Delivering a Rumely Tractor

Even the best-planned deliveries can run into problems.

| May/June 1966

While working for the Rumely Thresher Company at their St. Louis Branch, a Mr. D. A. Upham wrote the Rumely Company at Laporte, Indiana, asking information about a tractor and plow. Since the inquiry came from Mt. Carmel, Illinois, which was in St. Louis territory, it was sent there and then to Tom Adams, salesman for that block.

Mr. Adams called on Mr. Upham and sold him a Model B, 25-45 Oil Pull and an eight gang Oliver plow.

Mr. Upham's land lay across the Wabash River in Indiana, hence was in the Indianapolis branch territory. The manager at Indianapolis soon heard of the sale and claimed the credit for it should go to his branch instead of to St. Louis. Quite an argument ensued and when the tractor arrived at Mt. Carmel, I was sent to unload and deliver it. When I arrived I found the Indianapolis branch manager had sent their man to deliver the same outfit.

Their serviceman and I had no quarrel. We thought it was fine to have help in delivering the machinery.

We were soon unloaded and the plows knocked down were loaded on a wagon and we were on our way to the Wabash Ferry landing. The tractor was quite a load for the boat, but we got across without any trouble.

We quickly reached the ranch headquarters, had the plows set up and were on our way to the field where we were to start plowing. As we were crossing a low spot of land which had recently been cleared of trees, I noticed the ground trembling for quite a distance around the tractor. I knew we were on quicksand, so I headed the tractor in between two large stumps and shut it down. We hauled a load of plank and planked our way out. It was much easier to get out that way than to bury the tractor.