Mid-South Flywheelers Are Growing

By Staff
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Tractor and small engine lineup- larger engines were in the shade.
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David Billingsley demonstrates his 15 HP FM at the August show.
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Leslie Moffatt (left) explains how his thresher works.

Route 1, Box 39M Mason, Tennessee 38049

Three years ago several engine enthusiasts in the Memphis area
got together and formed an engine club. Tommy Kuntz was elected the
first president of the Mid-South Flywheelers. We showed our engines
at other clubs’ shows and in conjunction with various events in
Memphis and the surrounding area.

In 1986, we held the first show of our own at the Agricenter
International in Memphis. We had 6 tractors, approximately 50
engines and assorted items of old machinery exhibited. The state of
Tennessee was celebrating Homecoming 87, so our club members were
able to display their equipment before many people at various other
events. Everyone was extremely proud of our growth.

Last winter we elected Herman Ray as our second president and
our membership grew to 44 paying members. Our members built longer
and larger trailers to carry larger and more engines. We met during
the spring and discussed ways and means of making our shows more
interesting. We gathered at Leslie Moffatt’s shop one Saturday
and started rebuilding the shaker pan in his Case thresher. Members
went to sales and auctions to buy tractors, Maytag washing
machines, and other items to add more interest. One member, Mr.
B…(his wife doesn’t know about it yet) bought a portable
steamer and started its restoration.

August 20-22 was the date of our show this year. The show
started on Thursday but some of our members had to start hauling on
Tuesday after work in order to get all of their equipment hauled by
Thursday. We had perfect weather. The Agricenter was having a show
featuring new irrigation equipment and helped with advertising.

Leslie and his 12-20 Twin City were on the front page of the
Memphis Commercial Appeal. A local television station, Channel 5,
mentioned us on their morning show. Another station, Channel 13,
showed us live on their Friday news. We had 111 engines, 16
tractors, a hay press, a thresher, several grist mills, a cut-off
saw and many other interesting items. For three days we relived the
‘old days’ with many interested spectators. Joel and Leslie
threshed with Leslie’s thresher and Joel’s JD 80. David
Rayburn, David Tomlin, and Lee Williams ground corn meal from corn
grown at the Agricenter. David Billingsly and Bud Sexton helped
other members keep their engines running. Other members baled
straw, demonstrated the fine points of engines and tractors. The
wives kept a fresh supply of ice water available for our
spectators. We added several new members and found many new
friends.

Since then we have taken our equipment to other events and added
even more members. One of them, Joe McCraw, saw a ? scale sawmill
at Mt. Pleasant and has already built one and displayed it. Others
are busy restoring F-30’s, drag saws and other pieces of
equipment for next year’s show. We hope to continue to grow so
that someday we can own our own showground and rival some of the
large shows in surrounding states.

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