made by International Gas Engine Company.

We had a Root & Vandervoort 1 HP and a unique 'The Beat 'Em All' engine 3 HP, made by Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company.

There were others, but nothing like shows in eastern states. We are very close to the sandhills here, and in the old days they used horses and raised cattle, so what engines and farm equipment we had we feel proud of as there was never as much here as in heavy farming areas. I brought an old Dexter washing machine with double tub and nickel plating on the outside. It was belted up to a Rock Island water cooled engine, which caught the eye of older women and made the younger women ask, 'What is it?'

A novelty at this year's threshing was old fashioned homebrew, rootbeer and sarsaparilla made by a lady from Missouri; as everybody knows, we don't have sarsaparilla in the north country. So that went real good as everybody was thirsty, because it was so hot. The second day of the show the temperature hit 101 degrees. I suffered through that and was out in it every day.

Well, see you all next year as the show just gets better!