Annual Nebraska State Antique Tractor and Horse Plowing Bee

By Staff

Box 21,Rt. 1 Winnetoon, Nebraska 68789

On August 23 and 24, 1997, the 15th annual Nebraska State
Antique Tractor and Horse Plowing Bee was held two miles northwest
of Petersburg, Nebraska, on the Charlie Huisman farm. This
year’s feature was John Deere tractors, engines and machinery,
with about fifty John Deere tractors, but not so many John Deere
engines. There was one John Deere tractor BR, 1945, 1248 HP, also a
John Deere stationary WHI water cooled 42 HP.

The ‘big daddy’ was a Minneapolis steam engine made by
Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company. It was a 25-75 horsepower
belted up to a Rumely threshing machine. This machine was also
displayed at the Nebraska State Fair. A unique machine was an old
Birdsall sweet clover huller, with all wooden spoke wheels and
wooden body of the machine. Also different was an IHC hay baler
that uses button wire. This is wire already made up to length that
has a small button on the end which is inserted into the loop and
then squeezed shut and the bale is tied.

Also in the baler class was an old stationary IHC, 6 HP unit
mounted right on the baler. Another oddball was a Gibson tractor I
1949; a 40 HP Friday, (which is the name of the tractor); a
McCormick Farmall with spade lugs; a Twin City tractor by
Minneapolis Steel and Machinery Company; 1926 20-35 HP OilPull
Rumely; and a B.F. Avery tractor, model A. As always, there was
homemade wind power plus a John Deere 60 Hi-wheel and a John Deere
D with six inch extensions on rear steel wheels. There was a John
Deere crawler 420 and a four hole corn sheller, plus a shingle mill
with the nice smell of newly sawn red cedar. Plowing was going with
both tractors and horses, and as it was extremely hot, the horses
didn’t plow that long. Sweeping hay and stacking it was done
with an overshot stacker. In the small engine department there was
a Cushman Cub 2 HP made right here in our state at Lincoln,
Nebraska; the Busy Boy 1 HP; Tom Thumb; a 1912 air cooled Titan and
Ingeco 11/4 HP all made by International Gas
Engine Company.

We had a Root & Vandervoort 1 HP and a unique ‘The Beat
‘Em All’ engine 3 HP, made by Waterloo Gasoline Engine
Company.

There were others, but nothing like shows in eastern states. We
are very close to the sandhills here, and in the old days they used
horses and raised cattle, so what engines and farm equipment we had
we feel proud of as there was never as much here as in heavy
farming areas. I brought an old Dexter washing machine with double
tub and nickel plating on the outside. It was belted up to a Rock
Island water cooled engine, which caught the eye of older women and
made the younger women ask, ‘What is it?’

A novelty at this year’s threshing was old fashioned
homebrew, rootbeer and sarsaparilla made by a lady from Missouri;
as everybody knows, we don’t have sarsaparilla in the north
country. So that went real good as everybody was thirsty, because
it was so hot. The second day of the show the temperature hit 101
degrees. I suffered through that and was out in it every day.

Well, see you all next year as the show just gets better!

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