The Barn on the Grounds of the LeSueur Pioneer Power Association

The Barn on the Grounds of the LeSueur County Pioneer Power Association 

by

Brian Wayne Wells

           This article remains under construction.  Periodically, new blocks of text will appear in the article and/or   current blocks of text will be corrected.

The restored Almena barn was restored and rebuilt on the grounds of the LeSueur County Pioneer Power Association.

In the spring of 2016 a new structure arose on the grounds of the LeSueur Pioneer Power Association.  This was a barn that had been originally built in the 1880s near the small village of Almena, Wisconsin.  The Village of Almena is located in Barron County in Wisconsin.  Indeed the Village of Almena is located on the  eastern boundary of the “Town” of Almena.  The word “Town” should not be confused with the word “village.”  In Wisconsin, the word Town refers to a piece of land 6 miles by 6 miles square.  In other states this geographical piece of land would be called a “Township.” Continue reading The Barn on the Grounds of the LeSueur Pioneer Power Association

The Corn Crib on the Grounds of LeSueur County Pioneer Power Association

The Corn Crib on the Grounds of the LeSueur Pioneer Power Association 

by

Brian Wayne Wells

           This article remains under construction.  Periodically, new blocks of text will appear in the article and/or   current blocks of text will be corrected.

Starting in          the annual show of the LeSueur County Pioneer Power Association began to demonstrate the farming chore of shelling ear corn.  This chore was an annual wintertime event on the diversified farms located in the row-crop farming areas of the Midwestern United States in the era prior to the emergence of corn combines on diversified farms.

The corn shelling demonstration at the Pioneer Power Show was initiated by Bill Radil, a member of the LeSueur County Pioneer Power Association, who was residing at the time in West Concord, Minnesota, when Bill purchased a Minneapolis-Moline Model D corn sheller.  However, the demonstration of corn shelling could best be presented to the public as a shelling out of a traditional corn crib rather than as a shelling of ear corn dumped from a wagon into the drag line of the corn sheller.  Consequently, Bill Radil found a small “single corn crib” on the farm of a neighbor in the same  West Concord neighborhood in which Bill lived.  The name of the neighbor was Erickson.

A “single corn crib” like the small Erickson corn crib that was first brought to the Pioneer Power Showgrounds by Bill Radil.

Like typical single corn cribs the Erickson single corn crib was no wider than eight (8) feet wide to allow the dry winter air to easily pass through the ear corn stored in the crib.  However, a couple of years after the Erickson corn crib had been brought to the Pioneer Power grounds, the storms of the winter and spring of       destroyed the small single Erickson corn crib when it was blown off its rock foundation.

Bill Radil working to shell the corn out of the actual Erickson single corn crib which was the original and first corn crib brought to the grounds of the LeSueur Pioneer Power Association for the corn shelling field demonstration. This picture was taken during one of the early years of the corn shelling field demonstrations held at the annual Pioneer Power Show before the Erickson single corn crib was destroyed by a strong wind blowing the crib off of its rock foundation.

After a couple of years without a corn crib at all at the annual Show, the Pioneer Power Association obtained another corn crib.  This time a “double corn crib” from Richard Borzilski from the same Tyrone Township neighborhood as the LeSueur County Pioneer Power Association.   A double corn crib consists of  two eight (8) foot single corn cribs placed about eleven (11) feet apart and both the cribs and the space in between the cribs were covered by the same gambrel roof.

 After building a new cement block pillar foundation to house the new double corn crib, brought to the Pioneer Power Showgrounds, was secured to the foundation by anchor bolds.  The Association was taking no chances that this new double corn crib would not be blown off its foundation.  Then, a cement floor was laid in the alleyway of the corn crib.

A double corn crib with a large alleyway between the cribs is moved to a new location and just like the new double corn crib on the LeSueur Pioneer Power Showgrounds is being fitted on a new cement block foundation.

This is the corn crib that continues to be used on the Pioneer Power Showgrounds through the present day.  In the late autumn of the year, Dave Preuhs, founder of the LeSueur Pioneer Power Association fills the corn crib with ear corn that he grows on his own farm.  The corn continues to dry out in the double crib on the Pioneer Powers Showgrounds for the remainder of the winter and all the next summer until the annual Pioneer Power Show held on the last full weekend in August,

Like the  alleyways in double corn cribs on diversified farms all across the Midwest , this alleyway (especially when provided with a cement floor invites storage of vehicles and farm machinery.  Thus, the alleyway has become the winter storage place of the Bill Radil’s Allis-Chalmers styled-model WC and the Wells family’s David Bradley flare box mounted on the David Bradley wagon gear.  This tractor and the David Bradley wagon are often used as a part of the corn shelling field demonstration at the annual Pioneer Power Show.  (The above-mentioned David Bradley wagon is the subject in the article contained at this website called “

placing the

Traditionally, the corn crop was picked while the on the ear and stored in a corn crib for drying.  At picking time, the corn may have a moisture content as high as 35%.  Accordingly, when the freshly picked corn is first stored in the corn crib will be very fragrant.  This fragrance was actually the moisture in the ears of corn leaving the corn and escaping into the cool air of the autumn.

A row of single corn cribs built to allow the dry winter winds to blow through the ear corn to dry the corn down to about 15% moisture content.  This 1935 photograph taken on the Frank Hubert farm near Saybrook, Illinois (near Bloomington-Normal ) shows a corn crib built using pole barn framing and wire mesh. (McLean County Museum of History)

So strong is the fragrance in the corn crib that the family car or the family truck can not be parked in the alley way of typical corn crib for fear that the fragrance of corn would infiltrate the padding of the seats of the car or truck and stay in the car or truck for a years.

Luckily, as the winter weather sets in,  the ear corn would become less and less fragrant until the moisture content of the corn is only 15%.  At this stage there is only a “dry smell” in the corn crib.  At this point the fragrance was largely gone and the family car and/or truck may once again be safely stored in the alleyway of the corn crib.

A typical double corn crib with an alley way in the middle.

The typical corn crib should be no wider than eight (8) feet wide to allow the dry winter air to easily pass through the ear corn stored in the crib.  However most times, two single cribs were built close to each other and connected with a common gambrel roof.  Thus, the crib became known as a “double corn crib.”

After having shelled out most of the corn each year, diversified farmers would save back enough ear corn to grind and feed to cows, pigs and chickens on the farm. However, by late summer and fall of the year, the amount of ear corn left in the corn crib can decrease significantly. In October of the year the ear corn harvest usually begins again.

The typical corn crib should be no wider than eight (8) feet wide to allow the dry winter air to easily pass through the ear corn stored in the crib.  However most times, two single cribs were built close to each other and connected with a common gambrel roof.  Thus, the crib became known as a “double corn crib.”

Above the alleyway could be finished out into grain bins which would store oats until they fed to animals on the diversified farm or for storing soybeans until they were marketed at a nearby grain elevator.

Shelling out the ear corn in the new double corn crib on the grounds of the LeSueur Pioneer Power Association which replaced the original Erickson single corn crib which was destroyed by the wind.  In this picture Bill Radil is pictured in the upper right corner of the picture standing in the truck bed full of shelled corn.  As seen in this picture the new double corn crib has a cement foundation and a roof covering the entire structure resulting in an alleyway in the middle of the double crib.  Note from the picture that the alleyway has a cement floor and is thus a good place to store farm equipment out of the rain and snow in the wintertime.   In the background of the upper middle of the picture is the green David Bradley wagon flare box mounted on a red David Bradley wagon gear with lime green wheels.  As noted in this article,  this David Bradley wagon is often stored in the alleyway of the double corn crib on the Pioneer Power Showgrounds in the off-season.

The 1946 Famall H: Lucky Number 7 of the Fleet of Tractors used by the Campbell Soup Company in Napoleon, Ohio

The 1946 Farmall Model H: Lucky No. 7 of the Fleet of Tractors   Used by the Campbell Soup Company of Napoleon, Ohio

by

Brian Wayne Wells

           This article remains under construction.  Periodically, new blocks of text will appear in the article and/or current blocks of text will be corrected.

 

In a previous article contained at this website, called “The Wayne A and Marilyn Wells 1950 Farmall,” it was mentioned that early Wayne Alwin Wells traded a 1942 Farmall Model H in to the Sease and Oksanen International Harvester dealership located in Le Roy, Minnesota, as a part of the purchase of this Farmall M.  This Model H tractor had originally been purchased as a new tractor by Wayne’s father, George Cleveland Wells.  The purchase and history of this Farmall H from 1942 until 1950 is related in another article contained at this website called “Wartime Farmall H’s.”  Additionally, the use of this 1942 Farmall H in pulling and powering the Woods Brothers one-row corn picker as a custom picking operation during the 1946 ripe corn harvest is described in a third article at this website which is called “Wood Brothers Company(Part II).”

Bros.
This picture might as well have been a picture of Wayne A. Wells in the autumn of 1946 picking corn in his neighborhood with a Wood Bros. one-row corn picker and a 1942 Farmall Model H tractor. The only difference is that the Anderson/Wells Wood Bros. corn picker was painted gray rather than “Ford red” as in this picture.

 

Clearly, the 1942 Wells Family Farmall Model H was a subject of interest to the family, especially, the current author and his brother, Mark Wells.  However, the serial number and the history of this 1942 tractor following 1950 were lost and remain unknown.  Additionally, no picture of the 1942 tractor was thought to exist, until one recent Christmas at which Mark Wells saw a series of slides at the home of his uncle, Fred Hanks.  Contained in the slides was a very good color picture of the Wells Family Farmall H taken during the soybean harvest on the Howard and Fred Hanks farm in the autumn of 1947.  This was the first picture he had ever seen of the George Wells Farmall H.  The picture created a great expectation that a “representative” tractor could be obtained that could be made to appear like the tractor in the slide picture

 

 

 

no serial  rticle As noted in an earIier article called “Wartime Farmall H’s” In early 1950, Wayne Alwin Wells traded the 1942 Farmall Model had been owned his father George Cleveland Wells in to the Sease and Oksanen International Harvester dealership located in

 

Hemp farming in Humbolt County, Iowa during the Second World War with a 1941 Farmall Model B

Hemp Farming in Humboldt County, Iowa, with a 1941 Farmall Model B Tractor   

by

Brian Wayne Wells

           This article remains under construction.  Periodically, new blocks of text will appear in the article and/or   current blocks of text will be corrected.

The Hemp plant located in Humboldt County, Iowa.

 

Hemp plants have been raised for many years.  The main marketable product of the hemp plant has been the long tough strands located in the stem of the plant.  When correctly processed the strands could be formed into ropes of all sizes.

Historically, ropes are the used by ships of the merchant marine or the navies of the nationsl of the world.  Accordingly, within the United States the largest buyer in the rope market has been the United States government which supplies the ropes to the United States Navy.  Purchasing of ropes of course, has an effect on the  price of hemp.  Accordingly, in times of internatyional tensions when the United States government begins a program of naval preparedness, the demand for hemp rises and as a result the price of hemp also rises.

One such time of international tensions was during the late 1930s.  At that time the United States government was not only worried about the source of hemp raising keeping up with the demand for ropes, the government also worried about whether the small number of “hemp mills” (or hemp processing plants) across the United States would be able to process enough hemp to keep up with the demand for ropes.

One such small hemp mill was located in Humboldt County, Iowa.   This small mill is located in

A map of the State of Iowa showing the location of Humboldt County in the 99 counties of the state.

 

The rising prices of hemp in the late 1930s caused a number of farmers across the nation to begin raising hemp.  They sought to make money on a new cash crop that showed the promise ofhigh prices for the immediate future.  One such farmer was our Norway Township farmer who operated a 200 acre farm near Thor, Iowa in Norway Township in Humboldt County, Iowa.

A Township map of Humboldt County showing the location of Norway Township in the lower right-hand corner of this map and showing the location of the village of Thor as a shaded spot in the middle of Norway Township.

 

to seek a to made from   tradtiovies of the various nationaropes made from hemp have been used by the nally been the largest buyer in the rope market.  Thus,

The Wayne A. and Marilyn Wells 1950 Farmall M

The Wayne A. and Marilyn Wells 1950  Farmall Model M

by

Brian Wayne Wells

           This article remains under construction.  Periodically, new blocks of text will appear in the article and/or   current blocks of text will be corrected.

            The International Harvester Company introduced the Farmall Model M as a full-three plow tractor in the autumn of 1939.

In early 1950, Wayne Alwin Wells traded the 1942 Farmall Model had been owned his father George Cleveland Wells, in to the Seese and Oksenan dealership in LeRoy, Minnesota, on the purchase of a Farmall Model M.  Pursuant to the purchase contract of this tractor, the Farmall M bearing the Serial No. 2518137 was delivered to the Wayne Wells farm in eastern LeRoy Township, Mower County, Minnesota on March 1, 1950.  Wayne needed to grind up some feed for the baby pigs which had just been weaned.  So he immediately belted the new tractor up to the Case hammer mill which was bolted to the floor of the granary on the farm.

A pre-war version of the Case feed grinder. The particular grinder owned by Wayne A. Wells had been bought by his father George Wells some time during the war years. Consequently, the Wells feed grinder had no galvanized feeder or whirlwind  dust collector.  On the Wells feed grinder both the feeder and the whirlwind dust collector were made of simple sheet metal and painted Case Flambeau Red.   

 

He then went to the house and got his wife, Marilyn (Hanks) Wells and their one-year old son Brian Wayne Wells (the current author of this article).  He also picked up the little Kodak Brownie camera.  He then took a new picture of his son on the operator’s seat of the new tractor with his wife Marilyn holding young Brian securely in the seat.

Just after the Farmall Model M bearing the Serial No. 218137 was delivered to the Wayne A. Wells farm. the new tractor was put to work grinding pig feed for the newly weaned baby pigs.

 

The Wells family held an auction of all their farm equipment in preparation to moving from the farm in 1964.  At the auction Serial No. 218137 was purchased by Dean Shirbourne.

 

In the years since 1964, Dean Shirbourne continued farming.  Most of the machinery Dean used on his farm was International Harvester farm equipment.  He had other more modern Farmall tractors than the 1950 Farmall M he had purchased at the Wayne Wells farm auction.  Accordingly, he placed the 1950 Farmall M bearing the serial number 2518137 under an International Harvester two-row mounted Model 2MH corn picker.  This picker remained on the 1950 Farmall M until Dean retired from farming in 1993.  Every fall the tractor and mounted corn picker was used to “open” the corn fields on the Shirbourne farm and a couple of Dean’s neighbors.  (John Grass Jr., one particular neighbor of Dean Shirbourne remembers using the 1950 Farmall M on his farm.)

Once the mounted picker on No. 218137 had picked the corn in the “end rows” across both ends of the corn field and once the body of the corn field had been “opened” and divided into “lands,”  Dean Shirbourne brought in his two-row New Idea Model 6A pull-type corn picker to pick the remainder of the corn in his fields.  Recognizing that mounted pickers are not the best pickers for “husking” (removing the husks from the ears of ripe corn), Dean Shirbourne  and his neighbors preferred to use pull-type corn pickers to do the main job of picking their corn fields.  Pull-type corn pickers were respected for their large and very efficient husking beds.  Pull-type pickers had the best chance of getting the harvested corn down to a level of 4% or less “foreign material” (husks) in the ear corn crop.

Husking the corn down to a level of 4% foreign material (husks) was the ideal that farmers strove for in order to store the ear corn in normal corn crib over the winter.  Only a level of 4% or less foreign material in the ear corn would allow the cold dry air of winter to flow relatively unobstructed through the ear corn stored in the corn crib and dry the annual crop of corn sufficiently over the winter from the period of time from the harvest in October or November until February or March, when the ear corn would normally be dry enough to be shelled  and stored in a granary.  To store the ear corn in a corn crib at a level of more than 4% foreign material would invite blockage of the flow of air through the crib and invite mold forming on the ear corn.  and risk  without

Thus, once the corn fields were opened and divided into “lands,” Dean Shirbourne and his neighbors could conveniently use their pull-type pickers on the main body of the corn crop.  Thus each year, the 1950 Farmall M was used only for the short period of time each fall that it took to “open” the corn fields on the Shirbourne farm and on the farms of a few of his neighbors.  During the remainder of the year, the 1950 Farmall M bearing the Serial No. 218137 was stored away with its mounted corn picker in the machine shed on the Shirbourne farm.

Thus, from 1964 until Dean Shirbourne retired from farming in 1993, No. 218137 was used only for a couple of weeks in the autumn of  each year to open the corn fields in preparation of the harvest.  Upon his retirement from farming in the 1990s, Dean Shirbourne gave the 1950 Farmall M, bearing the Serial No. 218137, to his  nephew–Mark Mossyge–who beautifully restored the tractor.

 

 

Continue reading The Wayne A. and Marilyn Wells 1950 Farmall M

A 1945 J. I. Case Company Model SC Tractor in Belgrade Township, Nicollet County, Minnesota

The 1945 Case Model SC Tractor in Nicollet County, Minnesota

by

Brian Wayne Wells

           This article remains under construction.  Periodically, new blocks of text will appear in the article and/or   current blocks of text will be corrected.

The J. I. Case Company Model SC tractor.

The J. I. Case Company introduced their first tricycle-style tractor—the Model CC tractor in 1929.  The CC weighed 4,240 lbs. (pounds) and produced 27.37 hp. (horsepower) to the belt pulley and 17.33 hp. to the drawbar.  The CC was advertised as a tractor that could pull a two-bottom plow with 14 inch bottoms.  So the Model CC could perform all the heavy tillage work in the fields of the average farm, just like the “four-wheel” or “standard” tractors that Case had offered the farming public before 1929.  These four-wheel tractors could do all the field work on the farms of North America except one field task–the cultivation of row-crops.  Thus, even with a standard type tractor, the North America farmer could get rid of a large number of horses on the farm that were required for heavy tillage and seed-bed preparation in the Spring of each year.  However, the farmer would have to retain  enough horses necessary for cultivation of the row-crops on the farm.  With the introduction of “row crop” or tricycle style tractors, the North American farmer was able to purchase one of these row crop tractors, like the Case Model CC.  Then, the farmer would then be able to get rid of all the horses on his farm and farm in a fully mechanized way.  Thus, the Model CC could be used to provide all the power on the farm to perform all the field work over the whole growing season.

A view of the right side of the Case Model CC tractor.  Early versions of the Model CC Case tractor weighed just 3, 640 pounds and had a maufacturer’s suggested price of just $1.025.

 

The most unique feature about all the Case Model CC was the steering rod than located outside the hood of the tractor on the left side of the tractor.  This rod extended along the left side of the tractor to the front wheels  the tractor.  Because this looked like a convenient place for the chickens, on the farm, to roost during the night, this rod became popularly known as “chicken’s roost.”   Over the entire production from 1929 until 1939, 29,824 Model CC tractors were made.

A left side view of the Case Model CC tractor, showing the unique “chickens roost” style steering rod which was a famous feature of Case tractors.

 

In 1939, the CC was “styled,” modernized and the engine was upgraded in horsepower to a full 32.92 hp. at the belt pulley or the and 24.39 hp. at the drawbar. The tractor was re-designated as the new Case Model DC-3 tricycle style tractor.  Instead of being painted gray like the Model CC, the Model DC-3 was painted a reddish-orange color that the J. I. Case Company called “Flambeau Red.”  The DC-3 had a new Case-built engine with a 3-7/8 inch bore and a 5 ½ inch stroke, was commonly fitted with 11.25 by 38 inch rubber tires and weighed 7,010 lbs. Case advertised the DC-3 tractor as a “full three-plow  tractor.”  This meant that the DC-3 could pull a three–bottom plow even with 16 inch bottoms in most plowing conditions.   By 1944, the suggested retail price of the DC was $1,270 as mounted on rubber tires.  During the entire production run of the Model DC-3 from 1939 until 1955, 54,925 DC-3 tractors were manufactured by the J.I. Case Company, or about 3,433 Model DC-3’s per year.

The Case Model DC-3 tractor replaced the Model CC in the Case line of row-crop tractors in 1939.

 

With the introduction of the DC-3 and the phasing out of the Model CC tractor there was a vacancy in the “two-plow” class of tractors within the J. I. Case Company tractor line.   Accordingly, in 1940, one year after the introduction of the DC-3, the J.I. Case Company introduced the Model SC tractor. The Model SC weighed 4,200 lbs., was fitted with a 2.7 liter four-cylinder engine with a 3 ½ inch bore and a 4 inch stroke which  delivered 21.62. hp to the belt pulley and 16.18 hp. to the drawbar.  The Model SC was painted Flambeau Red to match the Model DC-3 and retained the hand clutch, the same “chicken’s roost” style steering rod of the Model CC and the Model DC-3 and retained the 11.25 by 38 inch rear rubber tires of the Model DC-3.  However, the Model SC could be purchased for a much lower price than the DC-3.  Many farmers took advantage of this price difference to purchase the Model SC tractor and the Model SC tractor became the best-selling tractor of the Case Flambeau Red line of tractors.  Over its shorter production run (from 1940 until 1955), a total of 58,991 Model SC tractors (or about 3,933 Model SC’s per year) were produced and sold by the company—this is a total of 4,066 more SC’s produced by the Case Company than the total number of DC-3 tractors produced over the longer production run of the DC-3.  In other words from 1940 until 1955. there were about 500 more SC tractors produced each year than there were Model DC-3 tractors during the same period of time.

Among the tractors that flowed out of the J.I. Case Main Works in Racine, Wisconsin and arrived in local Case dealerships across the nation, was the two-plow Case Model SC tractor. In the years before the Second World War and in the immediate post-war years the Model SC actually outsold the larger DC-3 Case tractor.

 

Of course not every year of the production run from 1940 until 1955 was like the next.  History intervened, during this period of time, in the form of the Second World War, history from 1939 until 1955.  Involvement of the United States in the Second World War dated from the surprise bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 by the Japanese Imperial forces.  Following the Pearl Harbor attack, most heavy industrial companies, like the J. I. Case Company were required by the United States government to join the war effort, as the country fought a desperate war in two separate theaters of operations (Europe and the Pacific).  Production of civilian goods gave way to production for the war effort.  However, it took some time for the various companies to be assigned their government military contracts and to start producing wartime materials. For the Case Company production of farm tractors at their factory located in Racine, Wisconsin tapered off somewhat gradually in favor of war materials for the war effort.  The factory at Racine was called the “Main Works.”  During the war, the “Main Works” became involved in the production of bombs and artillery shells, doors for the Sherman tank and parts for the B-26 bomber.

The limited amount of tractors that were produced during the war, rolled off the assembly line at the Main Works were assigned a serial numbers in sequence regardless of the model. There are no separate serial numbers for the S-series, the D-series or the V-series tractors.  The first two numbers of any Case tractor serial number designates the year in which the tractor was assembled at the Main Works.  Even these first two numbers are hidden in some obscurity.   If the first two numbers of a particular are 44, this does not mean the tractor was produced in 1944.  Four years must be subtracted from the first two numbers of every serial number to arrive at the actual production year of the tractor.  Thus, the digits of “44,” in the serial number example cited above, stand for 1940—not for 1944.

A picture showing the location of the Serial Number tag squarely on the “dash board” of the Case Model SC tractor.

 

Accordingly, in the fifth year of the Model SC production run , a particular Model SC rolled aff the assembly line at the Main Works bearing the Serial Number 4911952.  The first two digits of this particular serial number indicate that the tractor was manufactured at the Main Works in 1945.  Since production in the year 1945 began with the serial number 4900001.  Production of the Model SC with the Serial No. 4911952 must have been produced rather late in the year, 1945.  Indeed a good guess might be that it was produced in December of 1945.

The war years from 1941 until 1945 also brought changes to the Case dealership in Mankato, Minnesota as the Cutkowski dealership became a partnership. The “Cutkowski dealership” had begun its  existence as the J.I. Case Company dealership.  Harry Cutkowski began working at the dealership at mechanic.  In 1936, he became the sole proprietor of the dealership.  In the years before the entry of the United States into the Second World War, the Cutkowski dealership had made a great reputation for itself all across southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.  Now in during the war, Harry Cutkowski took on  Earnest  Allen Jones as a partner.

Earnest and Vivian Maude (Baldwin) moved to Mankato, Minnesota in 1936 shortly after Harry Cutkowsky had purchased the J.I. Case delaership in Mankato.   Earnest Jones had been employed as a shipping clerk at the J.I. Company Case Company factory in Racine, Wisconsin.  As the shipping clerk at the Racine factory, Earnest had become perfectly aware of the pre-war sales success of the Cutkowsky dealership in Mankato, Minnesota.  Thus, when Harry Cutkowsky offered to employ Earnest as the manager of his new proprietorship, Earnest jumped at the chance to manage the successful dealership.

By the time that No. 4911952 arrived at the J.I. Case dealership around New Years Day of 1946, Earnest had become a partner and the dealership was known as the “Cutkowsky and Jones” dealership.

As consistent readers of this blog will remember, in December of 1945, another partnership had been formed to start a J.I. Case dealership in another small Minnesota town.  This was the parnership of Duane Wetter and Merle Krinke who were forming a dealership in LeRoy, Minnesota.  During December of 1945, Merle Krinke and Duane Wetter were busy buying property in the small town of LeRoy, Minnesota to establish what would become the local Case dealership called the “LeRoy Equipment Company.”  (See the two part series of articles called “The Rise and Decline of the LeRoy Equipment Dealership.” contained at this website.)  The  new dealership of LeRoy Equipment Company was due to open on Tuesday January 29, 1946 and was in drastic need of an inventory of new Case farm tractors and Case farm machinery.  Accordingly, the Model SC tractor bearing the serial number 4911952 could have been sent to this new dealership in LeRoy, Minnesota, to help the new dealership get off the ground.

If 4911852 had been sent to the LeRoy Equipment Company dealership, the tractor might have ended up on the Walter and Clarence Hanson farm three miles east of the village of LeRoy.  As  it was Walter and Clarence Hanson had to wait until sometime after March 10, 1947 for a subsequent Model SC to arrive at the LeRoy Equipment Company to purchase their Model SC tractor.

The Case Main Tractor Works in Racine, Wisconsin was still trying to struggle with the retooling process to convert to production of civilian farm equipment products  The Case Corporation was hardpressed for funds.  Thus, the decision was made to sent No. 4911952 to the veteran dealership with a big reputation for sales (Cutkowski and Jones dealership in Mankato, Minnesota) rather than to a new startup  dealership (the LeRoy Equipment Company in LeRoy, Minnesota) with no reputation at all–yet.  Accordingly, No. 4911952  was sent to the Cutkowski and Jones  partnership dealership” located at 202 No. Main Street in Mankato, Minnesota.

Then the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor in December of 1941.  Like nearly all other manufacturing concerns the Case Company was  greatly curtailed in its production of civilian materials including tractors and farm machinery by the government.  For the duration  of the war all manufacturing was to be directed toward the war effort in Europe and the Pacific.

With the return of peace in September of 1945, production of the tractors had just begun again. J. I. Case Company was still  struggling to retool for full time civilian production.  On December 26, 1945, shortly after No. 4911952 rolled off the assembly line in Racine, Wisconsin, the Case Tractor Works at Racine, Wisconsin was hit by a labor strike by the United Auto Workers.  This labor strike continued for fifteen more months until March 10, 1947.

This 1936 photo shows the J. I. Case Tractor Plant which was located just south of Racine, near today’s intersection of highways 11 and 32. From December 26, 1945 until March 10, 1947 the UAW (United Auto Workers) union conducted a labor strike against the Tractor Works which resoulted in a total halt of production of tractors for Case tractors until March 10, 1947.

 

During the whole period of the strike, the Case Tractor Works was totally closed down and did not produce a single farm tractor.  Finally on March 10, 1947 the United Auto Workers and the Case Company signed a new labor collective bargaining agreement and the labor strike ended.  Finally, production of farm tractors was begun again at the Case Tractor Works in Racine Wisconsin.

When No. 4911952 arrived at the Cutkowsky dealership just after New Years Days of 1946, the dealership had already been approached by a potential buyer for the little Model SC tractor.  This potential buyer was a farmer of a 160-acre farm in Belgrade Township in Ncollet County, Minnesota.  This was our Belgrade Township farmer.

 

A township map of Nicollet County  showing the location of Belgrade Township in the southern most or lowest most point on the map.

 

Our Belgrade Township farmer’s mother had inherited the 160 acre farm upon the death of her husband (our Belgrade Township farmer’s  father).  Even before the death of his father, our Belgrade Township farmer was had actively been operating the farm: planting the crops, spending endless hours cultivating the corn crop and finally harvesting the crops on behalf of his mother.

Prior to the death of his father, our Belgrade Township farmer, had  been anticipating obtaining a farm of his own and, indeed, he had been dating a young girl.  Together they had talked of getting married and getting a house of their own .  However, at the time of the death of his father,  our Belgrade Township farmer and this girl friend had drifted apart.  At the time, he suspected that this distance that grew up between he and this girl was brought about by her recognition that our Belgrade Township farmer would be forced into handling the farm of his father and moving into his mother’s house

Later, however,  he had met and married his current wife, and he and his new wife had, indeed, had moved into the house of his mother, because neither of his two younger brothers was prepared to .  However, both of his younger brothers were almost ten years younger than our Belgrade Township farmer and were, at time of their father’s death, much too young to operate the whole farm by themselves.  handle the they

In late

Production of the Model SC Case continued until 1954.  Over the full production run of the Model SC tractor, from 1940 until 1954, a total of 58991 individual SC tractors were made.

The Model SC tractor bearing the Serial Number 4911952 lwas shipped to the Cutkowski and Jones Case equipment dealership in Mankato, Minnesota.

 

This  and eventually sold to a particular farmer operating a farm in western Belgrade Township about 3 or 4 miles to the north of North Mankato on County Road #8 in Nicollet County Minneota.  This was the farm of our Belgrade Township farmer.   Sold into bankruptcy and No. 4911952 was sold to an auction house in Mankato kept No. 4911952 inside a storage shed or garage until an auction was held a couple months later.  At the auction, Ken Weilage purchased No. 4911925 and a couple of other tractors and took the tractors to his 5-acre hobby farm located on the east side of the Hwy. #169 between Mankato and St. Peter, Minnesota.

This hobby farm had originally been a working farm but in the 1960s the arable land of the farm was surveyed and separated from the building site of the farm.  The arable land was then sold to a neighboring farmer and the building site was sold to man who worked as a financial services manager named Ken Wielage (Tel: [507] 625-4810), who also had a hobby of collecting and restoring old farm tractors.  At this stage, No. 4911952 went through its first repainting and restoration.  Once the restoration was complete, the tractor was driven by Ken Weilage in a number of parades.  In about 1990 the tractor was sold to group of about ten (10) neighbors, who all lived along Washington Boulevard on the shore of Lake Washington, near the village of Madison Lake, Minnesota.  This group of neighbors included John Pfau, the owner of a number of Taco John restaurant franchised in Mankato, St. Peter and New Ulm and was the person who actually found the tractor was for sale by Ken Wielage, the late Ernie Weber, Gordon Strusz (at 4524 Washington Blvd. Madison Lake, Minnesota and Tel. [507] 243-3380); Ray Dumbrowski; and  John D. Jacoby who became the person who was most involved with the operation storage and repair of the tractor for the last 20 years.  At first, Washington Boulevard was a gravel rode.  The neighbors used No. 4911952 to pull an old steel-wheeled grader up and down Washington Boulevard to grade and maintain the road and the tractor was used twice a year to put the neighbors docks in Lake Washington in the spring and pulling the docks out of the waster in the autumn.

In 2013 through 2015 No. 4911952 was displayed on the Mike McCabe farm as a tractor for sale and there was seen by the current author in April of 2015 was and purchased for the Wells Family Farms collection of restored tractors. No. 4911952 is currently undergoing its second restoration.

 

Brian Ways wa The ne vav.   a

for sold arable land was sold on the When the arable land on is farm was sold
was a atTherpA  To fu

 

The The 100° longitude meridian line runs north and south over the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.  This longitude line is

Farming with a Coop E-3 Tractor in Illinois Part 3: The Owatonna Manufacturing Company

Farming in Illinois with the Coop Model E-3 Tractor

 (Part 3 of 3 Parts): The Owatonna Manufacturing Company

by

Brian Wayne Wells

This article remains under construction.  From time to time new blocks of text will appear or present blocks of text will be corrected.

Owatonna Manufacturing Company of Owatonna, Minnesota, specialized in farm equipment specifically seeders nd portable farm elevators.

 

Throughout the history of North American agriculture, farmers have been attempting to solve their own problems.  Farmers have repeatedly joined together in societies and organization.  As noted in a previous article (See the article on this blog entitled “Farming in Illinois with the Model E-3 Tractor Part 1 of 3  Parts: The Farmers Union”) some farmers banded together in organizations like the Grange and the National Farmers Union to 1.) boost the money that farmers received for their crops through  cooperative marketing of their crops and  2.) save money through cooperative purchasing of their farm equipment, fuels and other products used in raising and harvesting those crops on the farm.

Local cooperatives engaged in the cooperative marketing of farm crops were usually centered around cooperatively-owned  creameries and grain elevators located in small towns across the vast agricultural areas of the United States–the  Midwest, the Great Plains, the agricultural South and the Central and Imperial Valleys of California.  As time went by, and the local cooperatives began to expand into the cooperative purchasing of products used by farmers, the local cooperatives began to build or purchase their own lumberyards, gasoline service stations and farm implement dealerships which began to sell cooperatively purchased products to their farmer members at reduced prices.

One member of the National Farmers Union who was currently farming in Sterling Township in Whiteside County, Illinois.  He was a “true believer” in the value of the cooperatives to the small farmer and tried at all instances to purchase all his supplies from local Cooperatives.  Especially, those cooperatives that were connected with the Farmers Union.  Our Sterling Township farmer had moved to this farm in Illinois in 1945 from  his father’s farm located near Baraboo, Wisconsin.  Due to a lack of any local cooperative that sold “COOP” farm machinery and farm tractors, our Sterling Township farmer tended to buy his farm machinery at the Sauk County Farmers Union Cooperative in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

However, there was some farm machinery that was not available through the COOP line of the farm implements marketed by the National Farmers Union.  For these pieces of farm machinery, our Sterling Township farmer was required to turn to other private company suppliers.  As noted previously, he had purchased an 8-foot hydraulically controlled trailing double disc from a local dealer in Sterling, Illinois.  This disc had been manufactured by the Kewanee Manufacturing Company of Kewanee, Illinois.  Kewanee, Illinois was situated in Henry County, Illinois, which was located immediately to the south of Whiteside County.

A county map of the State of Illinois showing the location of Henry County the home county of the Kewaunee Manufacturing Company. The County immediately to the north of the highlighted Henry County is Whiteside County Illinois, the home county of our Sterling Township farmer.

 

Even though our Sterling Township farmer had been impressed by the hydraulically controlled transportable disc produced by the Kewanee Manufacturing Company, he was not so impressed by the portable farm elevator that was also produced by the Kewaunee Company.

The Kewaunee Company had been making portable farm elevators since 1922 when the company purchased a line of portable farm  elevators from the Hart Grain Weigher Company of Peoria, Illinois.  At this time, the portable elevator made by Kewaunee was a composit of wood and steel construction.  In 1926, Kewaunee introduced their “all-steel” elevator.  In anticipation of the production the new farm Kewaunee elevator the Kewaunee Company had moved out of its old facilities to a new concrete block building locate on the corner of Park and Commercial Streets in Kewaunee in 1922.  However, sales of the new portable Kewaunee farm elevator grew so rapidly that the Company was forced to move to still larger facilities in 1927.

In 1922 the Kewaunee Machinery Company inherited a portable farm elevator made of wood and steel when the Company purchased a line of portable elevator line from the Hart Grain Weigher Company.

 

During the first few years on the new farm in Sterling Township, Illinois,  our Sterling Township farmer had been forced to borrow a portable elevator from his neighbors merely to move the oat crop from the wagon to his granary and to move the ear corn from the wagons which were coming into the yard to the corn crib.  to the   to

  In 1888 the Owatonna Manufacturing Company was founded in Owatonna, Mnnesota.  Farmers soon recognized the OMC paint colors of red and lime green on the grain drills, seeders and balers.  In 1928, OMC began making portable farm elevators in 1928 after purchasing the Diedrick Company.  Indeed, for a while OMC continued the production of the Diedrich (even under the Diedrich name)

The first OMC factory in Owatonna, Minnesota, in 1888.

 

Farmers soon recognized the OMC paint colors of red and lime green on the grain drills, seeders. elevators and and balers.

 

The Owatonna Manufacturing Company of Owatonna, Minnesota, specialized in farm equipment specifically seeders and portable farm elevators.

Owattonna

In 1965, OMC  introduced their first “Mustang” skid steer.

 

In 1997 Mustang was separated from OMC and sold to the Gehl Corporation

 

OMC, itself was sold to the Manitou Americas Inc. corporation.    as being

As the mid-1950s went on, the Cockshutt faced dwindling Meanwhile,  the National Farm Machinery Cooperative started losing market share in the farm tractor and machinery market as a result Cockshutt shares return egt.  arm

 

Eventually, our Sterling township farmer traded the COOP Model E-3 tractor, bearing the serial No. 31591, in on the purchase of a newer more powerful Cockshutt tractor.  No. 31591 was sold from one owner to another when the tractor ended up in the hands of an owner than sought to made the Model E-3 into a tractor that could be used in professional antique tractor pulling contests.  Accordingly, the hydraulics which had been installed on No. 31591 by our Sterling Township farmer under the seat on the operator’s platform.  At the same time the tractor was repainted with the red and cream colors to make No. 31591 look like a post-1955 Cockshutt.

When purchased by the current author, the COOP Model E-3 tractor bearing the serial number 31591 had been largely repainted to look like a post-1955 model Cockshutt Model 30.

 

to make the tractor t pullingthe

Farming with a Coop E-3 Tractor in Illinois Part 2: The Kewaunee Company

Farming in Illinois  with the Coop Model E-3 Tractor

 (Part 2 of 3 Parts): The Kewaunee Company

by

Brian Wayne Wells

This Article remains under construction.  Periodically blocks of text will appear and/or be corrected in the process of construction.

A closeup view of the new decals that appeared on the COOP Model E-3 tractor after 1949.  These are the decals that appeared on No. 31591 when it rolled off the assembly line at the Cockshutt Works in Brandford, Ontario, Canada in 1951.

 

            As noted earlier, the 1951 Coop Model E-3 tractor that had been purchased by our Sterling Township farmer bore the serial number #31591.  (See the prior article in this this series called “Farming with the Coop Model E-3 Tractor in Illinois” contained at this website. )  Although, Sterling Township was located in Whiteside County in the state of Illinois, No. #31591 was actually purchased from the Sauk County Farmers Union Cooperative store in Baraboo, Wisconsin.  Baraboo, Wisconsin, was actually, his childhood home.   He had been born and raised on a farm in Troy Town in Sauk County. Wisconsin.  Indeed his father and younger brother still lived on and worked the “home farm” in Troy Town.

Our Sterling Township farmer had been raised in a “Farmers Union” family and he had a strong loyalty to the National Farmers Union ideal of banning together to sell their crops to obtain the best price for their crops and banning together to purchase the products that farm families needed on the farm in order to obtain the lowest price possible for their necessary expenses.  However, there were no Farmers Union stores anywhere in his area of Illinois.  Indeed he had been unable to find any Farmers Union Stores anywhere in entire state of Illinois.  So he continued to go out of his way to shop at the Sauk County Farmers Union store in his childhood home town of Baraboo, Wisconsin.  He, usually stocked up on purchases at the store whenever he and his wife travelled back to Baraboo to visit his family.  In this way he would still get his annual Farmers Union dividend for the goods that he purchased from the store in Baraboo just as he always had always done.  Indeed, he anticipated that his purchase of No. #31591 in 1951 would yield a rather substantial dividend in 1952.

The Farmers Union ideal had two sides. Banning together in the Farmers Union allowed the farmers to purchase their own granaries to control the sale of their crop in order to get the best price.  This was the “selling side” of the Farmers Union.

The Farmers Union cooperatively owned grain elevator of Centralia, Kansas–an example of the “selling side” of the Farmers Union ideal.

 

As noted in the first article in this series noted above, there was also a “buying side” of the Farmers Union.  Farmers hoped to also ban together to keep their expenses as low as possible.  Stores like the Farmers Union store in Baraboo, Wisconsin, sold a whole line of gasoline, grease and oil products at the lowest price possible for their farmer/members to use in their farming operations.

The COOP retail store and gas station of Jamestown, looks like the Sauk County Farmers COOP store in Baraboo, Wisconsin might have looked in 1943.  The International Harvester Model D-15, three-quarter (3/4) ton truck is a 1937 or 1938 model truck,  Thus the picture was likely taken during the Second World War.    Note the Duplex Machiney Company-made Model 3 tractor on the right side of the picture.  This is one of the larger (28 drawbar horsepower) standard (non-tricycle) tractors that was being made in 1937-1938 for the Grain Belt region of the United States. After Duplex went out of business in 1939 the Model 3 c0ntinued to be made by other companies until 1950.     

 

In order to expand the buying side of the Farmers Union operation, local Farmers Union cooperatives across the United States, interested in making inexpensive farm machinery available to their members came together, in 1942, to form the National Farm Machinery Cooperative.

Newspaper clippings showing aerial photos of the Bellevue Ohio and Shelbyville, Indiana factories of the National Farm Machinery Cooperative.

 

The National Farm Machinery Cooperative or NFMC, set a goal of providing a “full line” of farm machinery for cooperative farm members all across the United States.  NFMC  envisioned selling a full line of farm machinery under the COOP name in the United States through a large number of local farm cooperatives.

Prior to the founding of NFMC, various ad hoc groups of cooperatives across the nation  had already developed a close contractual relationship with the Famous Ohio Cultivator Company  of Bellevue, Ohio, by purchasing farm machinery and selling the machinery to their members.  These individual “supply” contracts with Ohio Cultivator had allowed these ad hoc groups of cooperatives to purchase the machinery in bulk at low prices and to pass the savings along to their member/farmers in the form of initial low retail prices and in the form of annual dividends to those members.  Formation of National Farmers Cooperative had the effect of broadening and streamlining this operation.  More cooperatives from all across the nation would now have access to the line of farm machinery made by the Famous Ohio Cultivator Company.  This meant even more savings that could be passed on to Farmers Union members.

An advertisement of a local dealership of the Ohio Cultivator Company. Note at the very bottom of the sign the “Black Hawk” name is prominately seen on the sign.

 

The Ohio Cultivator Company was founded by Harlow Case Stahl.  Born on February 12, 1849 near, Ballville in Sandusky County Ohio.   Harlow Stahl had married Annie Charlotte Mitchell on October 21, 1874.  On his parents farm, Harlow grew tired of endlessly trudging along behind the simple one or two shovel horse-drawn cultivators which were common at the time.

A walk-behind horse-drawn one-row cultivator headed toward the corn field in the hot summer sun.

 

In 1878, Harlow worked together with a local blacksmith in Freemont to develop a horse-drawn cultivator which had wheels which straddled a single row of corn with shovels on both sides of the row and had a seat at the rear which allowed the farmer to ride as he cultivated his corn.  This new cultivator was called the “Fremont cultivator.”  The Fremont cultivator was credited as being the first successfully designed riding cultivator which was successfully marketed.

The sucess of the Ohio Cultivator company with their new riding cultivator led to a number of other companies producing similar riding cultivators. Here a pair of horses are pulling a New Century Company riding cultivator in the corn fields.

 

The Freemont Cultivator was a success from the very beginning.  In the very first year of production, 87 Fremont Cultivators were built and 81 of these were sold to local farmers.  By 1882, production and sales had risen to 1,000 culivators in one year.  In 1885, Stahl moved his cultivator production to a larger factory located in Bellevue, Ohio.   At about this the business was incorporated as the Ohio Cultivator Company.  Later the company came to be called the Famous Ohio Cultivator Company. 

The Famous Ohio Cultivator Company used the profits from the record sales of the Freemont Cultivator to add a manure spreader, a hay mower,  a  soil pulverizer and other farm implements to expand the number farm implements that the Famous Ohio Cultivator Company offered to the farming public.   However, even with this expansion of the line of implements, the Ohio Cultivator Company was still a “full line” manufacturer of farm equipment.  At this time of tractor power farming, Ohio Cultivator needed to have a farm tractor to offer to the farming public in order to be a “full line” seller of farm machinery.

An Ohio Cultivator Company advertisement which highlights the “Black Hawk” name at the top of the advertisement and other new items of farm machinery which were being added to the Ohio Cultivator Company line of farm machinery.

 

(In actual fact the Ohio Cultivator Company had, indeed, been a full line seller of farm equipment for a short while in its earlier history.  In 1929, Ohio Cultivator had signed a supply contract with the General Tractor Company of Cleveland, Ohio, to purchase a number of farm tractors to be sold together with Ohio Cultivator implements and through the Ohio Cultivator sales and distribution network.  While this relationship lasted, Ohio Cultivator was a “full line” provider of farm equipment including a farm tractor. Alas, however, General Tractor went out of business and disappeared from the farm machinery market and Ohio Cultivator lost its supplier of farm tractors and once again became a “shortline seller of farm machinery.  Nonetheless, because of the newly expanded line of farm machinery, Ohio Cultivator was one of the a leading shortline manufacturer and sellers of farm machinery.

So in 1943, when the newly incorporated National Farm Machinery Cooperative  had an opportunity to actually purchase the whole of the Ohio Cultivator Company, NFMC recognized the purchase as promising an opportunity for even further streamlining and savings in the sales of farm machinery to NFMC member/customers.

Still, NFMC needed to have a farm tractor available for sale under the COOP name.  As noted above, the acquisition of Ohio Cultivator did not solve this problem.  Accordingly, NFMC began to look around for a tractor manufacturer who would supply a tractor at an acceptable price which could make NFMC a “full line” seller of farm machinery.

Before the birth of NFMC, various groups of cooperatives across the United States had signed contracts at various times with the Allis-Chalmers Company of West Allis, Wisconsin , the Oliver Farm Equipment Company of Charles City, Iowa, the Huber Company and finally the Duplex Machinery Company  of Battle Creek, Michigan, to provide tractors which could be sold under the COOP name.  However, the last contractual relationship with Duplex for a tricycle-style row crop tractor–the COOP Model 1– had ended in 1938.  The story of these earlier contractual relationships with tractor companies to acquire tractors to be sold under the COOP name.     Accordingly, the local cooperatives of the United States once again found themselves without a tractor to tractor to sell to their members which bore the name COOP on the hood.

Thus, as early as 1944, NFMC began negotiating with the Cockshutt Farm Equipment Company of Brantford, Ontario, Canada to once again resolve this lack of a farm tractor for the COOP line of farm equipment.  After the war ended and the wartime restrictions on the production of civilian farm machinery were lifted both in Canada and the United States a contract was signed between NFMC and Cockshutt which suddenly made the National Farm Machinery Cooperative, NFMC,  the primary United States outlet for the line of Cockshutt farm machinery and the new and very modern Cockshutt Model 30 tractor.  The Model 30 was scheduled to go into production at the Cockshutt Works in Brantford, Ontario.   (Under the terms of this contract NFMC became the predominent retailer of but was not the only retail outlet for Cockshutt tractors in the United States.  A small number of Cockshutt 30 tractors were sold under the “Farmcrest” label by the small Minneapolis, Minnesota headquartered Gambles/Skogmo chain of hardware stores.  As noted in the earlier article cited above also starting in 1947.)

From Cockshutt’s point of view, the deal concluded with the NFMC meant that Cockshutt would be able to break into the United States market with a corporate entity that already had an extensive retail dealership network.  This was the major benefit to the Cockshutt Farm Equipment Company would recieve from the deal. 

On the NFMC side of the ledger, the deal with Cockshutt fit the long range goal of the NFMC to become a “full line” farm equipment seller.  As noted in an earlier article on this website–“Farming in Illinois with a COOP Model E-3 Tractor (Part I): The Farmers Union,”–the Farmers Union having greatly expanded their farmer-member’s ability to sell their own grain and corn at the best price available by increasing the network of local cooperative grain elevators in various small towns across the upper Midwest and the Great Plains of the United States, the Farmers Union now sought to build up the “buyer” side of their local cooperatives by increasing the amount of farm implements and supplies that the farmer could buy from their local cooperatives and be able to pay the lowest price for those implements and supplies.   .

Toward this goal, at the end of 1943,

 

 

All over the state of Illinois, small companies had sprung up that were manufacturing  new and improved farm implements and machinery.  One of these small companies was located just south of our Sterling Township farmer’s home in Whiteside County, Illinois.  This was Kewanee Machinery and Conveyor Company located in Henry County which bordered Whiteside County on the south.  Henry County contained the small manufacturing city of Kewanee, Illinois.  This was where the Kewanee Company was based and from which the Company derived its name. (Thanks to the July 28, 1986 article in the “Around Town” column of the Kewanee Courier-Star newspaper written by David Clarke and the files at the Kewanee Historical Society, we have a good outline of the history of the Kewanee Machinery and Conveyor Company.) 

The Kewanee Company had actually begun its existence as the Kewanee Corn Hanger Company–after its first successful product–the seed corn drying hangerIn the years prior to the production of hybrid seed corn, farmers used to walk through their corn fields, looking for the best ears of corn that could be saved to be used for seed corn in the next spring.  By saving only the best ears the farmer was attempting to use the process of artificial selection to improve his corn crop.    Wire and string were used to tie these special ears of seed corn together and hang them up inside the granary out of the winter elements and suspended away from the reach of rodents.  In 1911, George Hurff and Benjamin Franklin (called B. F.) Baker submitted an application to the U.S. Patent Office for a  corn hanger which could be used to dry these selected ears of seed corn.

In the next year, 1912, Wallace Glidden, Hurff’s son-in-law incorporated a company which would market the corn hangers to the farming public.  This company was called the Kewaunee Corn Hanger Company and was based at 121 Loomis Street in Kewanee.  The Kewanee Company was a family business. Wallace Glidden had been employed at the Kewanee Boiler Company, where he had met Benjamin Franklin Baker (popularly known as B.F. Baker), who was the boss of the company.  It was B. F. Baker that provided most of the financing for the new business.  Wallace Glidden’s own younger brother Raymond Boyd Glidden, become the manager of the Kewaunee Corn Hanger Company.  In 1916, the name of the company was changed to the Kewaunee Implement Company.

 

A 1927 advertisement of the the ear corn drying hanger made by the Kewaunee Implement Company.

 

The corn drying hanger proved to be a great sales success.  Based the success of this product,  the Company was able to expand into the manufacture of other products for the small diversified farm of the Midwestern United States.    However, the company expanded into the manufacture of other products for the small farm.  By 1916, the Company was making chicken waterers and hog oilers

 

The Kewaunee Company’s popular hog oiler allowed hogs of all sizes to control insect infestions on their skin. The cheap price of the Kewaunee meant that most small farmers could afford an oiler for their farms.

 

Leonard W. Glidden was the father of Wallace and Raymond  Glidden.  In 1900, Leonard had brought his entire family of three sons and two daughters from Olive, Ohio to Henry County, Illinois where he started a new hardware and farm implement store in the the small town of Galva, Illinois.  Galva was a small town near the City of Kewaunee, Illinois. was Leonard influenced the direction of the In 1930, the name of the company was changed to the Kewaunee Machinery and Conveyor Company.  Raymond worked for a longer time in his father’s store and, thus, became impressed by the future promise of farm machinery.  Accordingly, when he joined his brother, Wallace, and B. F. Baker in forming and operating the Kewaunee Corn Hanger Company, he was already predisposed toward directing the future of the Kewaunee Implement Company toward manufacturing even more farm implements.

Wallace tragically  died in 1921 at the young age of 41 years.  Raymond took up the reins in the place of his older brother.  In 1922 the Kewaunee Implement Company purchased a corporate entity from the Hart Grain Weigher Company of Peoria, Illinois.  This was be a significant move made by the Company which would be important for the future of the Company.  (More on the story of the elevators manufactured by the Kewaunee Implement Company is carried in a later article on this website called “Farming in Illinois with a COOP Model E-3 Tractor (Part III): The Owatonna Manufacturing Company.”)

In the post-World War II era, a high school Agricultural Education instructor from Rochelle, Illinois, by the name of Hugh Cooper,  had been working on a new kind of double disc.   In 1950, this new disc was shown to the management of the Kewanee Company.  The disc was a great improvement over most tillage implements of the past.  The double disc was mounted on rubber-tired wheels.  These wheels could be raised or lowered by a hydraulic cylinder with was to be activated by the driver on the tractor seat..  When the wheels were lowered the entire double disc would be raised entirely off the ground and the disc could be transported easily and rapidly on the rubber tires from field to field or even over the public roads.  The Kewaunee Machinery and Conveyor Company purchased the design of this disc and began production of the disc in sizes from 7-foot 11 inches to 13 feet 4 inches in width.

The new Kewanee rubber tired transportable disc was an instant and spectacular success.  The Kewanee disc in this picture  is the eight (8) foot version being pulled by a John Deere Model 60.

 

Our Sterling Township farmer had purchased his 1951 COOP Model E-3 tractor bearing the serial number #31591 without the optional hydraulic package installed..  As noted in the earlier article in this series (“Farming with a COOP Model E-3 Tractor in Illinois [Part I]: Farmers Union,” the COOP Model E-3 tractor was really a Cockshutt farm tractor manufactured by the Cockshutt Farm Equipment Company in Bradford, Ontario, Canada.

Prior to 1946, the Cockshutt Company had confined itselt largely to the Canadian market.

Before the birth of NFMC, various groups of cooperatives across the United States had signed contracts at various times with the Allis-Chalmers Company of West Allis, Wisconsin , the Oliver Farm Equipment Company of Charles City, Iowa, the Huber Company and finally the Duplex Machinery Company  of Battle Creek, Michigan, to provide tractors which could be sold under the COOP name.  However, the last contractual relationship with Duplex for a tricycle-style row crop tractor–the COOP Model 1– had ended in 1938.  The story of these earlier contracual relationships with tractor companies to aquire tractors to be sold under the COOP name.     Accordingly, the local cooperatives of the United States once again found themselves without a tractor to tractor to sell to their members which bore the name COOP on the hood.

Thus, as early as 1944, NFMC began negotiating with the Cockshutt Farm Equipment Company of Brantford, Ontario, Canada to once again resolve this lack of a farm tractor for the COOP line of farm equipment.  After the war ended and the wartime restrictions on the production of civilian farm machinery were lifted both in Canada and the United States a contract was signed between NFMC and Cockshutt which suddenly made the National Farm Machinery Cooperative, NFMC,  the primary United States outlet for the line of Cockshutt farm machinery and the new and very modern Cockshutt Model 30 tractor.  The Model 30 was scheduled to go into production at the Cockshutt Works in Brantford, Ontario.   (Under the terms of this contract NFMC became the predominent retailer of but was not the only retail outlet for Cockshutt tractors in the United States.  A small number of Cockshutt 30 tractors were sold under the “Farmcrest” label by the small Minneapolis, Minnesota headquartered Gambles/Skogmo chain of hardware stores.  As noted in the earlier article cited above also starting in 1947.)

From Cockshutt’s point of view, the deal concluded with the NFMC meant that Cockshutt would be able to break into the United States market with a corporate entity that already had an extensive retail dealership network.  This was the major benefit to the Cockshutt Farm Equipment Company would recieve from the deal. 

On the NFMC side of the ledger, the deal with Cockshutt fit the long range goal of the NFMC to become a “full line” farm equipment seller.  As noted in an earlier article on this website–“Farming in Illinois with a COOP Model E-3 Tractor (Part I): The Farmers Union,”–the Farmers Union having greatly expanded their farmer-member’s ability to sell their own grain and corn at the best price available by increasing the network of local cooperative grain elevators in various small towns across the upper Midwest and the Great Plains of the United States, the Farmers Union now sought to build up the “buyer” side of their local cooperatives by increasing the amount of farm implements and supplies that the farmer could buy from their local cooperatives and be able to pay the lowest price for those implements and supplies.   .

Toward this goal, at the end of 1943, in the middle of the Second World War, the NFMC bought the Ohio Cultivator Company of Bellevue, Ohio.  By this purchase, the NFMC immediately broadened its line of farm implements in the Ohio Cultivator Company line.  had wheels which straddled a single row of corn with shovels on both sides of the row and had a seat at the rear which allowed the farmer to ride as he cultivated his corn.  This new cultivator was called the “Fremont cultivator.”  The Fremont cultivator was credited as being the first successfully designed riding cultivator which was successfully marketed.

Harlow Case Stahl, the founder of the Ohio Cultivator Company.

 

 

The cultivator was a success from the very beginning.  In the very first year, 87 Fremont cultivators were built and 81 of these were sold to local farmers.  By 1882, sales had risen to 1,000 culivators in one year.  In 1885, Stahl moved his cultivator factor to a larger factory located in Bellevue, Ohio.   At about this the business was incorporated as the  the “Ohio Cultivator Company.”

The sucess of the Ohio Cultivator company with their new riding cultivator led to a nimber of other companies producing similar riding cultivators. Here a pair of horses are pulling a New Century Company cultivator in the corn fields.

During the “good times” of the 1880s Harlow Stahl’s company made sure to pay all its bill to suppliers on time.  Accordingly, they built up a good reputation with the suppliers for dependability.  This reputation set the Ohio Cultivator Company in good stead when in the a period of tightening credit occurred in 1892 and 1893.  The economic condition in the United States grew worse until it became a full blown economic Panic in 1893.  The Panic of 1893 resulted in the bankrupcies of major companies on Wall Street.  Most United States businesses were unable to get loans to carry on manufacturing.  Accordingly, most of these corporations had to lay off workers or cease production altogether.  However, the suppliers of raw materials trusted the Ohio Cultivator Company because of their past record of reliability in paying their bills and the Company was able to continue production of cultivators.  Therefore, when the economy began to recover again in 1895 and 1896 and farmers were ready to start buying machinery again, the Ohio Cultivator Company was well-positioned  with a large inventory of horse-drawn cultivators to sell to them.

An advertisement of a local dealership of the Ohio Cultivator Company. Note at the very bottom of the sign the “Black Hawk” name is prominately seen on the sign.

 

This gave the Ohio Cultivator Company an advantage over competitors in the farm machinery market.  Harlow Stahl exploited this advantage by expanding his line of farm machinery beyond the horse-drawn cultivator. In 1896 he purcased a factory of a company in Dayton that had been making discs.  In 1899, he purchased the struggling Bellevue Plow Company.  The Ohio Cultivator Company also absorbed the Ohio Hay Press Company in 1900 and the Bissell Plow Company in 1905.  Another agricultural business recession struck the United States economy in 1907-1908.  Nonetheless, through this recession the work force of the Ohio Cultivator Company remained steady at 300 employees.

In 1923, Stahl led his company in making an important acquisition of the D.M. Sechler Implement and Carriage from Moline, Illinois and its Black Hawk line of corn planters and grain drills.  More than the implements of this company it would prove to be the name “Black Hawk” that would prove to be the most enduring asset that would help the Ohio Cultivator Company and after 1943  would the NFMC and later still would help the Cockshutt Company.

An Ohio Cultivator Company advertisement which highlights the “Black Hawk” name at the top of the advertisement.

 

and would  the  proposed  the   offered a hydraulic kit that could be retrofitted onto the Cockshutt Model 30.  Once again this hydraulic kit was offered for sale in the United States by the network of farmers cooperatives.

A new capability required for use with the new eight-foot trailing- style double Kewaunee disc that he had just purchased from his local dealership in     He knew that the Cockshutt Farm Equipment Company offered a remote hydraulic system as an option for all new Model 30 tractors that were manufactured in Bradford, Ontario, Canada.  The various Farmers Union affiliated cooperatives who are selling the Cockshutt Model 30 in the United States under the designation–“Coop” Model E-3, were now offering an “add-on” hydraulic system for E-3 tractors like No. 31591 which had originally been sold without hydraulics.

This add-on hydraulic system was composed of a live-hydraulic pump which was to be mounted to the oil pump at the front of the four-cylinder Buda engine, and the main hydraulic unit located under the operator’s seat.  Through this two-part system, the Cockshutt Farm Equipment Company not only offered a remote hydraulic system which operated through hoses that were connected to the two “Parker-Pioneer” hydraulic connectors protruding from the rear of the main hydraulic unit under the seat of the tractor.  There were two Parker-Pioneer hydraulic connectors were part of the “remote” 2-way hydraulic system.  The remote system powered a hydraulic cylinder on a piece of trailing or pulled-type of farm equipment.but also t only a one of the leading farm equipment companies to he add-on hydraulic kit attempts to provide two hydraulic functions.  First, the main hydraulic unit located under the operator’s seat contains a rock shaft that protruded out either side of the main hydraulic unit.  The Cockshutt hydraulic add-on kit came complete with two lift arms which were attached to a round shaft that was installed on the drawbar under the power take-off shaft on the tractor.  A pair of rock shaft lift arms and two adjustable lift links were included in the kit.  The lift arms were also connected to the ends of the rock shaft.  This provided the power for the three-point hitch.

Two adjustable lift links were connected to the rock shaft lift arms with the lift arms attached to the drawbar.  The rock shaft was powered by hydraulic oil under pressure from the hydraulic pump.  The rock shaft would turn and pull up the lift arms.  These two lift arms formed two points of the three point hitch and were the power of the three-point system.  A top link attached to the rear of the tractor above the power take off shaft formed the third point of the three-point hitch.

However, there were also two “Parker-Pioneer” hydraulic connectors protruding from the rear of the main hydraulic unit under the seat of the tractor.  These Parker-Pioneer hydraulic connectors were part of the “remote” 2-way hydraulic system.  The remote system powered a hydraulic cylinder on a piece of trailing or pulled-type of farm equipment.

 

This is the system in which our Sterling Township farmer was most interested.  He did not know how he would ever use the three-point hitch, since there were few three-point hitch implements on the market in 1952.  the early 1950as  There  he ufor passing hydraulic oil from the pump on the tractor to a remote hyd nthe gdeveloped by sw   stm

 

all the parts that on would be needed to attach the Cockshutt three-point hitch to the tractor. .

 

the cast-iron axle housings located on either side of the tractor are attached to the cast-iron power train housing by six 5/8 inch bolts. The retrofit hydraulic kit sold by the Farmers Union cooperative contained special longer bolts which were to replace four of these original bolts on the top of the axle housing.  These four bolts on each axle housing were used to hold the main hydraulic unit under the operator’s seat.  However, because these bolts were located under the running boards on the operator’s platform, our Sterling Township farmer needed to have the thick sheet metal running boards attached to the side of the power train housing trimmed with a blow torch to allow the main hydraulic unit to be properly attached to the bolts on top of the axle housing.  The main hydraulic unit was fitted with a rock shaft.

these  .

ide of the unit under the seat was attached to the tractor by four of th eight bolts which bolts on the top of the Two hoses connected the pumereservoir and with two hoses which connect front of the engine on the

sunder the under the   purchased in rs like  tch he had aAccordingly,

 

the s s  Although, Cockshutt This traqctorwas a

 

Throughout the history of North American agriculture, farENGmers have been attemnship pting to solve their own problems. Farmers have repeatedly joined together in societies and organi

Farming with the Coop Model E-3 in Illinois (Part I): The Farmers Union

Farming with a Coop Tractor (Part 1):

National Farmers Union

    by

    Brian Wayne Wells

 

THIS ARTICLE REMAINS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. PERIODICALLY ADDITIONS WILL BE MADE TO THE ARTICLE. WHEN THE ARTICLE IS COMPLETE THIS PARTICULAR MESSAGE WILL DISAPPEAR.

 

 

Throughout the history of North American agriculture, farmers have been attempting to solve their own problems. Farmers have repeatedly joined together in societies and organizations to protect their common economic and political well being. In the United States, one of these attempts of farmers to band together to solve their problems occurred in 1867 with the formation of the National Grange of the Society of the Patrons of Husbandry (or more simply “the Grange). The Grange was formed in the state of Maine in 1867. Following the initial founding of the National Grange, local chapters of the Grange Society sprang up all across the northern rural areas of the nation. At first, Grange meetings were merely social events—community dinners and dances. This was an attempt to solve the problem of loneliness or isolation facing many farm families. However, soon the Grange took a more serious bent and began to protest the political and economic problems faced by farmers.

 

Founding Hall of the National Society of the Grange in Solon, Maine.

 

Chief among the concerns of the Grangers was the exploitation of farmers by private grain elevators and the railroad. Usually the local privately-owned grain elevators exercised a near monopoly over the prices that local farmers received for their crops. Often times this price was much lower than the farmer might have received if some competition in the market had been available to the local farmer. However, such competition was usually not readily available to the farmers. Usually there was only a single grain elevator in each local town. To find competing elevators the farmer would have to carry his grain to more distant elevators. Shipping their products to more distant markets was one means by which the farmers might find a higher price for their farm products. Railroads, the primary method of shipping to those distant markets, but usually railroads also had a monopoly over shipping from local small towns. Usually there was only one railroad in each small town. Thus, railroads could charge what ever they wanted for shipping the farmer’s grain. So railroads, along with grain elevators became the targets of farm protest movements.

The individual farmer felt himself being squeezed between the twin monopoly powers of the railroads and their local privately-owned grain elevators. Accordingly, the political program of the Grange developed into a strong protest against monopolistic price-setting powers of both the railroads and the privately-owned grain elevators. The State of Illinois, reacting to protest agitation on the part of the Grange, passed legislation on April 25, 1871 which required the appropriate state to regulate the rates that local privately-owned grain elevators charged farmers for their services. Regulations for the storage of grain by privately-owned grain elevators were promulgated in January of 1872. In June of 1872, a group of elevators including the Munn & Scott grain elevator of Chicago, Illinois, were sued by the State of Illinois for a violation of these regulations regarding terms and rates of grain storage charged. Munn & Scott appealed the case to the United States Supreme Court to test the constitutionality of the Illinois statute allowing the regulation of grain elevators. This case became the landmark case called Munn v. Illinois, (94 U. S. 113 [1877]). The Grange joined the State of Illinois, in the case. The case was decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1877. This decision upheld the States of Illinois’ right to regulate the rates that grain elevators could charge for the services they rendered. (More broadly, however, the Munn decision recognized the constitutionality of any state government to regulate any private corporations operating within its boundaries. As such, Munn v. Illinois became the foundation of many areas of law including the state’s right to prevent discrimination against people based on race, sex, age or etc.)

 

Munn vs. Illinois is argued before the United States Supreme Court.

 

The Grange was limited in geographical scope to the northern states of the nation. In the south, the National Farmers Alliance was the most popular farm protest group. Formed in 1876 in Lampasas, Texas, the National Farmers Alliance was political from the start. The Alliance agreed with the Grange in demanding restrictions on the monopolistic power of the railroads. However, whereas northern farmers protested against the monopoly power of grain elevators to set prices, southern farmers had the same complaints against the monopoly power of cotton brokers, banks and local merchants under the crop-lien system of farming. Under the crop-lein system, local merchants and bankers would loan money, seed and equipment to farmers before spring planting. Collateral on this loan was a lien on the expected crop to be harvested in the fall. Since cotton was the only crop that paid well enough to support the principal and interest on these loans, the merchants and bankers required that only cotton be planted by the farmer. Thus the farmer’s fortunes rose and fell economically, each year, on a single crop—cotton. Thus, under the crop-lien system, the farmer had no ability to diversify his crops to protect himself economically from the risk of a bad cotton price in a particular year. If cotton crop prices failed, the farmer would still have to make payments on the loan and the interest charges on that loan continued to pile up.

State government regulation of monopoly power provided some protection from certain unscrupulous actions taken against the farmer, however, farmers eventually began think about working together to market their farm products. The idea was that all the farmers of a given community would be a member of the organization, or cooperative. In the north, this meant that the farmers would own their own grain elevator. They would all become shareholders in this elevator. The farmers would meet once a year in a shareholders meeting and elect a board of directors to operate the cooperative elevator. The board of directors, in turn, would hire all the officers needed to handle the day-to-day affairs of the cooperative elevator.

In the 1890s many of these farmer-owned cooperatives sprang up across the Midwestern United States. These farmer-owned cooperatives built new grain elevators or purchased old ones and built or purchased dairy creameries. Thus, in many rural communities of the Midwest there was true competition for the farmers products—corn, wheat and milk. These early cooperatives faced a widespread opposition from railroads, grain companies, banks and many newspapers. Shortly after the turn of the century, two significant farm organizations were organized in support of the cooperative movement.

 

A cooperatively-owned grain elevator in South Dakota. The farmer cooperative that owns this elevator is affiliated with the Farmers Union. as reflected on the side of the building.

 

In the south, the Farmers Alliance was broken by the organized and united power of the cotton brokers, the banks and the railroads. Accordingly, in 1902, the National Farmers Union was organized in Point, Texas by Newt Gresham and a number of other farmers. Newt Gresham became one of the main organizers of the Farmer’s Union. Newt Gresham knew how to persevere in the face of adversity. He had been orphaned at the age of 10 years. Thus, at an early age he had become totally self-reliant. He was self-educated, had worked the land for most of his life and became the chief organizer for the Farmers Alliance.

 

The first organizing meeting of the Farmers Union. Newt Gresham stands second from the right in the back row.

 

In 1911, another farmers group was formed—the American Farm Bureau Federation was organized in Binghamton, New York. Both of these farm organizations agreed on the benefit of cooperatives to the average farmer. The American Farm Bureau began forming some cooperatives in the 1920s. (Cockshutt: The Complete Story compiled by the International Cockshutt Club, Inc. [American Society of Engineers Press: St. Joseph, Michigan, 1999] p. 78.) These Farm Bureau affiliated cooperatives were located, mainly, in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. Farmers Union cooperatives were mainly located further west (Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas) and extended south as far as Oklahoma and Texas. However the two organizations developed an entirely different philosophy regarding governmental assistance to farmers in distress. The National Farmers Union supported government assistance and government regulation of the farm markets in time of distress. The America Farm Bureau tended to be opposed to all governmental interference in the farm economy.

One of the early cooperatives formed in the Midwest, was the Equity Cooperative Exchange of St. Paul, Minnesota which had been formed in 1908. In 1914, Equity Cooperative built their own grain elevator on the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Paul. However, Equity had trouble finding buyers for its grain because of the discriminatory actions of private grain companies. For example, Equity was denied a seat in the privately-owned Minneapolis Grain Exchange because of this opposition led by the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce. Accordingly, Equity started their own grain exchange—the St. Paul Grain Exchange in 1914.

Active bidding on parcels of grain on the floor of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange in 1939.

 

The free-wheeling free enterprise economy of the 1920s worked against the cooperatives. Equity Cooperative was forced into bankruptcy in the 1920s and in 1926, the Farmers Union Terminal Association took over the assets of Equity, in order to continue the goals of the cooperative movement in North America. True to its Farmers Union philosophy the Farmers Union Terminal Association supported stronger regulations on the inspection of grain and governmental regulation of the weighing and calibration of the scales within elevators to assure honest weighing practices.

The severe economic depression of the early 1930s brought renewed vigor to the cooperative movement in the United States. Farmer-owned cooperatives surged in numbers across the Midwestern states. On June 1, 1938, the Farmers Union Terminal Association re-organized itself as the Grain Terminal Association (GTA).

 

Charles C. Talbot, organizer for the National Farmers Union and President of the North Dakota chapter of the Farmers Union in the 1930s.

 

Leading organizers of the Farmers Union, like Charles C. Talbot founder and president of the North Dakota Farmers Union; Bill Thatcher, a legislative lobbyist for the Farmers Union in Minnesota; and A.W. Richer, now became involved with GTA.

 

William (Bill) Thatcher (1883-1977) General Manager of the Grain Terminal Assciation

 

In the early 1930’s, Myron William (Bill) Thatcher became the general manager of the GTA. Over the 30 years that Bill Thatcher served as general manager of the developed contacts and friendships with politicians, including President Franklin Roosevelt, Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace, Senator Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota and Republican Senator Milton Young of North Dakota. Because of the political philosophy of the Farmers Union which tended to support governmental support of farmers in trouble, most of the political contacts that Bill Thatcher generated on behalf of the Farmers Union/GTA tended to be overwhelmingly members of the Democratic Party. Both in 1932 and 1936, the Farmers Union supported Franklin Roosevelt, while the American Farm Bureau did not. Accordingly, the Farmers Union evolved into a traditional major constituency of the Democratic Party similar to the way the AFL (the American Federation of Labor) and the CIO (the Congress of Industrial Organizations) became major constituent parts of the Democratic Party among urban laboring people.

 

Hubert Humphrey brings Bill Thatcher to the White House in April 1961 to meet President Kennedy.

Continue reading Farming with the Coop Model E-3 in Illinois (Part I): The Farmers Union

Oliver Farming in Mower County, Minnesota (Part VIII): The Robert Westfall Family

Oliver Farming in Mower County (Part VIII):

The Robert Westfall Family 

by

Brian Wayne Wells

THIS ARTICLE REMAINS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. PERIODICALLY ADDITIONS WILL BE MADE TO THE ARTICLE. WHEN THE ARTICLE IS COMPLETE THIS PARTICULAR MESSAGE WILL DISAPPEAR.

 

In December of 1968, Robert and Lorraine Westfall and their family of eight children moved from the Jimmy Olson farm, located northwest of Dexter, Minnesota (1960 pop. 313), to their own farm which they purchased in December of 1968. This farm was located in the same neighborhood and was situated east of the village of Dexter. east of thev of rural which they had been renting since 1959 to their own farm which th. No. 4501745 was again sold through Thill Implement in the December of 1968 to Robert Westfall of Dexter, Minnesota. Robert and Lorraine Westfall used No. 4501745 on their farm until Robert passed away on January 13, 1992. Lorraine continued to live on the farm and rent out the acerage until she sold the farm in October of 1996. In 1996 she sold No. 4501745 to Mark Wells. In August of 1996, David Preuhs pickup and trailer from LeSueur, Minnesota to the Westfall farm in near Dexter, Minnesota to pickup the Oliver tractor and bring it back to LeSueur Pioneer Power. Kyle Lieske worked on the Oliver over the winter of 2008-2009 and the tractor was brought to West Virginia by Sally and Brian Wells where the tractor was painted during June of 2009 by Jake Lovejoy of Red House, West Virginia.

 

Austin, Minnesota, (1950 pop. 23,100) is the county seat of Mower County. Austin is located in a Township on the a Located in the middle of Mower County is Windom Township which surrounds the small village of Rose Creek, Minnesota (1930 pop. 210). Until 1980, Rose Creek, Minnesota was famous in the surrounding agricultural community for a farm tractor dealership that was far out of proportion with the town’s small size.

Until the dealership closed its doors in 1965, Thill Implement served as the a local Oliver Farm Equipment dealership. However, over the years they were in business, Thill Implement grew in reputation and fame until they served much more than just Windom Township and the immediate Rose Creek community. The dealership eventually became the premier Oliver dealership of all Mower County and, began to serve the entire southern Minnesota and northern Iowa area.

thaof the the South Bend, Indiana is famously known as the home of Notre Dame University. However, the economic basis for the small Indiana city is build on the processing of iron and the manufacture of farm machinery. Two particular examples of the farm equipment manufacturing basis of the South Bend economy are the two factories owned by the Oliver Farm Equipment Corporation—South Bend No. 1 and South Bend No. 2. South Bend No. 1 is basically a foundry. While South Bend No. 2 is a basically a large machining works where the various castings molded in South Bend No. 1 are drilled with the necessary bolt holes and and where edges on those castings are shaved down under huge milling machines to the proper tolerances to be fit together with other castings during the assembly of Oliver tractors and Oliver farm macinery. (Scenes of the operations inside both South Bend No. 1 and South Bend No. 2 can be seen on the movie Acres of Power [1948]. This movie is available on VHS video tape from the Floyd County Historical Society.)

On Friday morning , December 11, 1953, the work force at the South Bend No. 1 foundry works of the Oliver Farm Equipment Company changed some numbers on the mold for the transmission and rear-end housing for Oliver’s most popular tractor—the Row Crop Model 77 tractor. Each casting l the casting rought the date on the mould of their castings up to date. All transmission and rear end housing that would be cast today would bear the current date—December 11, 1953.   a particular casting for the transmission and rear end housing was cast. As usual, all the molds used for casting this e on this the mold was All the cast iron used in the assembly of the famous Oliver tractor are “cast” right here in South Bend No. 1. that fit together   In December of 1968, Robert and Lorraine Westfall and their family of eight children moved from the Jimmy Olson farm, located northwest of Dexter, Minnesota (1960 pop. 313), to their own farm which they purchased in December of 1968. This farm was located in the same neighborhood and was situated east of the village of Dexter. east of thev of rural which they had been renting since 1959 to their own farm which th. No. 4501745 was again sold through Thill Implement in the December of 1968 to Robert Westfall of Dexter, Minnesota. Robert and Lorraine Westfall used No. 4501745 on their farm until Robert passed away on January 13, 1992. Lorraine continued to live on the farm and rent out the acerage until she sold the farm in October of 1996. In 1996 she sold No. 4501745 to Mark Wells. In August of 1996, David Preuhs pickup and trailer from LeSueur, Minnesota to the Westfall farm in near Dexter, Minnesota to pickup the Oliver tractor and bring it back to LeSueur Pioneer Power. Kyle Lieske worked on the Oliver over the winter of 2008-2009 and the tractor was brought to West Virginia by Sally and Brian Wells where the tracor was painted during June of 2009 by Jake Lovejoy of Red House, West Virginia.     and r f from tr Defrom   drove his trailer and and she sold the Olver Row Crop to Mark Wells.   Wesvat this The Oliver continued to be used on the farm for u r Retired from farming in tithe Model and Fa;;l V s ;V. The the

 

M

 

Mower County, Minnesota is located on the southern border of the State of Minnesota, adjacent to the State of Iowa. In 1953, Mower County was a predominately rural county. Topographically, Mower County is located in a transition area. Starting in western Mower County and extending into Freeborn County to the west the land becomes very flat. However the land in eastern Mower County and extending east into Fillmore County the land becomes increasingly more hilly. Additionally, the soil itself in the eastern part of Mower County is sandy and is not as rich as the darker humus soil in the western part of the county.

Belt Pulley Magazine Articles by Brian Wayne Wells