302 Scenic Brook, Brenham, Texas 77833
The first annual Burton Cotton Gin Festival in Burton, Texas,
held April 21-22, 1990, was a huge success. This gin is the home of
the 125 HP Bessemer Model IV engine featured in the January 1990
issue of GEM.
Restoration work is proceeding at the site and Operation
Restoration netted a tidy profit after the event’s expenses.
The festival featured historical cotton farming and ginning
exhibits, particularly as they applied to Burton’s history.
Booths, crafts and entertainment were all on hand and the weekend
was kicked off by the largest parade ever held in Burton.
Numerous old tractors were driven in the parade, many still in
regular use. Mike Porter of Thicket, Texas brought his restored 22
HP 1912 Gaar-Scott steam tractor which he drove in the parade and
Larry Jones, of the Smithsonian Institute Museum of American
History, rode a restored Allis-Chalmers model G garden tractor in
Engine collector/restorer O.B. Malloy of Austin, Texas brought a
1914 vintage 35 HP Krueger-Atlas engine that he operated for the
public during the two days of the festival. Several other
collectors brought smaller hit ‘n miss engines, operating such
implements as pumpjacks and tiny grist mills.
Mike Brinkmeyer of Brenham, Texas brought a partially restored
1939 Allis-Chalmers RC on iron with which he operated an early belt
driven hay baler, unrestored, but still baling. Mike’s RC is
#850 of approximately 5500 built.
The Burton Farmers’ Cotton Gin was built in 1914 and last
ginned in 1974. It is believed to be the only gin in the United
States from the nineteen teen’s and twenties period of ginning
technology that is sill standing, intact and complete. The
Bessemer’s restoration, slated to begin in late 1990, will be
done by Magnetic Instruments of Brenham, Texas (about ten miles
from Burton). Due to management decisions made at Cooper-Bessemer
since the submission of the story printed in the January 1990 issue
of GEM, C-B has withdrawn their original offer to restore the
Operation Restoration’s long range plans include total
restoration of the Bessemer and ginning equipment and to actually
gin cotton as a hands-on working museum, driven by the