A reader explains how he came to own a well-maintained 1928 Rumely oil pull tractor.
My beloved 25-40 Rumley Oil Pull tractor, serial no. 764.
I'd like to tell about my 1928 25-40 Rumley Oil Pull tractor, serial number X764. I discovered this tractor by coincidence while attending the National Threshers Reunion at Wauseon, Ohio in 1965 with George Bronson of Galesburg, Michigan. During the course of the day spent at this show we visited with a number of people and quite by chance met Mr. George Schuette of Napoleon, Ohio, who owned the tractor. After talking with him for some time about highlights of the show and more specifically Oil Pull tractors, Mr. Schuette told us that he had an Oil Pull he would like to sell. George Bronson and I are always interested in looking at Oil Pulls. Since this one was only a short ways from the show, and practically right on the way home, we just couldn't pass up the opportunity.
We followed Mr. Schuette and his son from the show grounds to their well-kept farm west of Napoleon. The barn door was rolled open to reveal the treasure inside. The tractor had set there on a concrete floor for 18 years since Mr. Schuette had quit his threshing run. After a short bargaining session the deal was made and the tractor was mine. We returned the next day with George Bronson's truck to load the tractor and haul it to Michigan until such time as I could make arrangements to get it the rest of the way home. In spite of it's long period of inactivity, the Oil Pull started easily and was driven from it's resting place in the barn and onto the truck for the first leg of the journey to it's new home.
George Schuette purchased this tractor new. It has never set outside and has very few rust pits. It was used mainly for belt work and has done little traction work other than pulling the separator. As a result, the entire chassis is practically as good as new. This tractor required only minor repairs and adjustments to put it in first class condition. It is painted dark blue with red trim and topped off with decals furnished by Mr. Jack Maple of Rushville, Indiana.
This 25-40 has the differential interlock, which according to the Advance-Rumely parts book was only used on the first 125 tractors. It also has a spring mounted front end which supposedly was used on the first 325 25-40's. The serial number on this tractor is 764. I wonder if there might be some former Rumely employee who could explain how these features got on a tractor with a serial number this high.