Gas Engine Magazine

Cooke County Antique Machinery Show

By Staff

Star Rt. Box 12, Gainesville, TX 76240.

The 1935 Ford pickup is owned by the Furthman
brothers of Myra, Texas. The 28 x 47 Case separator is the property
of Don and E. J. Schad of Lindsay, Texas. The scene is Cooke
County, Texas site of a show by a club formed in 1986.

In early April of 1986 a number of ! farmers and other antique
enthusiasts in the Cooke County area got together to form a
machinery club and organize an antique show for the north Texas

A number of us had been attending shows for years and thought we
had the general guidelines for putting on a good show, so we gave
it a shot on September 14, 1986. Because we had good attendance and
about 400 spectators for our first threshing show we decided to do
it again and on August 29th and 30th of 1987, we held our second
annual machinery show.

At about 7 A.M. Saturday, August the 29th, our exhibitors
started getting ready. Wilbur DeBorde was busy firing the Case 60
horsepower steam engine while countless other exhibitors were
preparing for the day. Don and Ed Schad Jr. were busy leveling and
positioning their Case 28 by 47 separator. Other members were
placing numbers and taking information on machines to be exhibited
and paraded. Some eighty tractors and countless other machines
ranging in years from a 1905 Eagle Hay Press owned by Doug Martin
and Leon Knauf to a huge 30-60 Aultman Taylor owned by Doc Swalwell
of Dallas, Texas.

The small tractor pull arena became a stir of curiosity by 10
o’clock that morning with exhibitors and spectators walking and
checking everything over. Approximately fifty small engines of the
hit and miss variety were present and truly amazed many people who
had never seen an engine run this way.

The threshing machine owned by Don and Ed Schad Jr. and powered
by a WK40 McCormick-Deering owned by Henry Hess Jr. of Lindsay,
Texas, seems to have drawn the most attention at the show and it is
interesting to stand by and listen to some of the older fellows
that used the machines in their time of popularity. It seems that
when one listens, he hears the same quote, ‘Oh, by about 9
o’clock or 10 o’clock we would generally throw a couple of
bundles in cross wise to choke the machine down and put an end to
the day.’

Generally one hears that quote with more colorful words added
in. Needless to say, we threshed about an acre of bundled wheat and
oats provided by Harold Corcoran and Don Schad, both of
Gainesville, Texas.

We had three hay presses, the Eagle, being mule-powered was used
and two power presses were also run. One being a Case baler and the
other an Ann Arbor, both of these balers owned by John and David
Matthews of Gainesville, Texas.

The threshing machine and balers were run intermittently all day
long as were other exhibits ranging from grist mills to corn
shellers and other small machines including a gas powered Maytag
washing machine owned by Paul Becker of Muenster, Texas.

Two events that we have that are really enjoyable to watch are
the kill race and the slow race.

Very rare 203 Twin Power Massey Harris owned by
Jim Espanshade of Calvert, OK. Photo taken from 30-60 Aultman
Taylor at Cooke County Show.

The kill race requires that several tractors be lined up with
the operators seated and the tractor engine not running. At the
drop of a flag the operator jumps off, starts the tractor by
cranking only, returning to the seat and racing to the finish line.
On the first day of our show, a 1952 VC Case owned by Sam and Nick
Hess won and the following day, a WC Allis Chalmers owned by Vic
Koelzer was the winner.

The slow race is equally interesting because it is comical to
watch an operator try and talk his tractor into idling just a bit
slower and still not die. This race was won on both days by a
Thirty Caterpillar owned by Paul Becker of Muenster, Texas. A WK40
McCormick-Deering owned by Henry Hess Jr. of Lindsay, Texas, gave
it a close race. During this race it was surprising to learn that
the impulses on the magnetoes of both tractors would occasionally
click in.

Our second show was a great success with about 1100 spectators.
The exhibitors had an enjoyable two days also but anyone who
participates in a show knows it to be lots of work, but it is very
much worth it. We hope to draw more exhibitors and spectators next
year and every year to help preserve a part of American agriculture
that should never be lost or forgotten.

  • Published on Mar 1, 1988
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