In 1971, three men, who loved their old tractors, sat down and decided they would put on a show.
The equipment stubbornly refused to run and the show ended. Later that same year the three began plans to organize the “Texas Early Days Tractor and Gas Engine Association”. In order to become a part of the national organization, 10 members were needed. That year, Duncan Seawright of Meridian, Dale Munday, of Temple, and Ulas Jones of Waco, submitted thirteen names, paying dues of $.50. With “more already in the cemetery than not”, they became the 19th club in the nation, and the only one south of Kansas!
By the second show, the club had grown to over 50 members, and in Meridian in 1973, there were over 100. Since then the club has grown to over 300 members with many times that number in pieces of “old iron”.
Our purpose is to preserve the farming equipment of our forefathers and to educate others on our history. As the club has grown, so have their collections. For nearly 10 years, annual Spring and Fall shows were held in Meridian, Texas. Speegleville, Texas became their next show site in a leased field with no electricity or conveniences. In 1989 a land search committee scoured the state for a permanent home. After months of negotiations and a final club vote, our current showgrounds in Temple was selected.
The proximity to I H-35, ample hotels and restaurants, along with a 20 year lease, made the 48 acre Eberhardt Road site too good to pass up. Sincere appreciation goes out to the many individuals and businesses who have so generously contributed to the success of our organization. Each year we look forward to additional events and attractions. Donations of money and or equipment are a special means of preserving our forefathers legacy for our own children and theirs. Various demonstrations, a multitude of farming equipment, and good food attract over 10,000 people each year.
The specific and primary purpose of the Texas Early Day Tractor and Engine Association is to promote the restoration, preservation, maintenance, operation, exhibition, acquisition and ownership of gasoline and oil engines, gas and steam tractors, power driven farm machinery and any other equipment of historical value. The Association, was established in 1971 and is based in Temple, Texas. During the first full weekend in October each year, the association plays host to the largest tractor and engine show in Texas. Click on the links at left to learn more about the association, the show grounds, and the activities and events at the show!