Tractors I Have Threshed With

By Staff

RR #1 Box 320 Clinton, Illinois 61727

I think it was in July of 1966 I wrote an article on separators
(threshing machines), so I thought I would write an article on
tractors I have threshed with.

To begin, I’ll have to give you a little background on when
I started. My dad had a 15x45x65 Case, 20 HP Reeves, one of the
late ones with Canadian boiler and 24×75 Port Huron, the first
tractor I threshed with which was a new G. & T. 30×60. In 1921
it replaced the 20 HP Reeves. I was 16 years old. I pulled the road
grader for the township. Dad got $3.00 per hour for the tractor,
driver and gas was included in the $3.00. At that time, it would
run a day on $5.00 worth of gas and oil. The tractor cost $4000.00.
That doesn’t sound like much today but the township paid for
the tractor.

The next tractor was a 1926 20×40 Huber, bought in December.
Later it was a 32×45 it replaced. The last steam engine, which was
the 24×75 Port Huron, was bought new in 1914 so it threshed for 12

The reason we had so many tactors was, Dad was a jobber who sold
tractors and separators for Huber. Then he sort of quit. In 1932, I
signed a contract with Oliver as their dealer. So, at threshing
time we threshed with what we had. In ’29 I purchased my
complete rig which was an 18×38. Later on I had a 21×39 and a 32×54
Huber Supreme separator.

The next year, I bought a 32×54 Minneapolis and pulled it with
an old Crossmotor Huber Super four 18×36 with a Midwest Motor. I
then sold the 21×39 Huber and replaced it with a 40×62 Huber. After
I became an Oliver dealer, they made a special price on 28×50 Hart
Parr’s, so Dad and I each bought one new for $900.00 as they
were coming out with 28×44 engines like the Huber line.

At that time it seemed like we had a different tractor every
year as we were running five outfits in the 30’s.

I threshed one year with a 17×30 B Minneapolis. What a
disappointment! It never had the power it should of had. I think
most of it was due to the lazy governor, but was a poor threshing
tractor. One year I used a 22×36 International. It would of been a
lot better tractor with a different governor.

Then I traded for a U AllisChalmers so I bought a 28×46 Case
separator. This U had a Continental motor. Was that ever a nice
small outfit!

The last year I threshed was 1942. I used an Oliver 70 and the
Case 28. By that time it was all oat threshing. They were both on

My son, who was seven years old at that time, watched the
tractor while I tended the separator. We threshed 900 acres of oats
that fall. On the last job, a fellow from Wisconsin drove in with a
truck. He asked, ‘Would you sell that separator?’ I said
yes in about 2 hours. He walked around the separator, came back and
asked, ‘What will you take for it?’ I said, ‘$300 for
it and the drive belt.’ He said, ‘I’ll take it. I’m
going to get something to eat and when I get it loaded, I’m
heading for Wisconsin.’

I could have threshed maybe two years more if I would have kept
it. As much as I liked threshing, it was taking too much time away
from my well drilling business.

I think I have lived through the ‘heyday’ of threshing,
corn shelling, clover hulling and well drilling business. I quit
the well drilling in ’85 after my wife died. My son still
drills some wells, on a limited scale, around home. I drilled over
1100 wells since my dad died in 1940. I really did like to drill
water wells.

I think we were very fortunate with all those different tractors
out threshing, not one of them failed to start and no mag trouble.
We went over the tractors before starting threshing, checking mag
compression, new plugs, fan belts. Those old tractors had a flat
belt to drive the radiator fan. You had to keep them tight.

The tractors I liked best? I don’t have much preference, I
guess. When I look back, the 30×60 A. T., in its time, was far and
above any other make at that time. The Hubers were all good
tractors, if you took off Kingston governors and replaced them with
Pickering, which the Huber Company did after the first tractors.
The 28×50 Hart Parrs were real good threshing tractors, but none of
these tractors could pull a 12 foot grader. The 30×60 A. T. could
sure make a good ditch cut. I have seen the dirt coming over the
top of the blade and it never slowed one bit!

I’m looking for a 22×45 A. T. They were the same as the
bigger tractor only easier to handle, and at 83 years I can’t
handle them like I used to. I have a 40×62 Huber, L. A. Case, D
Case and an S.

Hope I didn’t wear you out reminiscing about old times but
it was fun back then!

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