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.

 

Sherman M-4 tanks in action in Normandy, France. Here almost every door of the tank is open. Many of these doors were made by the J.I. Case Company under a wartime contract.

 

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.

 

The cast iron statue of a bald eagle perched on a globe of the world. This statue became the most famous trademark of the J.I. Case Company. This statue was nick-named “Old Abe.”  One of the Old Abe cast iron statues was usually found outside each local Case dealership like the Cutkowsky and Jones dealership in Mankato, Minnesota.

 

Earnest and Vivian Maude (Baldwin) Jones moved to Mankato, Minnesota in 1936 shortly after Harry Cutkowsky had purchased the J.I. Case delaership in Mankato.  Prior to moving to Mankato, Minnesota  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 sudden  death of her husband (our Belgrade Township farmer’s  father) in 1939.  Immediately, the total responsibility for the farm fell to our Belgrade Township farmer.  Even before the death of his father, our Belgrade Township farmer had already been actively operating a great deal  of the work on the farm: planting the crops, spending endless hours cultivating the corn crop and finally harvesting the corn and other crops on the farm, i.e. hay and oats.

 

Although our Belgrade Township farmer had no soybeans on his own farm, he primarily  used the A-6 to combine his oat crop every year.  However, in the post-war era he also used the combine to do a little custom work in the neighborhood–sometimes combining the soybean crops of his neighbors.

 

The farm was a diversified operation with a Holstein cow dairy operation requiring milking every morning and evening.  They sold the whole milk obtained from their “twice-daily” milking of their Holstein dairy herd to the cooperative dairy located just across the Belgrade township boundary  line to the north in Oshawa  Township.

 

A Holstein milking herd cows grazing in a pasture on a small diversified farm in the Midwest, much like the home farm of our Belgrade Township farmer.

 

Our Belgrade Township farmer’s father also had raised pigs for market.  The herd of pigs on the farm had consisted of a number of sows of different breeds and largely “cross breeds.”   There was usually one boar on the farm at any one time which would be purchased for the job of siring the litters of little pigs that would be born each year.  Over the years that  our Belgrade Township farmer had grown up on the farm, prior to the recent war, he remembered a succession  of different boars on the farm–one after another over the years.

 

Big Bill, owned by Buford Butler, a farmer from Jackson, Tennessee, was renowned as the largest pig that ever lived. When this picture was taken in 1933 Big Bill had obtained the weight of 2,552lbs.  This was an extreme, but this  style of pig was favored by pork meat buyers as a lard pig in the 1930s and early 1940s.  Big Bill came to the attention of the national public because of the “Largest Boar contests” that were popular in the Midwestern United States, especially in conjunction with the various state fairs held in Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois and other states in the 1930s.

 

Most sows could be counted on to produce litters of baby pigs for only about three (3) or four (4)  years out of their life.  Older sows would begin having less pigs per litter until they began to fail getting pregnant at all.  Accordingly, our Belgrade Township farmer’s father would have to plan ahead and save out some of the best looking gilts of the various litters over the years to replace some of sows that he was phasing out of the herd because of age.

This meant that the young gilts that were to become the new sows on the farm would be the actual daughters of the present boar.  Thus the reason for changing boars every three years or so was to avoid any problems with reduced disease immune resistance and low growth rates that might result from this “in-breeding,” both our Belgrade Township farmer and his father would simply start searching for a new boar.  Among the succession of boars on the farm one boar that stood out the most in the memory of our Belgrade Township farmer was a particular red -colored boar.  This red boar struck him as a child and stuck in his memory merely because of his red color.  This red color stood out in contrast to all the white, black and spotted “black and white”  sows on the farm.

 

The “red colored” Duroc breed stands out against all of the plethora of other white, black and spotted breeds.  Although this is young boar, he bears all the characteristics of a proper thin style bacon pig that fits the model style desired by the post-war consuming public.

 

During the years that the red boar was on the farm our Belgrade Township farmer use to love the way the boar left his finger prints on all the litters of baby pigs born during those years.  All the litters of baby pigs born during those years, usually contained one or two little red pigs.  This made the red pigs standout even more in the mind of our Belgrade Township farmer.

 

The existence of a few red pigs in the litters born during our Belgrade Township farmers first year in the Belgrade Boosters 4-H Club made a noteworthy effect on our Belgrade Townxship farmer as a young teenager and he chose one of the red pigs as his 4-H project for that first year. This started a life-long fascination with Duroc pigs for our Belgrade Township farmer.

 

As an early teenager, our Belgrade Township farmer had joined the local 4-H club–the “Belgrade Boosters”–and when he chose a 4-H project to show at the Nicollet County Fair–he chose one of the newborn  gilts out of one of the litters born that particular year.   that had been born that year.  Needless to say, the gilt was one of the little red pigs that had captured his imagination at this early date.  He also learned about the characteristics of the Duroc breed.  He learned that the Duroc pork meat tended to be “redder” in color that the pork meat of other breeds of pig.  Additionally, the Duroc meat was regarded as having ” well marbled” fat.  The importance of this feature of well marbled fat in Duroc meat will be explained below.

 

Marbling of fat in beef is something that is to be avoided in beef because it defeats the idea of “trimming the fat” to avoid consumption  unsaturated fats.

 

In the years to come during the post-war era the breeder of pigs tended look for pigs that would be thinner in structure than the hugely fat pigs which were commonly produced during the war.  These huge pigs were intentionally grown  for their fat which could be rendered into lard for baking during the pre-war era.  During the Second World War the lard from pork was used for making munitions for the war effort,  Thus, fat pigs were desired by the pork buyers in the market.  Breeders of pigs responded to this desired feature and raised overly fat hogs for the market.

 

Prize market hogs being shown off for pictures in the 1930s. These market pigs were considered “just right” for the market in the 1930s. Now they are considered very much over weight. Today the pigs would be docked for being too fat and over weight.

However, in the post-war market the buyers began to respond to the consumers who now wanted less cholesterol, grease and fat  in their food.  Now the pork buyers began to look for thinner market hogs that would have less fat.  Thus, in the post-war years the breeders of pigs had to make a 180 degree turn in their thinking.  Now they tended look for pigs that would be thinner in structure than the hugely fat pigs which were commonly produced during the war.

 

The 2011 Weight Division Champion in Monterey County, California, This champion pig shows all the desirable features in a thin and long bodied modern market hog.

 

(Still later in 1987, in the face of a huge decrease in beef [or red meat] consumption in the United States from 69.5 lbs. per person in 1987 to 62 lbs per person in 2003, pork producers spent 7 million dollars to advertise pork as the “other white meat,” seeking a closer association of pork with chicken meat in the mind of the consumer rather than an association with beef–the red meat.  In response to this advertising campaign, pork consumption in the United States rose from 45.6 lbs. per person in 1987, to a peak of 49.3 lbs in 1999 before leveling off and dropping to an average of 48.5 lbs. per person in 2003.   What was the cause if this fall off jn popularity in pork as a replacement for beef?  One answer can be the only reason.  However, it may be speculated that as pork became leaner, the meat lost its flavor.  This would be consistent with all the complaints which have been frequently heard since 1987 that pork chops simply do not taste the same as they used to.)

Not take long after he joined the Belgrade Boosters 4-H  club for our Belgrade Township farmer to learn that the most popular of all the red-colored pig breeds in the United States was the Duroc breed.  This placed the correct name on the pigs that until now he had merely been calling “red pigs.”  He learned that pigs called simply  “Red Hogs”  had been introduced into New Jersey in 1812,  Breeding and development of the pigs in New Jersey led to a breed that was called “Jersey Reds,”  These Jersey Reds pigs were noted for “farrowing” (giving birth to) large litters of baby pigs and the Jersey Reds were known for their rapid ability to gain weight.

In 1823, Isaac Frink bought one red boar out of a litter of 10 pigs owned by Frank Kelsey.  The parents of the litter of 10 pigs probably came from England.  Frink brought the boar back to his home in Milton in Saratoga County, New York and began a breeding program on his farm.  Frank Kelsey had been known locally as the owner of a champion race named “Duroc.”  Accordingly, Isaac Frink named the red boar that he had purchased from Frank Kelsey after this horse–Duroc .  This is how the whole breed that descended from the  combination of Jersey Reds and the New York hers descending from Isaac Frink’s  herd came to be called the Duroc breed of pigs.

The American Duroc-Jersey Association was established in 1883 for the registration and improvement of the Duroc Breed. However, at the Worlds Fair of 1893 held in Chicago, Illinois the Duroc breed of pigs created a lot of notoriety, when the first Duroc show was held at the World’s Fair itself.  Due to the rapid growth of the Duroc breed following the 1893 Worlds Fair, many more organizations promoting and advertising the Duroc breed sprang up across the nation.  Eventually, all  these organizations were merged into the United

Prior to his father’s sudden death, our Belgrade Township farmer had  been anticipating obtaining a farm of his own and starting farming on his own.  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.  He did not feel that he could do anything else.  So the relationship sort of faded and eventually they each went their own way.

His current wife and he had met and started dating after he had settle into his situation on the farm living in house with his mother and his two bothers.  The  hre gotten together h, 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

 

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.

 

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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 Kewanee Belt and Conveyor 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.

 

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 Co-op Model E-3 Tractor Bearing the Serial Number #31591

 

Farming in Illinois  with the Coop Model E-3 Tractor

 (Part 2 of 3 Parts): The Tractor Bearing the Serial Number #31591

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.

 

            Asa 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. )  Also as noted in that prior article, No. #31591 rolled off the assembly line at the Brantford, Ontario, Canada, on in the afternoon of Monday, October 20, 1951.  No. #31591 was shipped out on a Canadian National Railroad train.

Logo of the Canadian National Railway, the government owned and operated railroad which served the Brantford, Ontario community.

 

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 add rather substantially to the dividend he would receive 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, North Dakota, 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 D-15 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 continued 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 factory works at Bellevue, Ohio formerly belonged to the Famous Ohio Cultivator Company.

 

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 was re-named 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 advertisement of the Famous 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.

After purchasing the Famous Ohio Cultivator Company, the National Farm Machinery Company did not waste any time in advertising their newly acquired farm machinery products.

An advertising brochure of the Black Hawk Model 31-T manure Spreader, now being sold as a Co-op manure spreader.

 

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 of Marion, Ohio 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.

A 1935 Huber Company Model S tractor.  The Huber Company of Marion, Ohio was just one of the tractor manufacturing concerns with which the National Farm Machinery Cooperative (NFMC) attempted to negotiate a requirements contract to supply tractors needed by NFMC to sell to their members.

 

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.)

A store-wide sale at a typical Gambles hardware store.

 

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.  Cockshutt’s  entire line of farm machinery would be available for sale in the huge United States farm market.

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.

Because there were no active Co-op retail sales outlets available in his new home state of Illinois, our Sterling Township farmer purchased all his new Co-op farm machinery from the Sauk County Farmers Union Co-operative in Baraboo, Wisconsin.  Baraboo, Wisconsin retained a place Baraboo in his heart because he had been born and raised in Baraboo.  Indeed his family still lived in the Troy Town area near Baraboo.  His father and youngest brother still farm the “home farm” where he had been  raised and they still shopped for all of their farm machinery and products at the Sauk County Farmers Union retail store.

 

Before this building located at 325 Lynn Street, in Baraboo, Wisconsin, was “Jim’s Truck and Auto Repair and, thus, a “Good Year Tire Company” dealership, the building housed the Sauk County Farmers Co-operative retail store outlet located in Baraboo.

 

As noted in the first article in this series, both our Sterling Township farmer and his father were “true believers” in the Farmers Union philosophy.  As such , he tended to favor all Co-op machinery over any machinery made by private (for profit) companies.  Indeed, as noted in the first article in this series, our Sterling Township farmer’s father had purchased one  of the first new Cockshutt-made Model E-3 tractors that had arrived at the Sauk County Farmers Union dealership in Baraboo in the spring  of 1946.  Ever since his father had purchased this tractor, our Sterling Township farmer had been looking forward to upgrading his farming operation with a new Model E-3.  However, during the time that he had been working his farm in Sterling Township in Whiteside County, Illinois, something had always come up which required him to postpone the decision to buy a new tractor.  First there was the wet year of 1947, when the crop yield had been cut by the continuous heavy rains throughout the spring and early summer of 1947.  Then, there were the twin growing seasons of 1948 and 1949.  Both seasons were bumper crop years in corn and soybeans.  However, the glut of crop that came onto the market in those two years, depressed market prices during those two years.

Furthermore, his family was growing during this time with a son in  1948, a daughter in 1950 and twin girls in late 1951. One thing after another had led him postpone his dreams of each year to

 

However, during the entire time that our Sterling Township farmer had lived in Illinois, he had never seen a Coop tractor or machinery dealership in the State of Illinois.  There just did not seem to be any retail outlets for Coop products anywhere in Illinois.

Accordingly, our Sterling Township farmer tended to continue shopping at the Sauk County Farmers Union Cooperative located at 325 Lynn Street in Baraboo.  He tended to stock up on Coop products at the Cooperative  every time he and his wife and growing family went back to Wisconsin to visit his parents and youngest brother now living on the family home farm in the Troy Town community near Baraboo.

 

all over the state of Illinois, small companies had sprung up that were manufacturing  new and improved farm implements and machinery.  Accordingly

 

Co-op tractors and machinery reflected many of the latest improvements which was featured on other brands of farm tractors and farm machinery.  Some of the improvements featured on the Co-op farm machinery and tractors were actually limited to Co-op machinery and tractors and did not appear on machinery made by other (for profit) tractor manufacturers.

However, all modern improvements on farm machinery were not a monopoly with Co-op farm machinery only.   One of the small companies which was producing farm machines for profit, was located just south of our Sterling Township farmer’s home in Whiteside County, Illinois.  This was the 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 Kewanee Machinery and Conveyor  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.

 

This new disc by Kewanee had intrigued our Sterling Township farmer, especially, the possibility of mounting a remote hydraulic cylinder to the Kewanee disc.  He recognized the advantages of the Kewanee disc as a solution to some of the problems he had on his own farm.  Ever since moving onto his farm in Whiteside County, Illinois, our Sterling Township farmer had been following the suggestions of the local Whiteside County Extension agent regarding soil conservation.  As a consequence our Sterling Township farmer had a number of grass covered runways crossing his fields a strategic locations to allow the rain to runoff the fileds with a minimum of soil erosion.  In order for the grass runways to be maintained from season to season, all tillage tools being used in the field needed to be raised every time the tractor and tillage tool crossed the grass waterway.

With a hydraulic system and a remote hydraulic cylinder mounted on the disc, our Sterling Township farmer recognized that if he had a Kewanee disc could be quickly raised while crossing the grass runway and easily and quickly lower the disc again on the other side of the grass runway.

However, when our Sterling Township farmer had purchased his 1951 COOP Model E-3 tractor bearing the serial number #31591, the tractor had not been fitted with 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