A Minnesota Heritage Renewed

By Staff
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1937 YT-2 cylinder M-M tractor, Serial No. 63002. This was the second one built, and is owned by Charlie Schleeve from LeSueur, Minnesota.
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A beautiful restoration of a 27-44 Twin City owned by Dave Milbret of Janesville, Minnesota.
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In front, a 22-44 Minneapolis, bringing up the rear is big brother, a 35-70 Minneapolis. Both tractors owned by Frank and Betty Sticha from New Prague, Minnesota.

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.’

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