The Heatwole Threshing Show celebrated its 40th year this past weekend. While much has changed since the first show back in 1979, one thing has not — Lowell “Ole” Peterson.
For the past 40 years, Peterson and his Allis-Chalmers tractor have been part of the Heatwole Threshing Show. This year he was honored with a plaque commemorating his dedication to the show.
“It was great. I didn’t expect that,” Peterson said. “It was a great honor for me.”
“It’s really a unique accomplishment to have that same tractor here every year for 40 years,” said Heatwole Threshing Association President Corey Henke. “In the span of 40 years, people usually have another commitment they have to attend, or some years the tractor just doesn’t cooperate. You’re busy and you don’t bother with it.”
Henke’s known Lowell for the entirety of the show’s history. As an 11-year-old, he remembers seeing the Allis-Chalmers B every time he went to the show.
Peterson’s tractor is also known to returning spectators as he competes, often succesfully, each year in the 3,000-pound class tractor pull.
Peterson began showing the Allis-Chalmers during the very first Heatwole Threshing show 40 years ago.
“I live here right by Heatwole,” Peterson said. “I just started taking my tractor there. Then they started tractor pulling and I entered that. It’s a friend of mine that puts it on.”
He acquired the Allis-Chalmers tractor back when he was still farming. According to Peterson, it’s a small tractor that’s fun to have around.
“I’d use it to rake hay,” he said.
Since the time he initially bought the tractor, he hasn’t spent much money customizing it and it has largely remained the same machine.
“I just take it the way it is,” Peterson said. “It runs good. I got second in the pull (Sunday), so I did good.”