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Bradley, Parrett, and Kaywood Tractors

Author Photo
By Staff

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In North Berrien Historical Musuem, Coloma, Michigan.
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Complete tractor, Wayne Rose, owner.

Jr. 444 Olds Avenue Hartford, Michigan 49057

The Parrett tractor was made in 1935-36 in Benton Harbor,
Michigan. Dent Parrett was a mechanical engineer for Ross Carrier
Company which started in business in 1920. The Ross Carrier Company
made lumber and industrial straddle carriers. They also made mobile
truck cranes called Michigan. They were very handy, being mounted
on a truck chassis; they could pull up to a job site, dig a
basement, dig ditches, etc. Harry B. Ross was the president. Harry
E. Ross was vice-president.

They also owned Bradley Tractor Company, but it was not known if
a Bradley Tractor was still in existence or was ever made. Then in
1934 Bradley Tractor listed Frank G. Hough as the president, Dent
Parrett as the vice-president, Harry R. Ross as the secretary, and
D. H. Ross as the treasurer. In 1936, Bradley Tractor listed Harry
B. Ross as president and Harry E. Ross as the secretary-treasurer;
however, in the 1938 listing it does not even mention Dent Parrett.
After 1938, the listing does not mention Bradley Tractor
Company.

At this time, it was not known if Frank G. Hough is the person
who made a Hough loader similar to the Clark ‘Michigan’
loader. I have a newspaper clipping from the local paper that
states a local farmer hauled a load of grapes, weighing 9,300
pounds of grapes to the Benton Harbor Fruit Market with his Parrett
tractor. (The Benton Harbor Fruit Market was the United States’
largest cash-to-grower fruit market.) He told reporters that the
tractor with the large balloon tires would travel 25 miles per hour
on the road, and one to six miles per hour in the field. This paper
also states that the Parrett tractor was made at Ross Carrier for
two years, so that confirms that Ross Carrier made the Parrett
tractor in Benton Harbor, Michigan, during 1933-34, or did it come
out of the Bradley Tractor Company at the same address? The
business directory lists Dent Parrett still working at Ross Carrier
in 1936 as a mechanical engineer.

In 1936-38 the city directory has a listing for Kaywood
Corporation, as a farm tractor manufacturer on Milton Street in
Benton Harbor, Michigan. It was believed they were made in 1934-35
only. Some people believe that Parrett and Kaywood were made by the
same company, but the city directory states that Kaywood
Corporation and Parrett were the same company, headed up by Walter
Miller as president, F. J. Thar as vice-president and G.L. Sherwood
as the secretary-treasurer. Farm Tractor Manufacturing, located at
1225 Milton Street, was located on the south side of Benton Harbor
and Parrett was made on the north side of town at Ross Carrier
(Bradley Tractor Company), and then finally were bought out by
Clark Equipment, manufacturers of the ever-famous Michigan loaders,
etc.

Also in 1934 Dent Parrett was asked to come up with a design for
a new tractor for Coop, as Parrett already had a tractor at that
time with a Hercules, 1XB, 4-cylinder motor. When Coop decided to
build, they used a Chrysler motor and a regular truck rear-end. It
was not known what part Dent Parrett played in the new Coop design.
Also as you know, Jacob Love worked with Dent Parrett as an
engineer at Ross Carrier for a short time.

A very special thank you goes out to Jill Rough at the Benton
Harbor Public Library, Parrett Tractor owners Roland Woltzke, Wayne
Rose and the North Berrien Historical Museum.

I also know of two more owners in the area with information on
Friday, Love, Parrett, Kaywood, and Clossen/Wilson tractors. For
more information please send me a self-addressed stamped
envelope.

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