Antique hunters and relic collectors are congregating in Mt. Pleasant in hordes this week for what has become in three short years the greatest show of its kind in this country - the Third Annual Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers Show.

In the shelterhouse at McMillan park are on display articles that rival in nature and extent those found in the State Historical Building in Des Moines and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Johnson of Lockridge, Mr. and Mrs. Manly Frazer, Fred Waters, and Clyde Wilson of Mt. Pleasant, old timers themselves, are graciously exhibiting the array of items that takes one in fancy back to by-gone days. They are enjoying every minute of the four days of the show, an event anticipated weeks in advance, and are getting a big kick out of the startled exclamations of the passersby.

Tread Mill.

The tread mill brought to the show by Glen Wahl of Kalona, Ia., in which a dog or goat stood to operate an upright churn to make butter was one of the strangest contraptions of this year's display where one finds antique waffle irons, pan cake griddles, roller organs, spinning wheels, a huge dinosaur tooth, gizzard rocks, old cabinet maker planes used by Glenn C. Fankhauser's uncle, an herb cutter and cork press owned by H.T. Waugh, retired Mt. Pleasant druggist, a grinding mill for drugs used by Mr. Waugh, an old Edison phonograph machine, an antiquated music box and an iron lard press of the lever type. The Wahl churn was patented at Kalona by Joseph Strabala, June 20, 1899.

There's something about that Civil War picture of the Andersonville Prison Stockade and Hospital entitled "Let Us Forgive, But Not Forget" brought to the show by Paul Thayer that calls to mind very similar prisoner of war incidents recently of prime position in news topics from Korea.

Fine Collections.

Calling to mind the very first civilization in America are the extraordinarily fine arrowhead collections of: Milo Matthews, one of which is exhibited in a picture frame and the other on a red cardboard background, and George A. Johnson whose Indian relics were contained ni two glass showcases. One was displayed around an exotic head of Hiwatha, the other surrounding Minnehaha. Here one saw Indian axes, pestles to grind meal and arrowheads.

A mouse trap on the elevator idea was shown in the rare old self-setting, self-exterminating trap patented by the Peerless Trap Co., Ill Just as unique was the seventy year old camera shown by C.E. Peterson. A beautiful old sewing machine with drawers at either side in a fashion to a modern lady's vanity and was built with exquisite inlaid pearl designs on the machine base and head. It belonged to Irl Brandmeyer of Mt. Pleasant. Another old sewing machine, a Wheeler and Wilson make belonging to Mrs. Milo Mathews, still works though it is over 100 years old. H.H. Schrepter of Mt. Hamill, Ill., has 31 different guns on display at the show.

The assorted collections included such items of past living as: a shop adz to scrape the deck of a ship, a boat hook, an old iron glue pot, the late Mrs. Jessie Young Frazer's side saddle, a copper kettle from Sweden brought over by the Tulls, two spinning wheels owned by Milo Mathews, an old fashioned manure fork, a brass kettle more than eighty years old and still being used by Mrs. Clyde Wilson to dye carpet rags, an ice saw owned by Holland Cornick, a spring seat, buffalo horns owned by Fred Waters, horse blankets that Clyde Wilson once bought in the Dan R. Desh shop in Mt. Pleasant, an old gray valise, a sausage mill, a tin steamer, high top button shoes, two types of carpet stretchers, a cherry seeder, curry combs, a miner's lamp, an old iron wash boiler, an old-fashioned milk stool, and a hemp.

Of Later Vintage.

     Of somewhat later vintage one observed a pack saddle formerly used by Troop 28 of the Boy Scouts, a steam engine model run by an air compressor displayed by Merle Jennings of New London, and cactus skeletons of unusual forms from Arizona.

Probably the most historical important item seen was the small blue dresser that is labeled as belonging to Jessie Lincoln, granddaughter of Abraham Lincoln.

Antique Dishes.

The antique dishes department was even nicer and more extensive than last year. In one showcase Mrs. Carl Smith combined her flower creating hobby with dish collecting. She had attractive mums, roses, apple blossom mixtures and sprays of red and blue morning glories all of which were quite realistic. Among her unusual dishes were a hen and rooster from China. Her rocks of a potato like variety, Washington, D.C., shells from Nauvoo, Ill., corals from Florida she prizes highly.

Dish lovers were attracted by the beauty of the rare cut glass dishes and handpainted plates and dishes in Mrs. Milo Mathews collection. Outstanding pieces were the butter dish belonging to Mrs. Kenneth Zihlman of Lockridge and a beautiful creamer, sugar and butter dish with a dainty yellow top; a pitcher with a long lean spout brought to Iowa in 1837, Mrs. Nellis McCosh of Winfield's ruby and glass collection; and that astonishing 393 set salt and pepper shaker collection of almost every conceivable type owned by Mayme Detrick Litterel of Muscatine.

Patented '52

Mrs. Guy Geddeau exhibited a charcoal burning iron patented in 1852; a primitive wrought iron toaster actually used in a fireplace; children irons on lacy trivets, a cup and saucer brass kerosene burning lamp, a clever iron match holder showing the deer, game hunter with hunting horn with pouch forming place for matches, an amber peace plate commemorative of General U.S. Grant, a flowing blue platter datign back to 1810, a milk glass syrup pitcher with pewter top.

The Doc Goldsmith Antique Shop was showing coffee grinders, hand dinner bells, a wide variety of sleigh bells, and iron stone tureen and platter, a wedgewood Highland Cattle platter, a Priscilla, a custard glass plate and a My Lady's opera bag of 1880 vintage.

Other smaller collections shown included: the D.C. Wilson collection of clocks, the George A. Riley crystal dishes and lamps, the William Hoaglin collection of milk glass dishes and figurines; Mrs. Milo Mathews milk glass with its distinctive pink variety, the very rarest. It dates back to the war of 1812, but was more prevalent after 1870. Also quite colorful were the Wesley Clark figurines, particularly the Martha and George Washington. (Truly the Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers Show has reached astounding proportions in three years' time.)

-Mt. Pleasant News; Thursday, September 18, 1952


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