247 Russett Drive N Keizer, Oregon 97303
Several years ago we published a history book about the Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association, Inc. Quite a few people have asked what our organization is all about, where are we located and how many members do we have.
From time to time we put forth this information for those who are interested in the hobby and might not know about us.
In December 1956, Mr. Dale M. Perrill of Rochester, Michigan, and John M. Achey, Dresser, Wisconsin, sent out postcards inquiring whether people were interested in starting the organization. They received a reply from five people. On the strength of those reply cards Mr. Perrill sent out a letter requesting that these people pass this letter on to five other people. Then Mr. Perrill sent out a form of ballot on which he asked for a vote on such matters as a suitable name, election of officers and other matters pertaining thereto.
The first officers were Mr. John Achey, president; Wendell Fertig, Larned, Kansas, vice-president; Alden R. Moural, Milton, Iowa, secretary; Dale M. Perrill, treasurer.
The name of the organization was the 'Middle States Early Day Gas and Tractor Association.' This was changed in 1957 to the Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association, so as to not make any reference to any specific location or territory.
Dues were set at $1.50 per year plus $1.50 for the directory. Membership was restricted to persons who owned more or less non-automotive machinery of at least 20 years or older.
It is noted that the membership on February 27,1958, was 26 members. The organization was incorporated in the state of Wisconsin officially on April 14, 1959, and is a nonprofit organization.
It is interesting to note (and documented) that Mr. Donald E. Robbins, of Troy, Ohio was the first member of the Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association to show engines at a show held by another organization. We have received information that Mr. Robbins was the first to show engines at any show. This was done in the early '50s and was at the Darke County Steam Threshers Inc. Show east of Greenville, Ohio.
The first few years of the organization were spent signing up new members, establishing the by-laws, going from a single type organization over to the branch system, and conducting related business.
The first branch formed was Branch One and located at St. Croix Valley, Wisconsin. This was done in June 1959. Branch Two was formed in Sussex, Wisconsin, in August 1959. Branch Three was also formed and was located in Geneseo, Illinois, in August 1959. It is noted that the membership was now at 185 members.
Well, since that time we have covered just over 35 years and have grown to 48 Branches with over 7,500 members. Membership is not restricted and is open to any person who is interested in the hobby.
Any person who is interested may join a branch in their area. If you are not sure if there is one located near you, contact one of the National Officers listed above.
Anyone wanting more information can contact any National Officer, also a history book is available. Send $3.00 postpaid to Jack Versteeg, 247 Russett Drive N, Keizer, Oregon 97303.