Letters and Miscellanies

Galloway history

Content Tools

I was given the March 2006 issue of GEM, and on page 23 was printed a Waterloo Boy advertisement. The Waterloo Boy tractor has a 4-cylinder engine. In 1912, a Mr. A.B. Parkhurst of Moline, Ill., put a 4-cylinder, 4-cycle engine on one of his chassis in an attempt to make the tractor better. The Waterloo Gas-Olin Engine Co. did not adopt his idea, so he left the company. Thought you might be interested. The following is some history on the William Galloway Co.

In 1906, William Galloway formed the William Galloway Co. Inc., manufacturing harrows, manure spreaders, gasoline engines and cream separators, with two attempts at tractor manufacturing. He also put his name on trucks and automobiles.

William, the son of John and Agnes Wilson Galloway, was born on a farm in Tama County, Iowa, near Lincoln in 1877. He received his early education in rural schools of Grant Township in Tama County and later attended a business college at Reinbeck, Iowa. William completed his education at Monmouth College in Illinois.

From about 1895 to 1901, he was in partnership with D.J. Wilson at Reinbeck, serving as a farm machinery salesman. William came to Waterloo, Iowa, in 1901 and continued in the same line.

After dissolving his business partnership with D.J., he formed his own company, of which he became president. He owned the first automobile in Waterloo with a steering wheel instead of a lever or tiller.

William started out with a loan of $2,000 that grossed a total of $32 million. During his second attempt at tractor manufacturing during World War I, he sold 1,500 tractors to Great Britain. These tractors were named the Blue "J" line. I understand the ships that were to take the tractors from Texas to Great Britain were all rented by Henry Ford, so the tractors sat in Texas and never left the country. The $450,000 loss on this sale lost his business for him in the early 1920s. When the company reorganized in 1925, William withdrew.

In 1927, William Galloway & Sons Co. Inc. was formed at the old Dart Truck Co., which left town in 1926. As the years went by, he built up another industry and regained many of his lost holdings. This company manufactured oat hullers and sold seed and grain on a nationwide scale. William is credited with bringing the National Dairy Cattle Congress to Waterloo in 1910. He helped make Waterloo the manufacturing center of Iowa and he was very big in real estate development. William died in his sleep on Nov. 10, 1952, at the age of 75.

Orrin E. Miller
Waterloo, Iowa