By Staff
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Courtesy of Rolland Maxwell, Route 4, Huntington, Indiana 46750.
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Courtesy of Rolland Maxwell, Route 4, Huntington, Indiana 46750.

Route 4, Huntington, Indiana 46750

No doubt the one tiling that stimulated the tractor industry
more than anything else, was the tractor demonstrations that were
held in various places during the years 1915, 1916, and 1917. A few
of the places these were held were Fremont, Nebr., Hutehinson,
Kan., Wichita, Kan., Enid, Okla., St Louis, Mo., Fargo, N. Dak.,
Blomington, Ill., Champaign, Ill., Madison, Wis., and Indianapolis,

The first one my father took us to was Champaign, Ill. in 1915.
It was held just west of town on one of the Mattis farms, which was
five miles from our home farm. For a fourteen year old boy it was a
thrill to see the works and I never missed a thing. I still have
the catalogs and circulars that I collected there. We attended the
Blomington Meet also.

There would be a field covered with tents which was the
headquarters for the different companies during the four day event.
There, they had their displays and an array of high powered
salesmen and company officials. Somewhere of about thirty companies
were present and each had two or three models and sizes. The crowds
were large, and representatives from foreign countries were there
getting all the information to take back home. A few years later
the foreign countries were to import a great number of U.S.
tractors. These were the war years, prices of agricultural products
were high due to the export demand. Labor was scarce due to many
being employed in war industries, therefore tractor sales were up,
and the demand for tractors was on the increase.

In a couple of fields adjoining the headquarters field would be
where they plowed. It would be laid off in lands for each tractor
and the size would depend on how much land was available. Naturally
because there would not be enough land, they could not plow
stead-y. Every now and then a tractor would make a round and every
one would rush out to see it perform. Now to those of us who saw
that then, and are still interested in old tractors, it was a sight
to see. A one cylinder Mogul booming its way across the field. A
10-20 Titan with furrow guide, plowing at a little over two miles
per hour. Various kinds of lugs on the rear wheels. I so well
remember the Hart-Parr Little Devil. It was a two cylinder, two
cycle, and sure made a lot of noise when it was being pulled. It
was the fastest tractor in the field.

Tractors that were shown in 1916: Elgin 17-27, Elgin Tractor
Co., Piqua, Ohio; All Work, Electric Wheel Co., Quincy, Ill.; Waite
8-10, Waite Tractor Co., Chicago, Ill; E B 12-20 and 16-32,
Emmerson-Brantingham Co., Rockford, Ill; Huber 12-25, Huber Mfg.
Co., Marion, Ohio; Minneapolis 12-25, Minn. Threshing Machine Co.,
Minneapolis, Minn.; Moline Universal 6-12, Moline plow Co., Moline,
Ill; Peoria 8-20, 725 Peoria Tractor Co., Peoria, Ill; Parrett
12-25, Parrett Tractor Co., Chicago, Ill; Heider C 12-20, Rock
Island Plow Co., Rock Island, Ill; Wetmore 12-25, Wetmore Tractor
Co., Sioux City, Iowa; Hume, Hume Tractor Co., Hume, Ill; Sandusky,
Dausch Mfg. Co., Sandusky, Ohio; Bull, Bull Tractor Co.,
Minneapolis, Minn.; Denning, Denning Tractor Co., Cedar Rapids,
Ia.; Mogul 8-16, 15-30, 12-25, I. H. C, Chicago, Ill; Titan 10-20,
12-25, 1. H. C, Chicago, Ill; Waterloo Boy 12-25, Waterloo Gas Eng.
Co., Waterloo, Ia.; Wallis Cub 12-25, Wallis Tractor Co., Racine,
Wis.; Oil Pull Three sines, Rumely Co., La Porte, Ind.; Avery 8-l6,
12-25,25-50, Avery Co., Peoria, Ill; Case 9-18, 10-20, Case Co.,
Racine, Wis.; Hart Parr ’60’ and Little Devil ’22’,
Hart Parr Tractor Co., Charles City, Ia.; Bates Steel Mule
’30’ 1195 Bates Tractor Co., Joliet, Ill; La Crosse
‘Happy Farmer’ 12-25, La Crosse Tractor Co., La Crosse,
Wis.: Plow Companies represented in 1916: J. I. Case, Grand Detour
Co., Grand Detour, Ill; Deereand Co., Moline, Ill; La Crosse, La
Crosse Plow Co., La Crosse, Wis.; Moline Plow Co., Moline, Ill;
Oliver Plow Co., S. Bend, Ind.; Parlin and Orendorff, (later became
I. H. C); Vulcan Plow Co., Evansville, Ind.; Janesville Plow Co.,
Janesville, Wis.

25-50 Reeves Tractor.

There was a number of other companies selling such accessories
as wheel lugs, air cleaners, furrow guides, tractor hitches, oils,
greases, threshing machine supplies, etc. I’ve been told in
Kan., Nebr. and the Dakotas that showed much larger sized tractors
more in keeping with their larger grain farms. Every State Fair had
big displays, but of course no plowing. After this died out in
about 1917, several cities like Fargo and Kansas City had winter
shows but that too died out during the depression of 1921.

The trend in the corn belt was toward smaller and lighter weight
tractors. Canada was being opened up and the big fellows went
there. In 1912 Hart-Parr shipped three train loads to Canada. That
year two train loads of Oil Pulls were shipped to Canada.

After much deliberation, my father bought his first tractor in
1917, at the Champaign, Ill. show. It was a 12-25 Titan 4 cyl.
horiz. engine with a cab and a three bottom Oliver plow. Also a
28′ Avery separator. We kept this outfit two years and traded
for a 25-50 Avery tractor and 32′ Yellow Fellow separator. This
was a fine outfit and was used until the combines took over. The
12-25 Titan was a good outfit, but our ring needed a larger
separator and that was the reason for trading. There were four
12-25 Titans sold at the Champaign show in 1917.

Happy Farmer tractor.

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