top of page

Newsletter deadlines

March 20, June 20 and October 20

Visiting with Paul Sams and Phil Tetzloff is a fascinating trip back and forth through years of farming and agriculture. Both men are actively involved in the Mid-Iowa Antique Power and Association show, coming right up on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday August 4th, 5th and 6th. This year’s offering is the 39th annual event. The show opens at 7:00 am each day and continues through 6:00 pm.

 Admission is $10 per person with children under 12 welcomed for no charge. The fee covers admission for the three days of the show, and there is no charge for events happening after 6 pm.

Golf carts will not be available for rent this year but guests are welcome to bring their own ATVs, golf carts and side-by-sides. Those  vehicles must be registered at the show office and the owner must also show their driver’s license and proof of insurance.

Entertainment on Saturday from 6 to 8 pm will be Ron Burgess singing country  music in the kitchen building. Following his performance at dusk there will be a spark show by a steam engine.

 The show began in a much smaller format on the Campus of the Marshalltown Community College, but soon outgrew the space available. Paul explained that “We went to the County to see if we could rent the 55 acres next to the Marshalltown Sheriffs headquarters and a deal was easily agreed upon.”

 The show features planting and harvesting of corn, soybeans, hay, oats, and even potatoes, all done with equipment no newer than what was available in the 1960s. Horse drawn equipment is also used, a common form of power dating back to the beginning of farming.

 Phil added that “You’ll also see steam engines, small gas engines, and all of that involved a belt drive from the engine to the tool or implement in use.” Some of the larger equipment featured at the show involves a large flat belt driven by a tractor.

Early farms were very much “hands on” as Paul explained. “We’ll have a sawmill running, even a mill which creates a cedar shingles, commonly used for roofs and even siding for houses,” he said.

 He went on to say that in the early days oats were cut and then bundled into “shocks” which were stood up in the field to dry. “We enjoy having West Marshall  Future Farmers help with the process.” That group is compensated for their help with the oats and also for their help in the kitchen area.

 “That hands on experience helps young people understand and experience life on a farm back when “You did so many of the daily activities with hand power,” he noted.

Phil added that he remembers tying hay bales “By hand with wire.” 

At the show corn is picked with a tractor-mounted two row picker, a contrast to modern combines which pick multiple rows and also shell the corn. With the two row picker corn by the ear is elevated and transferred into a small wagon towed behind the tractor, and then put into a wire crib to dry over the winter. 

At the show visitors can enjoy seeing corn shelled in the same way it was done until modern combines came into use. Phil said that “In those early times the sheller was powered by either steam, or a gas engine, or even by a flat belt from a tractor.”

Another youth-oriented activity is having school-age children “Pick up potatoes,” said Paul. A horse drawn potato “Plow,” a scoop implement pulled by horses works up the potatoes and leaves them on the surface.

Blacksmiths will also be demonstrating the art of metal working. Blacksmith shops were a main street fixture in almost every small town in past times.

A kitchen is open every day offering breakfast and a noon meal to anyone attending. A King and Queen are crowned and there’s a tractor parade on both Saturday and Sunday. Bleachers are arranged so that show goers can easily see the full parade.

A Sunday morning church service is also offered for anyone who wishes to attend. Pastor Sandy Kelley leads the service. The M-Tunes, a quartet from the Marshalltown Men’s Chorus will be singing at 8:30, followed by Pastor Kelly’s message and the M-Tunes will conclude the service at 9:30.

 Paul said that one his favorite activities is “Making Rope.” Originally done by twisting twine into a sturdy rope, he often demonstrates the process using plastic stranding. “The kids really enjoy the different colors the plastic offers” he said.

Our conversation could have gone on for some considerable time, both Paul and Phil are obviously very devoted to the annual show. They added, with smiles, “We do it because we enjoy it.”





Christine Davis

Mid Iowa Enterprise

201 West Main Street

State Center, IA 50247


bottom of page