MAKOTI The late Clarence C. Schenfisch inspired the beginning of the annual Makoti Threshing Show.
This year's show, the 50th annual on Oct. 2-3, is dedicated to Schenfisch.
Elmer Wolff, who was the first president of the Makoti Threshers Association, said Schenfisch, who farmed near Makoti, mainly was interested in tractors.
This photo from The Minot Daily News files shows the threshing during the first year of the Makoti Threshing Show which was held the Makoti’s 50th anniversary in 1961. This year marks the show’s 50th anniversary.
When Makoti had its 50th anniversary in 1961, Wolff said Schenfisch drove his tractors into Makoti and that created the interest in the antique farm machinery. Schenfisch restored tractors.
After that first show, several men decided to form the Makoti Threshers Association and made plans for holding annual events.
The Makoti Threshing Show was first organized in 1962 with Wolff as president, Norbert Petrick as treasurer, and Karl Aamot as secretary, according to the show's 50th anniversary newspaper.
Schenfisch died in 1964 when the threshing show was still in its early years.
The 1968 show paid tribute to Schenfisch "whose original collection of 13 tractors started it all," according to a Sept. 7, 1968, story in The Minot Daily News.
A plaque on a building dedicated to Schenfisch's memory, reported in The Minot Daily News Sept. 1968, states:
"He had the vision and foresight to see the historical value and general interest in preserving pioneer farm machinery. His original collection of more than a dozen tractors which he restored himself, was the beginning of the present Makoti Threshers Association. May all who view this collection of antique farm equipment know that Clarence was the originator of it all in this community."
"When he passed away, his brothers got his tractors and they donated all of them to the Threshing Association," Wolff said. Those tractors are still a part of the show "as many as we can get running," Wolff said.
Wolff was president of the show for six of the first 10 years, he said. "It was a lot of fun."
He continues to take part and "will have a few tractors there."
He said a "Tractor Trek" will be held again this year on Friday, Oct. 1, which will go right by his farm on its way from Makoti to Ryder. "I'm going to sit and wait and then join them," he said.
The Makoti Threshing Show is billed as "North Dakota's largest threshing exhibition. Over 300 operating units."
Next year Makoti will be celebrating another historical mark the city's centennial.