AS I SAW IT


| May/June 1974



McCormick Deering

Courtesy of Noel Nelson, Hawley, Minnesota 56549

Noel Nelson

Route 4 Huntington, Indiana 46750

From 1914 thru 1916 Hart Pan-built a small tractor- which was an oddity. It was called the 'Little Devil'. It had one wide wheel in rear and two wheels in front for guiding. It used a two cylinder two cycle engine at 600 R.P.M.'s rated as 15-22 and pulled three plows at three miles per hour which made it the fastest tractor in the field. I remember seeing it work at a tractor demonstration at Bloomington, 111. in 1916. Being two cycle and going at 600 R.P.M. it was very noisy, and going at three miles per hour it was really going places at that time.

Now for a very interesting experience I had in 1952. My wife and I were going north out of Calgary, Alberta, Can. After several miles we passed through a small town called Carstairs. About a mile north we passed a large farm on the east side of the road with a blacksmith shop alongside of the road. Alongside of the blacksmith shop sat a 30-60 Hart Parr painted up and partly covered. We stopped and I went and found two brothers in their early seventies, who owned the tractor, shop and farm. After introducing myself, I started on the Hart Parr and out came three chairs and two hours of the most fascinating stories of early settling, early Hart Parr farming etc., etc. Their father had homesteaded on that farm in 1903, when both were teenagers. The first two years they had gotten out small acreages with oxen. It was still a wild, sparsely settled country and no threshing separators very close. In the fall of 1905 they got a new 22-45 Hart Parr and a used separator they got from some miles away. Later in 1907 they traded the 22-45 for a 30-60 which was the one outside.

Arlen Nelson at the wheel of his 10-20 McCormick Deering. Arlen is also from Hawley.

The came the stories of early threshing. Small homesteaders stacked their grain and waited for a custom machine to come, hoping before winter set in. If the snow and cold wasn't too bad they threshed all winter or as best they could.

They told of sweeping snow off of the stacks and starting that tractor when it was below zero. When it got too cold they let it run idle over night. When it got to forty below they went home to wait until spring. Also were stories of plowing furrows two miles long. Getting stuck in sloughs. Hauling six and seven wagon loads of grain to a railroad thirty miles away.