It took over two dozen people pooling their resources to buy at auction an Aultman-Taylor 25-50, a rare tractor.
The Aultman-Taylor 25-50, a rare tractor model that was only manufactured from 1916 to 1919. This one was purchased at an auction. Courtesy of Andrew L. Michels, Plentywood, Montana
The following 27 kind and generous fellows bought a rare tractor—an Aultman-Taylor 25-50—at an auction sale in September of this year: A. Boe. M. Aashiem, V. Bergh, V Bren-tensen, J. Eggen, E. Falk, R. Fowler, P. Golterman, A. Gabrealsen, E. Holje, M. Hilyard, V. Justice, O. Kleppen, II. King, Wm. Lord, 0. Lee, W. Morstad, A. Michels, V. Michels, G. Melby, E. Melby, R. McCarty. L. Pierce, C. Saxton, S. Sorenson, R. Tiegen, and J. & ll. All of the contributory are residents of Sheridan County, Montana. Some eager, and I will add, inconsiderate outsiders made it cost us a lot of money to keep the engine in this area. After the sale three of the co-owners drove the tractor seventeen miles to the Andy Michels Ranch and parked by the shop. Louis Pierce, Waldo Morslad and Andy were the crew—an all-day chore.
Since then, Earl Holje, Wm. Lord, Louis Pierce, Peewee Hilyard, Bob Tiegen and Andy Michels have worked on it every Sunday. After much repairing and work, we have it running like new. (November 12, 1967). Pulled five 16' plows 10" deep easily. Now, to clean it up, replace canopy, and re-paint.
This engine must be quite rare. It was only produced from 1916 to 1919. There are many 30 - 60's about. They were produced from 1909 to 1924. The fact that they stayed with us until 1924 certainly gives credit to them as most heavy tractors of the type were discontinued years before that. As I mentioned, the younger sister (25 - 50) was discontinued in 1919. l know the 35 - 70 Minneapolis was still with us in 1928 and there may have been others.
I think this is also worthy of mention: the old girl sat in one spot for 37 years to the month. The local Buick dealer commented that he overhauled a 25 - 50 Aultman in 1920 or so. This is the same type of engine.
This tractor is to be restored to its original condition to the best of our collective abilities and is for the enjoyment to all. To this end, it will be available for any celebration or "doing" anywhere that anyone will pay the expenses to and from, provided a responsible crew operates it.
Our small son, Jimmy, likes to show others how the corn is ground. He created a lot of interest with it by letting other children dump the shelled corn in the hopper. People were surprised at the noise it would make when it hit the burrs and then came out as cornmeal. We found the little mill in a scrap iron yard.
I spend many hours with my boys Tom and Jim working on our engines. My three daughters, with Jim's help, usually get in on the re-paint jobs. At the Sweet Corn Festival even Mom pitched in by packing a picnic lunch for us, but the people were so interested we hardly had time to eat.
We also have a well that pumps water. I got the pump complete with cylinder from my old homestead just ahead of the bulldozer. We built a well platform and are now able to move it easily.
Some of our engines I found in scrap iron yards and others I traded for. Seven of our fourteen engines are in running order. We hope to have the other seven running soon. They range from 1 and 2 cylinder Maytags to a 6 H.P. Jaeger. Our John Deere was made in Waterloo, Iowa. It created quite a restoration job because the die cast on the magneto drive was broken and, of course, couldn't be welded. Tom and I found a piece of stainless steel. By using the old magneto plate as a pattern, we made a new one on our lathe. The magneto has worked just dandy.
In addition to demonstrating at the National Sweet Corn Festival this year, we had a display at the Home Hospital Fair, Lafayette, Indiana, and the Benton County Fair, Boswell, Indiana. As my collection increases, I hope to be able to take them to more fairs and festivals.
If you're ever in the Ambia, Indiana, area be sure to stop by. We'd be glad to see you.