Courtesy of Noel Nelson, Hawley, Minnesota 56549
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.
They said all the 2600 acres they owned could be credited to the work of that Hart Parr on their own land or thru custom work. They had nothing but love and affection for that old tractor. It was touching. I tried to buy that tractor but of course couldn't, but I certainly left there with a healthy respect for the two grand old Iron-Men and their cherished Hart Parr. Now some years later when the brothers passed on the tractor found its way to a museum, and how glad we all should be that it escaped the cutting torch.
Rumely built their first Oil Pulls in 1909 and by 1910 really got going. First came the B 25-45, two eyl. cast separately, nine and one half by twelve at 375 R.P.M. rear wheels 64 in. diameter. Showed at Winnipeg in 1910.
In 1910 came the Model F. one cyl. 15-30 H.P. 10 X 12, 375 R.P.M. Also in 1910 came the 30-60 Model E two cyl. 10 X 12 at 375 R.P.M. had high 80 in. rear wheels. This Model E. was what put Rumely on the map.
My 1936 F-20 Farmall, threshing in 1957.
The Model B. was about the same as the Model E. except it had one half inch smaller cylinder bore, and lower wheels both front and rear. After the Model E. came out, it took over and the B. was soon phased out.
After Allis-Chalmers took Rumely over, all records were destroyed and I've been provoked at A.C. ever since. Leroy Quandt of Ryder N.D. has been working on a system of correlating serial numbers with years, but admits to no great progress, but does come up with the approximate numbers of tractors Rumely built of those early models.
3600 Model B's built - 35 remain.
900 Model F's built - 10 remain
8250 Model E's built - 75 remain.
These Oil Pulls were extremely well-built and held up under long and hard usage. I have seen signs on them at shows telling how much land they had plowed and the number of bushels of grain they had threshed. It was unbelievable. This new stuff put out today couldn't take that.
For instance a man in Kansas told me they pulled a 42 inch separator for 37 years. The tractor is in good running condition today.
An Oct. 1919 American Thresherman had a Rumely ad that stated when there was a National Tractor Demonstration at Wichita, Kansas. The company went close by and brought in one of the first 30-60's for the demonstration. It had already worked ten years and during that time had broke 1750 acres of Virgin sod, plowed 5600 acres of stubble and threshed 750,000 bushels of grain with a 40-62 in separator, in 321 days. How's that for work?
Just note the number of those big old tractors that are still around and are envied by every collector who doesn't own one. Rumely had a top product, sales force, and organization. GM-74