Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association, Inc

Townsend tractor

Ron Sevart and his Townsend tractor at the Springfield Show.

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President, R.R.2, Box 143, Leavenworth, KS 66048.

Hello Folks! Many more miles to Branches and some real good shows. By the time you read this the shows will be over and we can talk over all the things we did and should not have done. As usual we made a lot of new friends.

I didn't get to Branch #28 show at West Plains, Missouri, but met the president and his wife at Branch #32, at Clarksville, Arkansas. (Branch #16 Ozark Show at Republic or Springfield, as some call it.) Anyway it is in the Ozarks of Missouri. That is the branch that charters a bus and goes to the National at Oak Creek. They have done this several times I know of. They are the branch with the large stationary steam engines. They have a real good large boiler to power them. I think Charles told me this boiler was made in the forties. Looks like it is 5/8' plate and butt strap. Had good weather at #16 and a big show. They had something new there this season- Ron Sevart from #17 had his Townsend tractor running. It is quite a showpiece and a lot of people had never seen one nor heard of one.

This writer had a bit of luck at #16 show. I purchased a real nice 8 HP Witte cut off saw rig and, I may add, with no money! I had no checkbook with me as I had no intention of buying anything, especially good size. But another good old branch friend vouched for me that I was trustworthy so I got the rig. Thanks, Charles. The boys at #16 took care of it for me as I had no way to haul it home. I understand the man, Raymond Plaster from Arkansas grew up on a farm with engines and he sure did a beautiful job on this one. Another display at #16 was the biggest, nicest display of Maytag equipment I have ever seen. It belonged to Jerry Nance of Odessa, Missouri, my home town. (I was a few years ahead of him.)

We had to pull out of Springfield about 3:30 in the afternoon-had a 40th wedding anniversary to go to next day. J.B. Groff told me my Huber engine belonged to Earl Hood at Miller, Missouri. I looked at the map and figured we could go by Miller and not go out of our way. J.B. said that all the Hood family had left the town of Miller.

Well, when we pulled in, we saw a man at a shop working on a lawn mower. We told him what we were interested in. He sent us to another man and that man told us of another who could tell us about Earl Hood's engine. As we were going to find him, we stopped at a Dairy Queen to get refreshed. We saw four ladies at a corner table; one of them was running the place.

I went over and asked if they had ever heard of Earl Hood. One lady really came to life. She said 'I sure have, my father worked for him!' She said he lived 'right up here in Possum Holler.' I asked her if she remembered the engine. She said, 'I sure do, Dad worked with him on it.' So a little investigating can sometimes produce some surprising results. Mr. Hood had carved his initials in the platform of the engine and they are very readable. By the way, J. G. Groff came up and ran the Hood Huber in the McLouth parade this year. It is always so good to see the smiles on the faces of these fellows running those old steamers that they love to pull throttle on.

Even a young man, Stan Hobbs, who I am teaching to run the engine, gets quite excited to hear that old engine chuckle. His grandfather had a 22 HP Woods engine and a Minneapolis separator. We had been trying to find information on that engine. We finally heard it had been scrapped, and sent to Japan. That is where the old 16 x 30 Hart Parr I grew up with went also. I have the Hart Parr watch fob that had the serial number on it that Dad carried.

Well, I might tell you of a few pickups I did lately. Got an 18-36 Hart Parr and a 18 x 27 Oliver Hart Parr and a 1947 LA Case, always been in shed, never sat out. I have to get a front tire for it. One original tire was still on it. It is a rough one to get 7.50 x 18.I have three tractors that use that size.

Had a real nice surprise a couple weeks ago. John and Mildred Lease from Washington pulled in with a big fifth wheeler. I think they told me they belonged to three branches of the National: #12, #20, #23 or #26. They were here a couple of days and I took them to McLouth and showed them where we have my Huber engine. Also took them to the Ag Hall at Bonner Springs, Kansas, ten miles from my home. They said they really enjoyed it and hadn't ever seen it before. They got to see our 45 Case Special that is in the Ag Hall. Took them to see some private collectors also, so they had an interesting two days with us.

Branch #32, Clarksville, Arkansas: We got in about 10:30 Friday night. We pulled our van under a tree and just as I shut it off I saw what I thought was Bennie Warren's pickup go out the north entrance. I found out the next morning he had seen us and went home and told his wife Barbara, 'I think Del and Vi are here. I am sure I saw their van.'

Friday it rained and things were wet but the next morning the sun came out and it was a beautiful day. We even had a pleasant surprise when Helen Case Brigham came in. We had not seen her since National. Brig was at home working on Case-Heritage Eagle magazine. Well, they put on a nice show, not a big show, but it sure had quality. There were some unusual things such as an apple peeler run by gas engine, and a man playing a dulcimer-boy, could he play it! There was a man who collected Case tractors. He had a 1937 RC and an SC and a VAC. I have a few Case tractors, a couple of DCs and one DI and the big LA.

They sure like their cars down there. They had a real car show with some rare cars such as a '67 Galaxie XL like my nephew had and sold, un-restored by request, to a man from Chicago for $8,000. That helped my nephew nicely since he has a new son! It seems there are quite a lot of restoration people in Arkansas. By the way, that XL is a convertible. That Ford was the same color as one of our Cadi convertibles, a Flamingo Red.

Well, now to the afternoon: the kiddies charged head first into the straw piles in a loose change scramble, followed by more games like the fan belt throw, which I don't remember ever seeing before.

Bennie was everywhere trying to make sure everything went well. I saw a couple other real workers, men and women. Barb worked in the kitchen most of the day, but when she heard those tractors starting she said goodbye to the kitchen! Orin Sanders pulled a JD B from West Plaines. I'll bet that was 250 miles! I think Bennie is going to fix Orin up with some lighter wheels than the cast type. Bennie had three tractors, the Oliver 70, WC Ollin, and JD B. That old war-horse 70 Oliver is some tractor. Bennie and Barbara and Russell all drove it in one class or another. That old 70 just kept on going. I have a 77 diesel that I may pull. We sure pull some loads here at home with it. We got to see a JD R top them all, again. 730 JD couldn't touch it, but a G got pretty close to it. I have a 49 R and I couldn't believe it when I pulled my TD 6 and loader sideways from a bank.

Well Bennie will have another puller, my 80 Oliver. I sold it to him after I got the 18x27.

So we head for Fort Scott next weekend, as I have to run a 50 Case engine.

So long folks!