Courtesy of Carl O. H. Neitzel, Rt. 5, Box 244, Port Orchard, Washington 98366
R. R. 1, Muscatine, Ia. 52761
I am a new subscriber and enjoy your magazine very much. I thought you and your readers might like to hear about a visit I made to the Midwest Old Settlers' and Threashers' Reunion At Mount Pleasant, Iowa, last Sept.
This is billed as the largest show of it's kind in the U.S.A. and once you see it you understand why.
There were close to fifty old steam engines of all sizes, from the huge under mounted engine models to the tiny three foot high one made entirely of brass and hand built by the owner. One steamer was operating a veneer machine turning out foot after foot of unbroken veneer. O small upright engine ran the merry go round.
The circumference of the show ground is about three miles, and is surrounded by a railroad track. An old time Western train operates on this track and is complete with the old water tank and depot. There was another old locomotive operating there and an old loggers' steamer that was not running.
The gasoline tractors and engines were well represented too. There were the Rumley, Fordson, Hart-Parr, and many others up to and including the huge Oil Pull. There was also a Happy Farmer, operating perfectly. The one I enjoyed most was a tractor introduced to the fanner at the time many horses were still in use. The operator road a cart behind the tractor, holding a pair of leather reins in his hands the same as with horses. The other end of the reins were attached to an upright post on the tractor, as long as this post was upright the tractor was in neutral, allowing the post to go forward put the tractor in forward motion, pull it back beyond center it reversed, and pulling either rein separately turned either right or left.
There were many one cylinder stationary gas engines on display, most of them running. One in particular interested me, it was about a six horse, I think International sitting there running. It seemed you could almost count the spokes in the fly-wheel, it was turning so slowly. It would turn for almost a minute with out a sound, then it would go 'phutt' and start over again.
Several hundred antique automobiles were there, some from as far away as New York. The Ford, Flint, Kissel, Auburn, Oldsmobile, Dusenberg, and many others were all represented.
Large buildings filled with antiques of all kinds holds much interest for the people attending.
On part of the grounds are authentic buildings, completely furnished, of the Old Settlers's cabin, saloon, wagon shop, post office and newspaper, the old country store, and the barber shop with hair cuts at twenty-five cents.
It costs only one dollar per person to see all this and this also makes you a member for one year. The show lasts five days and this one cost is coverage for the entire time including shows in the amphitheatre.
There is a nice camp group just outside the gates, while inside an old fashioned threashers' dinner is served at noon. This of course is not free. You can not see it all in one day and the day we were there about fifteen thousand people attended.
I have an old two cycle engine, less than one horse, I have restored that I will send pictures and write to you about later.
An 'Alco' engine made by Automatic Light Company, Port Clinton, Ohio. No number or horse power, 4 cycle, no governor, 'T' coil ignition, water cooled. Want information on this engine. 12.. dia. flywheel, about 2? bore by about 4' stroke.