W.M.A.T.&M.A. Spells Fun in Adrian, Missouri

Christensen sideshaft

Don Hollar's beautifully restored Christensen sideshaft.

Content Tools

653 King ridge Pl Shreveport, Louisiana 71108

Back in 1975, a group of 26 farmers, business men, and community leaders from the Adrian, Missouri, area got together and decided to have an antique tractor pull. As the word got around, old tractors began disappearing from fence rows and salvage yards and shops.

By the day of the pull, as diverse a collection of old tractors as you could imagine (at least by condition) was assembled at the town park. There were some totally restored by those who had already been in the hobby for some time. There were others already in the process of restoration, and still others fresh from the back 40, complete with rust, leaking radiators and tires, and dripping sediment bowls.

Everyone had so much fun, and there was such a good turnout that it was decided to do this again in 1976. Each year there were more tractors, many with new paint and tires. Finally, in 1979 the club which had evolved, Western Missouri Antique Tractor and Machinery Association decided it was ready to host its own show.

Each year the show has grown, with more exhibitors and larger crowds. In 1982 the club acquired 25 acres along Highway 71 at the edge of Adrian. Soon Frontier Village began to emerge, as buildings were erected, or moved and restored on the grounds. In 1983, the old one room Mt. Vernon country school was moved to the village and restored by the club. Some members had gone to school there as children. The ladies got into the act by purchasing the old Spruce Store, which was torn down and reconstructed in the village. The Ladies Auxiliary became a driving force to build several more buildings and facelift the entire show grounds.

There is an early day bank, printing shop, ice cream parlor, mill house, wood working shop, museum, large horse barn, and engine building. The latest addition just completed for the 1992 show was the one room Mulberry Church, which was moved 15 miles and restored by ladies and men of the club.

Over the years, the first order of business has been that the show should be fun, and the 1992 show was no exception. The directors and club members work hard to try to keep everyone happy.

The featured tractor for 1992 was Oliver, and the featured engine was Witte, which was built about 50 miles north of Adrian in Kansas City. There were approximately 125 tractors, and by the afternoon, Dixie Brook over had registered 298 engines. Eighty-five year old Fred Witte, a descendant of the engine builder, was there with his Witte engines. The trophy for best restored engine went to Don Hollar, Jr., of Overland Park, Kansas, for his 1911, 3 HP Christensen side shaft.

Best engine display went to Joe Winter of Richards, Missouri, and Johnny Hough of Rich Hill, Missouri. Their display included Joe's 6 HP Titan and Johnny's 6 HP Associated, both beautifully restored on trucks, and Johnny's very nice 5 HP Sandwich among other engines. The trophy for best featured engine went to Ken Wright of Harrison, Arkansas for his 4 HP headless Witte.

Trophies for best tractors went to Charles and Helen Haver field of Parker, Kansas for their 1917 Avery; Jim Becker for his 1930 Massey Harris; and Levon Yates for his 1937 F-30 Farmall. Best Oliver at show was taken by Carl Reiner.

There was corn meal grinding, saw milling, water pumping, threshing, plowing with tractors and horses, stump pulling demonstrations and an antique car display. The kiddie pedal pull, for kids under 90 years of age, was a riot, and showed us that some clowns will work for free!

After the tractor pull Saturday evening there was music by the Cross Country Band. The grand finale Saturday was the fireworks display at 9:00 P.M. put on in the nearby city park by the Optimist Club. Three or four hours later, Mother Nature began her own fireworks display, with thunder and lightening, followed by rain. The rain continued off and on until afternoon on Sunday.

Church services were held in the old Mulberry Church, and later exhibitors visited under canopies, porches and various buildings. During a lull in the rain, Joe Winter cranked up his 6 HP Titan, and soon a few others did the same. Most folks were still having fun. Loading up in the mud took some of the enjoyment out of things, but all in all it was still a terrific weekend.

The 1993 show will feature John Deere tractors and Stover gas engines. Dates are July 23, 24, 25. Fall Festival will be September 25, 26. Come join us for fun in Adrian, Missouri.