| January/February 1978

  • C. H. Parr
    C. H. Parr
  • C. W. Hart
    C. W. Hart
  • Hart Parr
    1903 Hart Parr
  • Gas engine
    Gas engine made by Hart Parr.

  • C. H. Parr
  • C. W. Hart
  • Hart Parr
  • Gas engine

R. R. 4, Huntington, Indiana 46750

Having farmed with Hart Parr tractors for a number of years, I feel qualified to write on the subject. First let me tell a few stories. I was in town once and called on the Hart Parr dealer. He said to me, 'I have in trade a 16-30, about five miles from you. I have sold the magento off of it, but you can have the rest of it for $25 and it runs good. I gave him a check right away and went home and got an extra magneto and went and got it and drove it home. I learned afterwards the man had traded it in on a Row Crop tractor. It was a good tractor and I used it a couple of years and sold it for $150.

In our town was a large junk yard. When I was in town I usually went around looking for cast-off goodies. One day there set a nice 12-24 Hart Parr with good paint, and it turned over, so I went to the office to see about it. He said it ran good and that it was a shame to cut it up and if I got it out of there by noon I could have it for $55. Boy, did I move fast! I went right across the street and borrowed a truck from an implement dealer and took it to a new home where it is yet to this day. After dinner I hooked it to a two-bottom sixteen Oliver plow that I had paid $35 for and went right to work. I used it whenever I needed it, and still have it in my museum along with a Hart Parr Row Crop.

Those were the days, believe me! We were not ashamed to use a two or three plow tractor and didn't feel we always had to keep ahead of our neighbors, even though we were selling milk for $2.00 and corn for a dollar a bushel. We made do with what we had and were happy doing it.

C. W. Hart and C. H. Parr met as students at the University of Wisconsin. As a class project they built a gasoline engine that worked and is still on display in the college museum. With such success, they decided to go into business making and selling gasoline engines. They formed a company with C. W. Hart as president and C. H. Parr as secretary and A. E. Ellis as vice president. The latter was a banker at Charles City, Iowa who backed them.

In 1897 they started building oil engines and continued until 1905. In the meantime they were experimenting with tractors, and they came out with their first tractor in 1901, more about that later.


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