Author Stuckey with his recently restored Oliver 77 Standard.
4777 Upper Valley Pike, Dayton, Ohio 45424
The 14th Annual Reunion was held by the Mid-America Threshing and Antique, Inc. of Tipton, Ind., August 12, 13, and 14. This year's president, Terry Ploughe, was greatly interested in having a successful show featuring the Minneapolis-Moline line of equipment. The Prairie Gold Rush Show was on with over 120 tractors and many other types of machinery of the same color. The details were in the capable hands of Mark Henderson and his wife. Mark's father, Don, made a sizable contribution to the success of the show before his untimely passing.
It was evident by the rows of Prairie Gold that this equipment had been sold by many dealers in the area. Visible over all the others the A4T-1600 was the doyen of the clan. Even though there were scores of tractors, there were few duplicates. Guy Alspaugh, the Uniking, brought four of his fourteen, including a rare manure spreader. Don Kingen was up front with his very nice un-restored RCAB and UDLX. Nearby was the famous 1938 UDLX belonging to Francis Sutherland of Harrisville, Pa., who brought his display the greatest distance. In the window of the Sutherland tractor, was a sign that said 150 UDLX tractors were made and 77 are known to exist.
Across from the hospitality tent was Ernest Weissert's NXT, 1944 Navy Jeep. This beautiful rare piece was the result of an accidental find in Florida and months of meticulous restoration. The people in the crowd surrounding the Jeep focused their attention on the modified Z engine installation and the auxiliary transmission between the engine and normal transmission. The Jeep performed as it did when new in 1944. It was a true resurrection, verified by the before pictures Ernest had.
Also in the limelight was Rex Mercer's ZASI tractor, an Air Force contract tractor which was beautifully restored and painted Prairie Gold to the same perfection as Rex's Minneapolis-Moline Super Four.
In the afternoon parade we saw a UTS Propane, which we all had seen at Ed Welter's. It has since been purchased by an Indiana couple. I'm sure Ed and Sally saw other M M tractors there that they had once owned. The parade not only included most of the M M tractors, but scores of other makes that filled the showgrounds.
The many steam engines with their smoke and whistles kept informing us it was an early day farming celebration. The horses and mules were busy working ground and hauling passengers. Those who didn't mind dirt on their prize tractors were also working ground.
The big crowd of attendees periodically made it to the hospitality tent for a cool drink and to see old friends. Wendel Kingsley and his wife left their collection of nearly forty M M in Miller, Missouri, to see everyone and sell some literature. Roger Baumgartner was looking good after his siege of illness. Merv Simon of Ross-burg, Ohio, was there inviting all to see his collection when the M M collectors have a winter meeting at Sidney, Ohio, for the last week in February. Rosie Baumgartner. was busy selling tickets for the banquet. Virgil and Betty Harland spent time telling about the successful M M collectors show in Nebraska.
Saturday passed too quickly and the evening found over 200 Prairie Gold collectors following Mark Henderson to the school across the street where the banquet was held. It was a wonderful dinner prepared by the Methodist ladies of Tipton. It was a fun time to talk to other enthusiastic collectors. Don Sutherland came all the way from Paris, Ontario, to tell about his 37 Minnies and invited all to attend Springfest 89 at Coryn Farm Supplies, Canandaigua, New York.
During the program Rosie called the names of the lucky gift winners.
Marvin Henderson, a dealer from Clayton, Ind., gave an interesting talk. Dave Stangle of Kewanna told about his experiences pulling tractors. Miss Christina Gerhart of Tip-ton spoke as 'Miss Minnie Mo PGR Queen'. And everyone laughed when Dave Chittick was given a Canadian chain saw-a carpenter saw handle with chain attached. Many then left, like Mike and Suzanne Wheeley from Woodburn, Ky., who wanted to get on toward home Saturday night. Dave Chittick and Murray Perkins with others played music while others talked on into the night.