Mr. Tarrant and the Wallis Cub Tractor

By Staff
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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.

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.

The fan belt on this machine was way oversize and a belt would
last for several years. When I disposed of the-machine it was still
operating on the original spark plugs with which it had come
equipped. All of the years I owned this machine, the clutch was
only adjusted once for it too was ample for the task it had to do
and it would never slip. The transmission gears were drop forged
and case hardened. They were mounted on roller bearings and ran
bathed in lubricating oil well protected from dust and dirt.
Another ingenious feature was the incorporation of two brakes that
could be activated separately. They enabled the operator to turn
the tractor under load almost on a dime. The main driving gears,
generally referred to as the bull gear, of necessity due to its
size had to run exposed to the sand and dust. That did not stop
Hendrickson-he piped the exhaust from the engine down below the
housing and divided it so that a jet of exhaust blew on the face of
each bull gear just at its point of contact with the pinion gear.
This not only kept the dirt out, but it also coated these gears
with a dry residual coating of soot which was itself a lubricant
comparable to graphite. The clutch engagement under load was
cushioned by a coil spring on each side of the chassis. If stalled
with plows in the ground, this machine would literally squat and
heave itself out of such a predicament.

My associate and I worked long hours, in season; weather
permitting we always plowed 24 hours per day. A gas head light and
a furrow guide made this simple. My Cub was fired by a remark able
Eisman magneto. It just never failed. There simply was no way in
which this amazing machine failed to excel over the horrendous
contraptions my neighbors were trying to farm with.

One day a man came to call on me from the Case Plow Works at
Denver. His name was Tony Hicklen and he urged me to become an
agent for these able tractors and the Case line of farm implements.
I did that, and eventually Hicklen sent a Mr. Jack Darr down from
time to time to help me sell. Then he sent a fine gentleman named
Sam Cluet to help me. Now there was a salesman!

Wallis brought out their various models of Cub Juniors, lighter
and fast and very powerful for their weight. Within a few years I
placed 87 of these various sized machines.

My farming operations declined; the farm was afflicted with
black and red rust, disastrous hail, army worms, smut,
wheatweevils, grasshopper infestations, etc. I decided to become a
salesman, a happy decision, and I gave up my Wallis affiliation
reluctantly. But my reverence for that man, R.O. Hendrickson, still
lasts.

I think this pretty well tells of my Wallis tractor years.

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