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Mr. Tarrant and the Wallis Cub Tractor

| October/November 1990

  • J. F. Kelley
    Shades of the past-lifelong friend J. F. Kelley and 'Old' Fred Sr.-June 1916- both 22 years old, breaking sod on the south half of section 19-2N-48W in Yuma County, Colorado. F. K. T. standing.

  • J. F. Kelley

Bldg H., Apt. 146, 3266S.E. Aster Lane, Stuart, FL 34994.

A few years ago, I received a note from a Mr. Fred Tarrant from Saratoga Springs, New York who had heard I had a Wallis Cub tractor and wanted to come see it-he said he plowed with one in the teens in Colorado. I wrote and said he was most welcome, so he gave me a date to be here. I got my Cub out of storage, and had it running when he came. He sure was pleased to see it, and said it looked like the one he had plowed with in Colorado. I visited him in Florida this past winter and asked him to write an article about his experience of plowing in Colorado. Below is the article he wrote and his picture in 1916 in front of the tractor. He is now 96 years old and a very sharp old gentleman. -E.F. Schmidt, 180 West Kibler Street, Bluffton, OH 45817-

In the winter of 1915-16, I decided I would have a try at farming in Colorado. I arranged my financing, and then set out to select a farm tractor. I obtained catalogs and pamphlets from every farm tractor company I could obtain an address for. I was mechanically inclined and it only took instinct to see that the best designed farm tractor available at that time was the Wallis, Model D 'Cub'. I placed my order for one of these with the J.I. Case Tractor Company at Racine Junction in Wisconsin. Then I took the train to Racine to see the machine I had purchased.

At the factory, I met an affable gentleman named Roy Case. Mr. Case had a Wallis Cub run out on the cinders in the factory yard so I might drive it about. As I had been afflicted with polio very young, my left leg was weakened and I had great difficulty depressing the clutch pedal. Mr. Case assured me he would have an extended pedal installed on my tractor to overcome this trouble. He did as he said, and when my tractor was delivered at Yuma, Colorado on May 12, 1916, it was so equipped.

Over the years following, I broke out slightly over 2,000 acres of eastern Colorado sod, and I plowed and cultivated over 2,000 acres additional of fallow ground.

I shall always marvel at the ingenuity of the able engineer designer, R.O. Hendrickson. Here, way back in 1916, was the product of his fine mind. A four cylinder vertical engine with a six inch bore and a seven inch stroke, the cylinder blocks were cast in pairs and were of T-head design. The crankshaft had four throws and it was made hollow. Oil was forced by a gear pump to the main bearings and thence through the center of this hollow crankshaft, so each connecting rod was aflush with oil at all times and so too the main bearings. The total length of the main bearings was twenty six inches. They simply never came loose. This ingenious T-head engine had but one cam shaft. The valves on the opposite side were driven by a walking beam extending across the inside of the engine crankcase. The water pump that circulated the cooling water through the water jackets on these cylinder blocks was oversized so that the water jackets were always under pressure. This pressure was exerted against a large rubber diaphram that was under spring resistance and was in turn connected to the throttle. This novel device would hold his engine at 650 r.p.m. up grade or down grade and through sand or tight clay soil. It would and did hold the r.p.m. at 650.


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