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The Mid-States Antique Show was organized to
bring future generation's artifacts that told of lives and the existence
of people who pioneered in making life easier to cope with.
Ashley A. Boller, Walter Hannssen, Maurice Robertson,
and Clarke Hall were the founders of Mid-States Antique Show with the
help of Deforrest Brown who was enlisted to be the manager the first
and part of the second year, until incorporation was started and
officers were elected in 1979. Clarke Hall was elected president
and finished the remainder of the second year and all of the third
term. Kenneth Dokter was elected president for the fourth term.
In August 1979, the first Mid-States Antique Show
was held at the Cass County Fair grounds in Weeping Water, Nebraska.
A two-day show was coordinated and put into motion. With
the interest of so many people to show their belongings, the motto "If
you're proud of it, show it!" came into being. The founders
worked hard at getting community support and spent a lot of hours
getting things in motion. All types of strange and unusual bits
of machinery showed up for the exhibition. Each reflected a piece
of agricultures past. We had numerous demonstrations and lots of local
volunteer help. Donated oats were planted, cut with an old
binder, and shocked into bundles to be used in the threshing machine.
Attractions for the crowd were varied and numerous. A quilt
was raffled off, and the feature attraction was the antique tractor
pull and a parade which closed the show. Costs were prohibitive
that the annual event remain at the fairgrounds, and the search for a
new site was undertaken. From these simple beginnings, lays the
foundation of what Mid-States is today.
In 1980, a new site was selected at the Ashley
A. Boller farm of rural Ashland. Ashley leased a portion of his farm
for the club to set up their exhibitions and displays. Before the
first show took place at the Boller farm we became incorporated as
"Mid-States Antique Show" officially.
As we moved into the plans for the show, a gate
house was built at the entrance to the show grounds, a loading dock
made available, and the farms original orchard became the site for our
flea market vendors. Areas were plotted out for particular
display areas, such as the gasoline engines, grinders, and mills, also
the coal-fired forge for our resident blacksmith. An operational
sawmill was placed on the grounds, and load after load of donated rock
was brought in to make viable roadways for exhibitors and visitors
In 1981, a building a
short distance from the grounds was donated to the club for lumber.
The Boller farm original barn was also donated. From these
two buildings emerged the present day show-site shelter. This
shelter was designed to house equipment and permanent exhibits that
have been donated to the club. Many man hours went into setting
the poles and putting the structure together. Improvements came
in the way of electricity and water for the use of all. In later
years, a P.A. system was installed and continually improved.
Over the next few years further improvements were
made to the grounds each year. Most done by members and local
volunteers. A local seamstress, Carolyn Watson, helped
design and finish a flag with the club's name and motto, "If your proud
of it, show it!". For years this flag was carried at the
beginning of each day's parade of tractors by Grace Boller until her
passing in 2006. This tradition has been passed onto the current
members. All makes and models of tractors have been exhibited
over the years. Some rare and some not so rare, but each one came
to the show with the pride of the owner having a piece of
pull has always been a favorite of exhibitors and visitors to the show.
Initially a drag-type step on sled was used. In 1988, the
completion of the mechanical weight transfer sled made the
competition much more exciting for exhibitors and spectators. The
"Big Sled" is used for Antique Rubber and Steel (1938 and older),
Classic (1939-1952) and Late Models (1953-1959). In 1999, the
"Small Sled" was added for tractors under 2,500 lbs. Garden
Tractor pulls have risen in popularity and the "Small Sled" is almost
exclusively used for this event. Both sleds were designed and built by
donations of time and materials from many valued members and area
friends and businesses.
Live folk/country music, catered food, and lots of
activities make for a busy couple of days for both exhibitors and
members. Not only members but the general public is encouraged to
take part in demonstrations such as shelling corn or pitching bundles
of hay into the threshing machine. Exhibitors are encouraged to
hook their own tractors to the threshing machine or baker's fan to see
what their personal piece of history can do. Childrens
entertainment has changed over the years. In the past a
money-in-the-straw hunt and three-legged race were the big children's
event. In 2007, a third sled was added to the festivities.
This sled "Mighty Mouse" as it's come to be known, is used in the
kiddie pedal tractor pull. Also in 2007, a tractor rodeo was
introduced for the kids. The younger competitors use a pedal
tractor and the older kids use a lawn tractor. The kids maneuver
through a timed course testing their abilities to drive a tractor.
All of the competitors receive candy and ribbons for their
efforts. The adults attending appear to have as much fun
watching, and the event gives a welcome break to sit and pass the time
of day. Being close to Nebraska's Interstate 80 has brought
visitors from across the country. Many of whom might never have
known the experience of working with some of the equipment exhibited at
each years show.
have encompassed many things, in growth and fulfillment of the ideas
intended to be brought forth when our founding members first met in
1979. The loss of the founding members of the club have saddened
us all, not only in the loss of family or personal friend, but also in
the wealth of knowledge that no book can impart quite the same way as
they did. Had it not been for their foresight and determination,
much of this history would have been lost. Our sincere thanks to
them for providing us a path to follow. We hope that we do them
We have managed to put
on a show each year, sometimes with or despite the weather. Our
sincere and heartfelt thanks also to those who have given of themselves
in manpower or materials over the years to make each and every show a