McCormick Memories

McCormick tractor

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875 Dickson Road, Campobello, South Carolina 29322

One of my first childhood memories at the age of four was of a beautiful red and black tractor arriving at my grandfather Mack Johnson's farm at Campobello, South Carolina in 1936. Unfortunately my grandfather died the same year he bought the tractor.

He operated a ten horse farm and was one of the first to have a peach orchard in South Carolina so, of course, this is a 1936 0-12 McCormick orchard tractor.

This tractor was ideal for the orchard farmer. It has a hand clutch which could be operated standing on the ground beside the tractor, so the operator did not have to mount the tractor to operate it, which was handy for slow spraying jobs or operating a cut off saw sawing wood.

My father acquired the tractor after his mother died, and he operated it for about ten years. The 0-12 was stored in his barn from 1955 until 1985. My father (Paul Johnson) asked me to restore it so he could hear it run before he died. The tires were all flat, the engine stuck and covered with a good coat of rust. I took the tractor apart, loosened the stuck parts, put her back together with the same gaskets, put gas and oil in her, pulled up on the crank and she came back to life, and my father was well pleased.

My father died about a year later, and I now own the tractor. We use it to pull a 1932 McCormick binder at the Apple Country Engine Club spring harvest at my farm the second weekend in June. In the photo below, we are using in in our wheat-binding operation.

This 0-4 was purchased in 1945 by my grandmother, Mrs. Mack Johnson, who continued to operate the farm after my grandfather's death.

This was during the second world war; tractors were hard to get and prices were inflated. She paid $ 1407.07 for the 0-4 as you see it in this picture. She died in 1946 and the tractor was sold at auction to a neighbor for $2475.00. He operated the tractor on his farm until 1988, when I purchased it from him for $600.00 and restored it to its original condition. The tractor runs as good as it looks and is an eye catcher wherever I take it.