Dodge County Antique Power Show to celebrate 50th Anniversary Aug. 3-5

Wisconsin State Farmer

BURNETT CORNERS - Since 1968, tractor enthusiasts have been traveling to Dodge County to whet their appetites for the machines of yesteryear.

This year the Dodge County Antique Power Show will be celebrating it's 50th Anniversary Show Aug. 3-5 at the showgrounds at 6505 County B, Burnett Corners, Wis, just south of Waupun off of Highway 26.

In 1929, Minneapolis Steel and Machinery Co. combined with the Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co. and the Moline Plow Co. to form Minneapolis Moline, one of the largest agricultural machinery companies in the country. The plant located in Minneapolis offered a full line of tractors, engines and farm implements. A worker walks past a row of tractors at the plant in 1939.

This year's show will feature Minneapolis Moline tractors and Cushman scooters and engines. Visitors will be treated to a wide array of steam engines, antique tractors, gas engines, cars, trucks along with threshing and plowing equipment. Also on the grounds will  be a sawmill, shingle mill and corn shredder as well as a blacksmith shop, flea market, crafts, farm toys, food and refreshments. An antique tractor pull will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4.

The Cushman scooter company started in 1903 in Lincoln, NE, and began production of their four-stroke Husky engine in 1922. Cushman produced engines for farm equipment, pumps, lawn mowers, and boats, and began making Auto-Glide scooters in 1936 as a means to increase the sale of Husky engines during the Great Depression. The scooters were widely used by the United States Armed Forces in World War II and as an alternative to automobiles before and after the war.

Admission is $7 per person with those 12 and under being admitted free. For more information visit

In the summer of 1969, the Wisconsin Antique Engine Club, which has been showing at the Dodge County Fairgrounds for several years, announced they were moving. This was quite a disappointment for many local people who had become very fond of showing their engines and equipment.

A group of people from the Beaver Dam area met during the summer of 1969 and after several meetings a charter was set up by an attorney, and on Aug. 5 of that years a charter meeting was held to officially organize. Born out of that meeting was the Dodge County Antique and Power Show. The charter set forth that seven directors, with no more than two from outside of Dodge County, would be seated, with annual meetings to be held each November.

Original charter officers were: President Jack Rhodes Sr., Beaver Dam; Vice President Don Frank, Fox Lake; Robert Frank, Fox Lake; Treasurer Bill Lanzendorf, Beaver Dam. Charter directors included Lee Wanie, Horicon, Oscar Frank, Fox Lake and Carl Messer, Beaver Dam.

Founding members of the Dodge County Antique Power Club (from left) Bob Frank, Lee Wanie and Don Frank, will be recognized at the 50th anniversary of the organization.

Founding Members were honored at the July Board of Directors meeting with four of the original members of the Dodge County Antique Power Club presented the first four 50th anniversary commemorative plaques. Surviving founding founding members honored were Robert Frank, Lee Wanie, Donald Frank, and Judi Rhodes.

These colorful metal replica steam engines are a limited edition and will be sold at the anniversary show. August 3rd, 4th, and 5th 2018. The metal plaque represents an early 1900 Northwestern Steam Engine, which was owned by Bob Frank.

Founding member Judi Rhode of the Dodge County Antique Power Club will be recognized during the 50th anniversary of the organization.

At the first meeting held on Aug. 19, 1969, 14 annual memberships were entered in the books along with five lifetime memberships, bringing the total charter membership up to 38.

The first show was held on Sept. 13-14, 1969 at the Don Frank Farm in Fox Lake. Robert Frank's garage served as the food stand and provided water and electricity for the event. The adjacent Kowbow farm provided parking.

Through the years, the charter underwent several changes, including the renaming of the organization to Dodge County Antique Power Club Inc., and a change in the number of directors from 7 to 9 with 3 allowed from outside the county. The show was also moved to the first full weekend in August in an attempt to avoid the rainy weekends following Labor Day.

Minneapolis Moline tractors were a passion among the generations in the Hull family of Waupun. In this 2002 photo, Rick Hull (left) displays his 1957 five star refurbished Minneapolis Moline tractor while his uncle, Bob Hull, (center) shows his 1946 Model R and his father, Elton Hull, his 1953 ZA.

As the show grew in popularity, club members made the decision to move the show from the Farnk farm to the John Schoenfeld land across from Sunset Hills in 1970. This land was provided to the club rent free until it was officially sol in 1974. At that time, the club moved to the Dodge County Fairgrounds where it remained until land was purchased in 1986 at Burnett Corners where it remains today.