While doing my usual visiting at Portland, Indiana, during the Tri-State Gas Engine &. Tractor Association Reunion in August, I stopped to visit long-time GEM advertiser Wayne Walker Jr. and his wife. It's always fun to check out what Wayne has for sale, especially the hog oilers. He's probably known best for buying and selling parts and engines, and of course, his belt buckles. But most importantly, he has a love of 'old iron.' He's been a collector since the 1970s. His strong passion is the acquisition of Kansas City-built engines and 'Junior' engines.
He had engines in his blood back when he used his grandfather's 1 HP engine. In 1972, at an auction, he acquired not one, but three engines. These engines were all Bauers 2, 4, and a 6 HP. (Ed. note: Watch for a future story on Wayne's collection of Bauer engines.)
At Portland, he was excited to share with me his newly acquired 12 HP Kansas City Hay Press Junior engine. This engine was built by the Kansas City Hay Press Co. in Kansas City, Missouri. The company came into existence during the 1880s when it first developed hay baling presses. In 1901, they added to their line with the 'Lightning' engine. The KC Junior Series was created in 1912 when it replaced the 'Lightning.' K.C. Juniors were available in sizes 1 to 12 horsepower. The company briefly entered the tractor business from 1908 to 1922. Interestingly enough, these Kansas City tractors were powered with Waukesha engines, not K.C. models.
Wayne's 12 HP engine was the largest in the Junior line. It is the only one known to still exist. I guess Wayne's patience paid off, after waiting eight years to acquire this engine. Bill Graves, an Associated collector from New York, bought this engine in the 1960s. It was used in a sawmill tandem along with a 20 HP Mogul. The engine eventually was placed in storage for a long time. Perseverance was in Wayne's favor when he eventually was able to acquire this engine.
The hay press engine has its original painta green engine with red flywheels. Its serial number is #KC344. This engine has raised letters, disk crank, diaphragm fuel pump, hit & miss governor, and a walking beam valve system. Wayne has the original factory trucks to place under the full base.
Wayne also has in his collection a 6 HP K.C. Junior engine with serial #KC372. This engine is not complete, needing many parts to complete his restoration. It requires a head, carburetor, fuel pump, long walking beam style rocker arm, rod, cap and piston, timing gear and timer, plus governor weights. He's trying to locate these parts to complete the restoration. All castings belonging to any Kansas City Hay Press engine have a KC prefix, making them very easy to identify. If you have any that he can acquire or perhaps one to be used to create a new casting, you can contact him at RR1, Box 98A, Onaga, KS 66521. He can also be reached using his email at, what else, firstname.lastname@example.org.