Allis-Chalmers WC 'GP'

Allis-Chalmers tractor

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1408 N.Van Buren Ottumwa, Iowa 52501-2141

This 'GP' designation is my addition to the title. We bought our first WC in 1936. It was quite a change from the Fordson 'growler.' I referred to the WC as a 'GP' because it would do anything we couldn't do with the Fordson. This new WC was a change from the Fordson farming. It would start in cold weather and that was something the Fordson would not do. This tractor had a belt pulley, power take-off and a power lift for the two row cultivator. These were great improvements. In 1937 we bought our first ALL-CROP HARVESTER. In 1936 we had a real bad ice storm and the ground was covered with three or four inches of ice. We had to keep the horses and cattle in the barn. With this ice they could not get to the water tank without falling on the ice. This is where the 'GP' came in with its steel wheels with spade lugs. I drove back and forth to break the ice and made a path to the water tank.

Another lesson this tractor taught me was not related to farming. It cost about $700 and we didn't have enough money to pay for it. My father, Frank Kesselring, signed a note for $300 to the Unkrich Implement Company of Fairfield, Iowa. This note was turned over to the Pine Loan Company of Knoxville, Iowa. The year of 1936 we had a severe drought and we had very poor crops. We were supposed to make a payment the first of December. Because of the crop conditions we could not make the payment. In the later part of November, Dad and I went to Knoxville to find out what we could do about not being able to make our payment.

This is where I learned one of the lessons that stayed with me all of my life. The officer of the Pine Loan Company told us to pay the interest December the first and the principal later. He said they were in the money lending business and not the tractor business.

Over the years of farming, I have had to borrow money to operate. If I could not make payments when due I would always go to the lender before the due date and arrange for an extension.

After using this tractor on steel wheels one year, we changed to rubber tires. We were one of the first in the neighborhood to have rubber tires. Friends thought we were out of our minds to put rubber tires on a tractor. These tires were one of the greatest improvements in farm machinery.