Labor Day…The Traditional End of Summer and Last Day of the OT Reunion

Written by Theresa Rose on September 7, 2020

If there had been an Old Threshers Reunion this year it would have been the 70th  annual event held in Mount Pleasant. Today, Labor Day would have been the final day of the five day celebration of our agriculture history. This is the first year since 1950 the Reunion has been cancelled. A few years after World War II ended, a group of four men — Clark Everts, Ted Detrick, Ray Ernst and Herman E. Elgar — were returning from the new Zehr Threshing Reunion in Pontiac, Illinois. They came up with the idea of establishing a Midwest Old Threshers Association.  After several winter meetings, the election of a Board of Directors, and lengthy discussions about an Mt. Pleasant event, the Association was chartered on August 21, 1950. The first Reunion was a two day event, held September 20 and 21, 1950. The records show that 15 Steam Engines and 8 Separators were exhibited with an estimated 10,000 people attending the first Reunion. In addition to the original four the following men also served on the first board of directors…Joe Ruby, Ray Vorhees, Milo Mathews, Robert Willits, and Frank Johnson. Over 70 years the mission of that first board of directors has not changed….” To Preserve and Celebrate Our Midwest Rural Heritage in the Modern World”