Corydon, Iowa 50060
The Central Hawkeye Gas Engine and Old Tractor Club held their
Second Annual Show July 23 & 24 at their new show grounds near
Waukee, Iowa. This is an ideal location. It’s just a short
distance off of I 80, about 9 miles West of where 180 and 135 join
each other for a spell, in other words, if you are on I 80, take
Exit 29 and put on the brakes for you are there.
This was the second year at this location for the Club. Twenty
one members of the Club went together and bought 27 acres of land
here. For a number of years the Central Hawkeye Club put on the
show at Living History Farms near Des Moines, Iowa.
The Club was forced to hunt a different location and this has
really helped the Club as they now can have a swap tent, flea
markets and plenty of rest rooms. The location is ideal for a show.
Lots of shade, etc., and it is hoped to have electricity by next
year. There is room for threshing, plowing with antique tractors
and lots of room for campers.
What is a good engine show? To me, it is the engines, with all
the extra little goodies that the exhibitors bring along too. Such
as the root cutter for cutting roots to feed poultry etc., brought
to the show by Charley Smith of Melbourne, Iowa. Or the crazy tree
saw shown by Christie Wurster of Zeoring, Iowa. Or maybe the
stuffed 2-headed calf shown along with other interesting items by
George Preston of Bell Plaine, Iowa. I had seen George’s
exhibit a few times at Mount Pleasant, Iowa and it was at one of
these shows I saw George’s hot fan. This was the first time I
had ever heard of a hot air engine or vacuum engine.
There were lots of engines at this show. Duane Parsons said
Saturday afternoon there were on hand 167 gas engines, 85 model
engines, 29 tractors and one big steam engine and a half grown one.
The model engine display was a show of its own.
Three men made the exhibit: Ronald Christenson of Carlisle; Paul
Johnson of Des Moines; and Bill Cole of Altoona did this up in fine
style. This was the first time I ever saw model 4 cylinder engines
that purred like a mad bumble bee when they ran. There were model
steam engines, airplane engines and one of the men had a model
outboard motor boat engine.
Wayne Holder of Leon, Iowa brought a 3000 pound Koot and
Strohmen engine to the show that came out of the oil fields of
Oklahoma. If we ever strike oil here in Iowa, we will have the
engines here to do the pumping as quite a few of the good ole Iowa
boys are sneaking down there and bringing them up here.
The Hoovers of Peru, Illinois put on a real good display of
items they make to sell. Watch fobs, belt buckles, embroidered
patches and antique tractor models. I will be glad when I get in my
second childhood so I can buy one of their toy Rumely oil pull
tractors. (Speaking of Rumely Oil Pull tractors, I think I counted
7 of them in the old tractor line-up). One large single cylinder
painted up like new was brought to the show by Lyle Dumont of
Sigourney, Iowa which is quite a distance away. Lyle has a museum
up there, I think, called ‘Pioneer Farms’.
Threshing was done by a John Deere separator powered by Dean
Vannoys 191016 HP Advance steam engine. Also saw a Woods Bros,
separator powered by a GP John Deere. Thanye Henderson was the
separator man on each while I was watching. Also the half grown
steam engine was displayed by Dennis Vannoy, Dean’s son. A gear
had come un welded so this little machine was not running on
My son-in-law, Norman Jay Nickel of Ankeny, Iowa had worked on
his 1911 cycle car for two days getting ready for Sunday. I think
he had done everything to it but change the air in the tires, so
what-Sunday morning it was raining and we came to the show without
it. At noon the sun came out strong and we made a flying 50 mile
round trip to Ankeny and back with the car.
This show was another thrill to me as it was the first show I
was ever able to bring all three grandsons to-and Yup, ‘Old
Grandpa’ was so pleased he bought badges for all of them to
remember the show.
I met Mike Green of Des Moines and saw his ‘What Is It’
engine that he went clear over to Milford, Connecticut for and
hooded George Clark out of it. It was thought at one time this was
a water-cooled upright Maytag engine, but no one knows for sure. We
have some real sharp guys on Maytags, but rumors keep coming up
that at one time Maytag used a water-cooled engine. As Maytag is a
Newton, Iowa product, we old Iowa boys should know it all, but we
The Hays Buggy reconditioning shop of RR Dallas Center, Iowa
brought some nicely restored buggies to the show. I guess you can
take these boys a buggy tongue and they can put a buggy on the
other end of it for you.
There was only one more antique car there, while I was there
Sunday. A nicely restored 1920 Model T touring car owned by Varlen
Carlson of Stanhope, Iowa.
Transportation around the ground was done by wagons of the
Pioneer Seed Company, pulled by tractors. The drivers of these
tractors should be given a medal as they drove through the rain and
again through the hot sunshine which followed. Lots of flea market
dealers were on hand for the show. I thought the quantity and
quality of their goods were above average. I have seen some flea
markets that were so flee-ie that you scratched for several days.
Afterwards, all in all, this was a terrific show and if I
don’t stop this will turn into a book.