McCormick Memories

By Staff
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875 Dickson Road, Campobello, South Carolina 29322

One of my first childhood memories at the age of four was of a
beautiful red and black tractor arriving at my grandfather Mack
Johnson’s farm at Campobello, South Carolina in 1936.
Unfortunately my grandfather died the same year he bought the
tractor.

He operated a ten horse farm and was one of the first to have a
peach orchard in South Carolina so, of course, this is a 1936 0-12
McCormick orchard tractor.

This tractor was ideal for the orchard farmer. It has a hand
clutch which could be operated standing on the ground beside the
tractor, so the operator did not have to mount the tractor to
operate it, which was handy for slow spraying jobs or operating a
cut off saw sawing wood.

My father acquired the tractor after his mother died, and he
operated it for about ten years. The 0-12 was stored in his barn
from 1955 until 1985. My father (Paul Johnson) asked me to restore
it so he could hear it run before he died. The tires were all flat,
the engine stuck and covered with a good coat of rust. I took the
tractor apart, loosened the stuck parts, put her back together with
the same gaskets, put gas and oil in her, pulled up on the crank
and she came back to life, and my father was well pleased.

My father died about a year later, and I now own the tractor. We
use it to pull a 1932 McCormick binder at the Apple Country Engine
Club spring harvest at my farm the second weekend in June. In the
photo below, we are using in in our wheat-binding operation.

This 0-4 was purchased in 1945 by my grandmother, Mrs. Mack
Johnson, who continued to operate the farm after my
grandfather’s death.

This was during the second world war; tractors were hard to get
and prices were inflated. She paid $ 1407.07 for the 0-4 as you see
it in this picture. She died in 1946 and the tractor was sold at
auction to a neighbor for $2475.00. He operated the tractor on his
farm until 1988, when I purchased it from him for $600.00 and
restored it to its original condition. The tractor runs as good as
it looks and is an eye catcher wherever I take it.

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