LeSueur County Pioneer Power Association:

Now 25 Years Old


| June/July 1998



45-65 Avery tractor

The 45-65 Avery appeared for the first time at the 1976 Dresselville/Tyrone Thresher Show held on the Preuhs farm located 7 miles east of LeSueur. Here the Avery is powering a 36 x 60 steel Nichols & Shepard Red River Special thresher.

The LeSueur County Pioneer Power Association will celebrate its 25th anniversary at its show on August 28-30, 1998. The Pioneer Power Association began as the boyhood dream of Dave Preuhs. In August of 1974, Dave Preuhs hosted a neighborhood threshing bee on his farm in Tyrone township in LeSueur County, Minnesota. The public was invited and refreshments were served. Exhibits at this threshing bee included a 1926 John Deere D, 1927 John Deere D, and a 1929 model AA Ford truck.

Field demonstrations at the threshing bee were limited to operation of a Nichols and Shepard 28 x 46 Red River Special thresher. Nonetheless, it was this field demonstration that captured the imagination of the thirty people from the immediate neighborhood who were in attendance at the threshing bee, and so started the LeSueur County Pioneer Power Show.

The neighbors who had attended the 1974 event all agreed that the threshing bee should be repeated the next year in 1975. Consequently, the 1975 bee was held on the neighboring Edwin Reddemann farm. This time, the threshing bee was advertised in local newspapers and by means of Xeroxed leaflets. In preparation for the 1975 threshing bee, some of the neighbors built a grain stack from bundles of oats. In recent memory, this was the first year that grain was threshed from a stack. The 40-60 persons in attendance were treated to the threshing demonstration along with a small exhibit of several antique tractors and a few stationary gas engines.

Adopting the name 'Dresselville-Tyrone Threshers' for the first time, the 1976 threshing bee was moved back to the Preuhs farm located on the southern boundary of Tyrone township.

Dresselville was the name of an old community located southwest of the Preuhs farm. Although Dresselville was largely a memory by 1976, the unincorporated village had at one time consisted of a school, church, post office, and creamery. The 1976 Dresselville-Tyrone Threshing Bee was advertised by means of a limited number of posters which were circulated locally. About 100 people attended the August 8,1976 threshing bee. The crowd was treated to the first appearance of the 45-65 Avery tractor owned by the Budenski Brothers of West Concord, Minnesota. The Budenski Brothers also brought along their eight bottom John Deere, platform plow. The 1976 show saw the first appearance of corn shredding and plowing as field demonstrations. In addition, Orbe Reddemann of rural LeCenter operated his Ottawa crosscut log saw for the first time. In all, 15 tractors, 20 stationary gas engines, and four antique cars and trucks were exhibited. A donation box was used to collect contributions from those in attendance.

Finally, on March 1,1977, seventeen neighbors interested in the Dresselville/Tyrone Threshing Bee met in the farm shop on the Eldon Brown farm, and decided to incorporate into a nonprofit association. Upon the suggestion of Ivan Guertin, that association was named the 'The LeSueur County Pioneer Power Association.' It was thought that the new name would enlarge the appeal of the association beyond the immediate Dresselville/Tyrone area to all of LeSueur County. Little did the founders realize the association would soon have national appeal. At the founding meeting of the association, Dave Preuhs was elected president; Elden Braun, vice president; Ivan Guertin, secretary; and Bill Thelemann, treasurer. Also elected as members of the board were Frank Boehne, Ken Braun, John Pollack, Brian Guertin , Glen Braun, and Wayne Schwartz. The last full weekend in August was picked for the permanent show date.