R.#1 Siren, Wisconsin 54872.
This snowplow comes from the township of Cassel, near Wausau,
Wisconsin. The starting motor was rusted solid and the outfit had
not been run for eleven years. My brother-in-law’s cousin,
Henry Marek, and I took the motor out, laid it on a plank and took
it apart by pounding the pistons out one at a time, and got it
going again. I did not think the big motor would be stuck, but it
was. It is an R.D. 7. I don’t know what year they were made. To
get it loose again we had to take the hydraulic pump of the power
take off shaft and rig up, with some connections from the power
take of the crawler, to the rear back wheel of a WD 45
Allis-Chalmers 6 cylinder diesel by locking one wheel, and running
it in low gear one way. And in reverse we gave it enough jerks each
way ’till it went all the way around.
Then we started the starting motor and turned the R.D.7 over but
it would not start. It must have had air in the lines and injectors
because of all the hoses over the hood, and we could not get to the
injectors, which do not have the cast couplers. So, to get the air
out, we drilled a hole in the fuel tank cover, tapped it 1/4′,
took a valve stem from a car inner tube, cut threads on it, and put
in the thread cap. We put the air compressor hose on it when the
pressure got built up in the fuel tank and the starting motor was
turning the engine over. Then it roared into action and ran real
well with good oil pressure. With the fuel oil in the tank about
two thirds full it ran real good for it being at least eleven years
old. We went over it with 2 1/2 gallons of yellow paint. I bought
100 gallons of red and yellow paint from the Moline Company of
Minneapolis when they sold out, so I have lots of that.
The snowplow was made in L-APLANT-CHOAT-E Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The V plow is 12 feet 9 inches with wings 6 feet each, so it will
plow a path 24 feet. The roof of the cab has 1/2′ tongue and
groove oak lumber in it, which had started to leak so we put a new
cover of tin over it.
I remember November 10, 1940. It was a cloudy damp day. That
night we got 26 inches of snow in this part of the country. Then
the township of Daniels, which is the township I live in, hired
three of the neighbors with teams of horses with a V plow on the
side of the sled to open the road after that storm. Later that fall
and winter there came more snow. Then there was a fellow who was
hauling milk with two trucks to the Falun Creamery, Kurt Anderson,
who brought one more truck with a V plow and a wing on it and took
the job of plowing snow for the township. He also took a partner
with him, Erwin Tenrup. Then they plowed with it ’till they had
snow banks 8 to 10 feet high. This was about a 1937 Ford V8. Well,
they came by night or day, whenever we got more snow, sometimes
maybe 25 to 30 mile an hour snow so you could not see the truck.
But then the 17 of March, 1941 we got one more heavy snowstorm with
lots of wind and it leveled the banks from one over to the other.
That was the end of Kurt’s snowplowing. I saw Kurt in Fredric a
while ago and asked if he remembered that time. ‘Yes,’ he
said, ‘we did not even try to open the road after that
one!’ Everyone in the area was snow bound except those using
horses and a sled. At that time Burnett County, the county I live
in, had a 60 Cat with V plow and wings on each side. One man was on
the clutches and one man on each wing. The wings were raised and
lowered with block and tackle. I think the county ran this outfit
24 hours a day using three shifts. They must have plowed every
township in the county.
I remember one afternoon about the first of April we heard the
plow coming from the west of our place. So my dad took the skis and
went to see if they would make it down the Fink Road where the snow
was about eight feet across the whole road. Unfortunately, doing as
the neighbors told them, they took out all the fences!
The 3rd of December, 1940 it was 30 below all day with the wind
blowing about the same speed. Then the winters of 1941 and 1942 we
had no snow all winter. There was one morning in February that
there was a little frost on the ground but by 10:00 a.m. it was all
I’ve heard so many talk of so much snow and they can’t
do anything about it and then Someone with power over all humans
can make it all disappear with, it seems, no effort at all!