Pioneer Plowing

Life for Two Families on the Kansas Prairie Surely Changed When Gasoline Power Replaced Horse Power

| October 2005

One can only imagine the excitement the Mike Stumps and John Kuntz families of Bushton, Kan., must have felt in 1912 when they took delivery of their new gasoline-powered tractors.

The transition from horse-drawn plowing to working with a tractor was surely revolutionary, and the tractors the families acquired were state of the art for their time.

The Stumps bought Case's new 20-40 and hitched it to six plows, while the Kuntz family opted for IHC's 45 HP Mogul, which they hitched to eight plows to work the prairie in central Kansas.

Introduced in 1912 and featuring a two-cylinder, horizontally-opposed engine, Case's 20-40 was a mainstay for the company, with over 4,000 produced before production stopped in 1919.

IHC's two-cylinder, 45 HP Mogul was introduced in 1911, and over 1,000 were produced in 1912. The 45 switched to a 30-60 rating later that year, and production of the 30-60 lasted until 1917.

We don't know what happened to the Stumps' Case or the Kuntz's Mogul, but we're certain life on the farm was never the same after the new tractors arrived on the farm.