Editor, The Commercial Review, Portland, Indiana 47371
The Tri-State Gas Engine and Antique Tractor Association which
encompasses members throughout the Midwest, held its annual
Christmas dinner and awards presentation Saturday, Dec. 2, in
Nearly 100 members attended the function to enjoy each
other’s fellowship, review the successes during the past year
and to keep plans moving for next year. Each year in August, the
association sponsors one of, if not, the biggest gas engine and
tractor shows in the United States.
Last August, over 20,000 passed through the Jay County, Indiana,
Fairgrounds gate to view 725 gas engines, 92 tractors, 12 steam
engine tractors, three miniature steam traction engines, two
stationary engines made before 1900 and the wares of more than 125
So successful was the show that Woody Turner, president of the
association, announced during the show the dates for next
year’s show: Aug. 24, 25 and 26.
The Christmas dinner was held with the equally-important purpose
of honoring those whom the board of directors felt contributed most
to the show’s success. The club member who contributes most is
named ‘Sparkplug of the Year.’
This year’s ‘Sparkplug of the Year’ went to Fred
Mayhew of Indianapolis, Indiana. He has been a member almost since
the association was formed some seven years back. Turner, in
presenting the award, said Mayhew was a ‘Johnny on the
spot.’ The president said the Indianapolis man, who brings his
2236 McCormick-Deering tractor to the show, was always around when
he was needed, doing whatever needed to be done. Turner said the
list of things Mayhew did for the show both prior and during was so
large that everything couldn’t be recalled.
Past ‘Sparkplugs of the Year’ winners include: Carolyn
Titus, Pendleton, Indiana, 1971; Walter Baldauf, Portland, Indiana,
1970; and Joe Fahnestock, Union City.
In addition, the association presented a special
‘Outstanding Service Award’ to Gary Hengstler, editor of
The Commercial Review, Portland’s daily newspaper. Hengstler
was cited for promotional articles in support of the annual
Entertaining the association at the dinner was Lloyd Thurston of
Shelby-ville, Indiana. He has won the ‘Old Time
Fiddler’s’ contest held at the August show for the last two
years in a row. He was accompanied by his wife and Paul McCalip,
also of Shelby-ville.
The meal was prepared by ladies of the Rosary Society of the
Immaculate Conception Church in Portland.
From left: Turner, Hengstler, Titus and Mayhew.