President, LeCenter, Minnesota
The weatherman finally cooperated with the LeSueur County
Pioneer Power Association (well almost) and gave us one of the best
weekends in our existence, not only weather wise but as to the
number of people attending. The attendance was three times that of
previous years with people coming from at least 11 different
states, all the way from Massachusetts to Washington.
The members and exhibitors were really keyed up for this
year’s show and they really put out an overall effort not only
in exhibiting a record number of tractors and gas engines, but also
in preparing the show grounds for the 3-day event. This was our
second year at our new permanent show grounds and it looked like a
picnic area with the tall bass-wood, hackberry and maple trees
towering overhead providing plenty of shade for everyone. The
freshly mowed grass provided a picturesque setting.
A welcomed addition this year was the new 40 x 130 foot display
building and the ladies’ auxiliary had it packed full of
different and unusual displays of antique kitchen items, clocks,
toys, paintings, tools, license plates, ladies country store, and
demonstrations of spinning wool, quilting, and much more. In the
off season the building will be used for storage. Another new
building is the addition of the old Dressellville creamery built in
1897 and this will be used as a clubhouse and office at next
This also was a bigger year for us as far as entertainment goes.
Just to mention some were organ music, old time bands, fiddle
music, square dancing, and old time folk music provided by a
30-member male chorus. I’m sure there were many a tune whistled
in gas engine alley.
There were many smoke rings rising through the trees of gas
engine alley. There were 36 displays that totaled 188 engines, big
and small, short and tall, from near and far, and room for more.
They ranged in size from the small miniature models to a large 25
HP Fairbanks-Morse oil engine. Some were at work running
grindstones, burr mills, flour mills, drag saws, vacuum pumps, air
pumps and pump jacks. An extremely rare 4 HP Chase gas engine was
exhibited for the first time by one of our members. Other uncommon
engines exhibited were Demster, McVicker, Wilson-Des Moines, 14 HP
hopper cooled Lauson, and several others. Other exhibits included
cast iron seats, corn planter lids, tool and barb wire collections,
rope making, motorbikes, and moon buggys.
A number of model gas engines were also exhibited and they were
belted to miniature pump jacks and a generator. Everyone knows that
it takes a lot of time, money, and patience to build these models
and I’m sure the exhibitors received many fine comments for
When the final tally was in, the tractor lineup numbered 95 to
the surprise of everyone, up nearly 30 units from last year. New
tractors exhibited this year included such brand names as Fordson,
Twin City, Samson, J. D. Lindeman crawler, Titan, Hart-Parr, Huber,
Case cross-motor, WK-40 and I-12 Internationals, Wallis, plus
several McCormick Deerings, John Deeres, and others. I am sure next
year the list will number over 100.
Along with the large 28 HP Minneapolis steam engine, several
scale model Case steamers were on hand and actually operated model
machinery such as sawmill, cord wood saw, threshing machine, and
bakers fan. A -scale Advance was also on hand and proved to be a
The field demonstrations included stack threshing using a 1913
36 x 60 Nichols & Shepard wood separator with wing feeders,
usually belted to the 28 HP Minneapolis steamer; although the 35-70
Minneapolis tractor and a 20-40 Oil Pull also had their turn at
twisting its tail. Other threshing machines seen in action were a
28 inch Belle City, a 22 inch Red River Special, and a 22 inch
McCormick Deering. Also demonstrating was a 100-year-old hand feed
separator, corn shredding, stationary baling, silage cutting,
plowing using a John Deere 8-bottom plow pulled by the 28 HP
Minneapolis steamer and a 28-50 Hart Parr even made two rounds
(with it in the ground), bakers fan. New this year was a belt
driven dynamometer which told the very interesting show piece. Wood
working items included the sawmill, shingle and lathe mill, wood
splitting and cutting. Feed was ground not only by engine power but
by horse power using a Stover horse powered grinder which was new
this year and a real crowd pleaser. The horse men also demonstrated
plowing along with the pulling of several hayracks which delighted
both the young and old alike to ‘hitch a ride.’
Several contests were held. One was a cross-cut log sawing
contest with both a mens and ladies class; a frying pan throwing
contest for the ladies. Many a spectator scrambled as several
ladies left loose with a good ‘ol southern Minnesota ‘hook
throw’ and then, on the other hand, several must have had
practice at home throwing at something or someone long before the
contest, as they left loose with a straight and narrow throw right
Another contest was a tractor pull among the members. No
official measurements or anything but just for the fun of it. Next
year we hope to plan an antique tractor pull and have it on a
Our blacksmith was busy pounding out miniature horseshoes and
square nails. The blacksmith shop is nestled between several large
maple trees on the edge of a small clearing next to gas engine
alley and makes a very picturesque scene.
Our antique car committee did a fine job in rounding up 47
antique autos, from a brass model T Ford to the Edsel era plus
several specialty cars and trucks. Our Grand Marshals and
Outstanding Member had the honor of each riding in a convertible
supplied by the car committee. Our Grand Marshals were Ervin and
Ethel Dahn and our Outstanding Member was Orbe Reddemann who spends
many hours at the grounds throughout the year doing various jobs
that might not otherwise get done.
Several new items have already been lined up for next year’s
show: a 20 HP Minneapolis steamer; 15-30 (single cylinder); 16-30;
and 40-60 Rumelys; 25-50 Avery; Heider; the operation of an 8-roll
Maytag corn shredder; horsepower stationary baler, and I’m sure
several other items of interest to everyone.
We are thankful for the many fine exhibitors who attended our
show and we will be looking forward to seeing them all next year.
To show our gratitude, we will be sending all exhibitors a brass
exhibitor’s plaque, a policy we hope to continue.
Hope to see all you good folks again in 1981 on the weekend
before Labor Day.