The Golden Spread Antique Machinery Association

By Staff
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With a future of being just one of two in existence, this Hart Parr tractor is Sell's pride and joy. The machine is set to be restored for the September 1991 show. Photo by Sandy Woods.
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Originally built in California for hillside use, this 1917 Holt self-propelled combine highlighted the association's parade in September. The machine is powered by a Holt gas engine and chief operator is Craig Holt. Photo by Sandy Woods.
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Guests were amazed with the Kitten Sawmill which went to work during an afternoon demonsration. Owner Jerry Kitten oversees the milling as show guest Bob Taylor eyes the action. Photo by Sandy Woods.
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A Comfort Tractor built in 1938 by Minneapolis belongs to Dan Sell and is one of just 150 built. The tractor had a heater, radio, a 40 mph road gear and was built to farm and go to town on Saturday night. Parade driver is David Sell, photo is by Sandy Woo

Submitted by Donald Sell, Rt 2, Box 15 Perryton, Texas
79070.

The roots of the Texas Panhandle’s Golden Spread Antique
Machinery Show go back over 17 years, when organization founder
Donald Sell of Perryton, Texas, hauled his first old tractor to his
farm with dreams of restoration. Now Sell is the owner of 55
restored antique tractors, scores of antique cars and trucks, and
other antique items that are housed in his 14,000 square foot
Country Time Antiques Museum. Restoration of the past has been a
labor of love and step-by-step learning process as his craft and
collection enthusiasm has filtered through a three-state area.

Restoration enthusiasts from Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma are the
core members of the Golden Spread Association which now boasts
Texas’ second largest antique machinery show.

‘We began 13 years ago and have grown from almost nothing up
to more than 30 new exhibitors just this year,’ Sell said.
‘We have over 60 active members from all over. We meet three
times a year and the September show has become our primary
activity. We share expertise, information, parts and work together
and we have found that you meet the real cream of the crop folks
when you get into the antique machinery hobby.’

The Golden Spread Antique Machinery Association hosts its annual
event 10 miles east and five miles south of Perryton, Texas in the
top of the Texas Panhandle. The 1990 show featured threshing
demonstrations, a huge small gasoline engine display, stationary
engines, a steam powered antique saw mill, all highlighted by a
two-hour parade bursting to the seams with antique equipment in all
sizes, styles and uses.

The show is the only one in the nation that has a special
section devoted to horse-drawn equipment in operating
condition.

Featured at the 1990 show on parade and in working order were a
plow, chuck wagon, horse-drawn reaper built in the early teens, a
header and header barge.

The header came from a ranch in southeastern Lipscomb County and
is a Deering. Sell and his crew completely rebuilt the header barge
to model its original condition and the header was rebuilt from the
ground up.

‘Some of the metal was left and only enough wood for
patterns,’ Sell said. ‘We are very proud of our horse-drawn
exhibit because it is the only one we know of in the country.

‘We had close to a hundred items in the parade and much,
much more on display,’ Sell said. ‘Our show is pretty new,
but we feel the variety and condition of the restored machinery is
some of the nation’s best. We had letters and long distance
calls from all over complimenting the Association on the
show.’

‘The harvesting equipment display is one that you will not
find matched anywhere in any show,’ said Bob Taylor,
Association member from Logan, Oklahoma. ‘The equipment is
extremely rare and most of it is in good working order.’

Guests were in awe as a crew of seven men operated a 1916
self-propelled combine through the parade as the last entry. The
massive machine sported a 24 foot header.

Another show highlight was the afternoon demonstration of a
Kitten sawmill. The huge machine, which is now housed on a trailer,
is owned by Jerry Kitten of Slaton, Texas. It stays at the Sell
Country Time Antique Museum year-round on display.

‘Mr. Kitten’s great uncle was in the steam engine and
saw mill business in Minnesota,’ Sell said. ‘The mill we
displayed was used between 1910 and 1920 and it has been restored
from two old mills.’

The mill was operated on Sunday afternoon by a three man crew,
and it was powered by a 1916 Rumely steam engine owned by the
Association. Guests watched in amazement as cottonwood logs ranging
in circumference from 24 to 26 inches were milled into boards of
varying widths and thickness by antiquated methods.

Collectors were especially appreciative of the 1911 Wallace
tractor that passed by in the parade in near-perfect condition. The
tractor carries an enclosed crankcase and its three wheels have
independent brakes.

On display, but not yet complete was Sell’s 1911 Hart Parr
40 tractor.

‘That tractor is going to be my pride and joy when I finish
restoring it,’ Sell said. ‘I started on it about a year ago
and I have traveled all over the country taking notes. I found it
in North Dakota and most of the parts are being reconstructed by
two machinists: Clyde Hall of Fillmore, Saskatchewan, Canada, and
Jerry Abplanalp of Wichita, Kansas. Hall specializes in grey iron
castings for antique engines and Abplanalp is an antique engine
collector and restorer. It is one of three we know of in existence
and will be just one of two in working condition when it is
completed. We have bought two machines and they have been re-built
and re-made from the ground up.’

Hart Parr tractors were the most popular brand during the early
20th century. The 40 runs on kerosene fuel and has a two-cylinder
motor.

‘I’ve always had a soft spot for the Hart Parr,’
Sell said. ‘That’s what I grew up on and what my dad always
had.’

Other rarities at the show included a Flour City 1915, 14-24
tractor-one of three still in existence and the only one in running
condition.

Sell’s ‘Happy Farmer’ tractor, a La-Cross Tractor
Company product, caught much attention.

‘That tractor was designed to farm row crops with its three
wheels,’ Sell said. ‘The tractor made the farmer happy
twice I think-once when he bought it and once when he got rid of
it!’

The three-day show opens on Friday when school children from
surrounding counties are hosted by the Association. Saturday and
Sunday events are open to the public and feature a full day of
special events and viewing. Many guests bring campers and spend the
weekend.

Just 15 miles north of the Country Time Antique Museum,
Donald’s brother, Dan, owns and operates his own Sell Homestead
Museum. Dan’s pride and joy is his 1913 Little Bull 5-12
tractor, one of just two in existence. He began his museum in 1973
and has over 60 tractors, 25 cars and trucks on display in his
11,000 square foot museum.

‘We continue to grow every year and members are looking
forward to the 1991 show already,’ Donald Sell said.

Both Sell museums are open year round by appointment. Donald
Sell may be contacted at 806-435-5872 and Dan Sell at
806-658-4786.

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