First Cummins-Made Engines: Tributes to Men and Early Beginnings


| September/October 1983



Mr. Ken K. Welliver with his Cummins Engine

Mr. Ken K. Welliver of Rural Route 1, Seymour, Indiana, with his 1919 6 HP Cummins Engine.

Rural Route 1, Box 67, A Flat Rock, Indiana, 47234

Close-up views of Mr. Welliver's 6 HP Cummins Engine in operation. The horizontal piston works between the flywheels. Mr. Welliver added the emblem and name plate.

'I started playing with gasoline engines in 1913. In 1920-22, they cut all the frills off of them to get the price down. Anything they could leave off, they did, to get the price down,' Jake Maley of Austin, Indiana, lamented. About this time Cummins Engine Company of Columbus, Indiana, began manufacturing diesel engines.

'I went to work at Cummins in 1933, until 1944, and worked with fellows who built this (his) engine.' In 1935, Jake Maley began his search for an early Cummins Engine Company Diesel Engine. He finally managed to purchase his 3 HP model in 1978.

This 3 HP engine plus the 6 HP engine owned by Ken K. Welliver of Rural Route 1, Seymour, Indiana, and the 1 HP engine purchased by Lotus W. Alexander of Columbus, Indiana, comprise three of only four such models known to exist in Indiana.

Ken Welliver's 1919 6 HP engine represents the first engines made by Clessie L. Cummins. The only one of these three motors to be built and sold by Cummins as a Cummins engine, it has the words 'Cummins Oil Engine, Cummins Engine Company, Columbus, Indiana, U.S.A.' cast in the metal on top of the water hopper or tank. The Cummins Engine Company had been incorporated on February 3, 1919. Mr. Welliver owns number 77 of the more than one hundred made that year in the Cerealine building, and then shipped to distant points from the near-by Pennsylvania Railroad Station.