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Farmer builds IH MuseumFarmer builds IH Museum

Farmer creates museum to house IH collection.

Mindy Ward

May 18, 2015

2 Min Read

The large red and black letters affixed to the building on the south side of state Highway 24 might be the first sign that an International Harvester enthusiast lives here. Opening the front door leaves no doubt, as International Harvester tractors, refrigerators and memorabilia fill every nook and cranny of Darrell Darst's shed.

Darst's first piece of red equipment was a small toy tractor purchased by his father at a sausage and pancake breakfast in nearby Paris, Mo. It was a start of a collection that has grown to encompass three buildings on his farmstead outside of the small town of Madison in central Missouri. Darst built one of the buildings on the farm to house a museum.


Visitors from states like South Dakota and Alabama have stopped in to browse through his treasures. "We even had a group from Canada last summer," Darst notes. "They were on their way to the Red Power Roundup." He expects more visitors this summer as the national event sponsored by the International Harvester Collectors Club Missouri Chapter hosts the 26ths annual event in June at the Missouri State Fairgrounds.

The museum pays homage to all things associated with the International Harvester company.

Hosting visitors

Darst says his museum will be open to those attending the International Harvester Collectors Club, 26th annual Red Power Round Up is June 10-13 at the Missouri State Fairgrounds, in Sedalia. The Missouri Chapter is the host for this year's national gathering of IH enthusiasts.

The Red Power Round Up brings together collectors to show and demonstrate International Harvester made products. International Harvester tractors, trucks, implements and engines made prior to 1939 will be featured.

One such tractor that will make the trek to Sedalia is the McCormick-Deering WK-40 restored by Missouri Chapter president, Andrew Dawson. The tractor once belonged to the late father of country music star Leroy Van Dyke.

The 2015 show is expected to have an attendance of up to 20,000, from all over the United States, Canada and several foreign countries, according to Bob Buxton, International Harvester Collectors Club president. He expect be more than 1,000 tractors, 200 scouts and trucks, 300 Cub Cadets, 100 engines and assorted memorabilia to be on display.

In addition, vendors will be selling International Harvester parts, tractors, engines, trucks and other related items. The four-day event will be filled with demonstrations using vintage equipment for threshing, corn shelling and baling.

The purpose of the International Harvester Collectors Club is to preserve the history of the International Harvester Corporation and its products, says Buxton. The International Harvester Collectors Club has 8,000 members worldwide and over 40 Chapters.  Chapters are located across the United States, Canada and one in Sweden.

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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