Bradley, Parrett, and Kaywood Tractors

Parrett tractor

Complete tractor, Wayne Rose, owner.

Content Tools

Jr. 444 Olds Avenue Hartford, Michigan 49057

The Parrett tractor was made in 1935-36 in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Dent Parrett was a mechanical engineer for Ross Carrier Company which started in business in 1920. The Ross Carrier Company made lumber and industrial straddle carriers. They also made mobile truck cranes called Michigan. They were very handy, being mounted on a truck chassis; they could pull up to a job site, dig a basement, dig ditches, etc. Harry B. Ross was the president. Harry E. Ross was vice-president.

They also owned Bradley Tractor Company, but it was not known if a Bradley Tractor was still in existence or was ever made. Then in 1934 Bradley Tractor listed Frank G. Hough as the president, Dent Parrett as the vice-president, Harry R. Ross as the secretary, and D. H. Ross as the treasurer. In 1936, Bradley Tractor listed Harry B. Ross as president and Harry E. Ross as the secretary-treasurer; however, in the 1938 listing it does not even mention Dent Parrett. After 1938, the listing does not mention Bradley Tractor Company.

At this time, it was not known if Frank G. Hough is the person who made a Hough loader similar to the Clark 'Michigan' loader. I have a newspaper clipping from the local paper that states a local farmer hauled a load of grapes, weighing 9,300 pounds of grapes to the Benton Harbor Fruit Market with his Parrett tractor. (The Benton Harbor Fruit Market was the United States' largest cash-to-grower fruit market.) He told reporters that the tractor with the large balloon tires would travel 25 miles per hour on the road, and one to six miles per hour in the field. This paper also states that the Parrett tractor was made at Ross Carrier for two years, so that confirms that Ross Carrier made the Parrett tractor in Benton Harbor, Michigan, during 1933-34, or did it come out of the Bradley Tractor Company at the same address? The business directory lists Dent Parrett still working at Ross Carrier in 1936 as a mechanical engineer.

In 1936-38 the city directory has a listing for Kaywood Corporation, as a farm tractor manufacturer on Milton Street in Benton Harbor, Michigan. It was believed they were made in 1934-35 only. Some people believe that Parrett and Kaywood were made by the same company, but the city directory states that Kaywood Corporation and Parrett were the same company, headed up by Walter Miller as president, F. J. Thar as vice-president and G.L. Sherwood as the secretary-treasurer. Farm Tractor Manufacturing, located at 1225 Milton Street, was located on the south side of Benton Harbor and Parrett was made on the north side of town at Ross Carrier (Bradley Tractor Company), and then finally were bought out by Clark Equipment, manufacturers of the ever-famous Michigan loaders, etc.

Also in 1934 Dent Parrett was asked to come up with a design for a new tractor for Coop, as Parrett already had a tractor at that time with a Hercules, 1XB, 4-cylinder motor. When Coop decided to build, they used a Chrysler motor and a regular truck rear-end. It was not known what part Dent Parrett played in the new Coop design. Also as you know, Jacob Love worked with Dent Parrett as an engineer at Ross Carrier for a short time.

A very special thank you goes out to Jill Rough at the Benton Harbor Public Library, Parrett Tractor owners Roland Woltzke, Wayne Rose and the North Berrien Historical Museum.

I also know of two more owners in the area with information on Friday, Love, Parrett, Kaywood, and Clossen/Wilson tractors. For more information please send me a self-addressed stamped envelope.