2821 Wilmington Road, Lebanon, Ohio 45036
Old Timers Days in Xenia, Ohio, were held September 24 through 27, 1998. The weekend temperature varied from 46 degrees in the early morning to 90 degrees in late afternoon on Saturday and Sunday. We had high humidity the two days, but the weather was okay for southern Ohio. It was okay for the meeting of many people interested in old machinery, tractors, engines, horses, mules, donkeys and food galore.
I drove to Xenia, Ohio, a 24 mile trip, with my 1? HP John Deere Series E engine, a 1951 LUC John Deere combine engine, and a 1979 John Deere garden tractor on Wednesday evening. I arrived at 4:00 P.M. I found over 150 tractors already present. I unloaded my John Deeres and then began to look things over. I looked for two hours and was really impressed. At 6:30 P.M. everybody was asked to come to the office for homemade ice cream and cake. The Old Timers and their wives really put on a real feed. Every single person was invited. The food was all free to everybody.
On Thursday morning at 6:30 A.M. I met my cousin's wife for breakfast and then went to the fairgrounds to see all the tractors and engines. It was really fun watching the many people unload their favorite equipment. I was really impressed. I spent hours of enjoyable time watching people bring their trucks, trailers and their own specific worldly possessions to the Old Timers Show.
On Friday, September 25, I personally counted 220 tractors, 90 garden tractors, 120 engines, one shredder, three threshers, one silo cutter, one steam engine and they were still coming in every few minutes. Lots of people do not come in until Friday because of their work schedule.
I talked to one gentleman by the name of Donald Kendig. He found, at a General motors plant in Dayton, Ohio, a 1949 I-4 McCormick Deering tractor. It really is a Farmall H motor mounted on a W-4 Chassis with a wide front end. He showed me the before pictures. The tractor was used to haul equipment around a car producing plant. The fenders were bent, painted red and yellow, and pretty much worse for wear. Today the tractor was in perfect shape, painted red, fenders fixed, new tires and the motor worked over. The tractor was perfect. Quite a change from the time spent at a factory in Dayton hauling heavy industrial equipment around.
All four days, Russell Luse and his crew shredded corn, filled silo and threshed wheat. Each day somebody else would belt their tractor to the different machines. One particular day a 1920 Huber steam engine was used to power the thresher. One display that was great, the shredder shredded the corn, the corn then went to a sheller. The shelled corn then went to a grinder, and the cobs went to another grinder to grind the cob. Each machine was belted to a tractor. Everyone was interested in the power display. The belts were going everywhere. OSHA would have loved it!!! A yellow ribbon surrounded the display for safety reasons.
Bill Finkbone had his portable saw mill working all three days. Each day a different tractor was used to saw the wood. The person supplying the trees got his wood sawed into one-by-fours and other appropriate sizes. A rather large pile of lumber was piled in neat piles by the end of the three days.
From Wednesday through Sunday evening the ice cream crew was busy making homemade ice cream in five gallon makers. Each ice cream maker was powered by a small gas engine. It was really neat to see people watching ice cream being made.
The Old Timers had a horse, mule and donkey show on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They were busy each day working and showing their animals. It was fun to see the animals perform. They were great.
The flea market and craft show was well represented. The fairgrounds was crawling with people looking at the various crafts and items or sale. There was something for everybody.
The feature attraction was International Harvester tractors and engines. I believe I found 105 International, McCormick-Deering and Farmall tractors. The engine crew had a 10 HP single cylinder engine on display I believe it was built in 1910-11 era. Several more single cylinder engines were present, such as LA, LB, M, Famous, Titans, and Moguls. All the engines were running nearly the entire show. The 10 horsepower International single cylinder engine was started everyday. The engine ran perfectly and was in great shape. One Mogul engine was on display by itself. The engine was perfect and could barely be heard as it smoothly ran.
John Deere tractors were the most numerous. From the huge 730 to a small BR John Deere was present. I believe every tractor make was present. I know the following were represented: Allis Chalmers, Avery, Cockshutt, Oliver, John Deere, Ford, Massey-Harris, Massey-Ferguson, Farmall, International Harvester, McCormick-Deering, Caterpillar, Minneapolis-Moline, Case, Ferguson, Huber. If I left some out I am sorry, but I think my inventory is accurate. Over 300 tractors were finally shown at the show.
In a special tent were some valuable displays. A 1916 International tractor was on display, along with pedal tractors, model tractors made of wood, a working steam display, buggies and a horse-drawn sleigh.
The garden tractor display was well-represented. Over 145 tractors, rototillers and other small items were shown. One gentleman had a great display of John Deere patio tractors in original colors. They all ran to perfection in their restored painted condition.
Bigger is not always better, but the Old Timers had the largest display of so many different attractions that I believe nobody could go away discouraged. The cost was $2.00 and Friday was senior citizen day for half-price or $1.00.
If you are in southern Ohio the last weekend of September of 1999, please come to Xenia, Ohio, Greene County Fairgrounds and you will be impressed.