Issue 10-19-14Website - page 8

TheHackney OneMan Auto Plow Tractor
I never know what I’ll find
on e-bay. It’s usually fun.
Sometimes frustrating, andoften
surprising. I usually search
“LeRoy New York.” A couple
of weeks ago, I saw a letterhead
from John A. McPherson and
A.H. Olmsted of LeRoy, agents
for the Hackney OneMan Auto
Plow Tractor. I had never seen
such a machine, so I Googled
it and discovered that it was
manufactured in Minneapolis.
TheHackneybrothers hadmade
money in North Dakota buying
and selling railroad land. They
soonwent into business making
agricultural equipment in St.
By 1909, the Hackney
Company was manufacturing
theOneManPlow. The demand
for the plow was primarily in
the Dakotas and Minnesota,
but apparently they had agents
– like McPherson and Olmsted
– selling the Hackney Plow
in many different states. It’s
unclear whetherMcPherson and
Olmstedactuallyhadoneof these
machines inLeRoy.
It would have caught any
farmer’s attention. Unlike other
plows at that time, which were
usuallypainted indrabcolors, the
yellow striping andwheels. The
Hackney Plow had seats facing
eachother, so itcouldbeoperated
ineither the forwardorbackward
direction. It was powered by
a 40 hp engine. It could be
equippedwith either three
or four plow blades and
was maneuverable into
the corners of fields near
Automobilesand tractors
at that time,werestartedby
a crank, but the Hackney
had a wheel on the front
whichwas used to turn the
motor. (Ifyou lookclosely,
you can see thewheel just
in frontof the largewheel.)
The company was sold
to the Standard Motor
Company of Mason City,
Iowa, but Standard went
bankrupt and theHackney
brothers took over the
company again.
There were some problems
with the machine, and sales
declined.Never the less, in1917,
Hackney advertised that it had
five different models of theOne
Man Plow. In 1918, the factory
was destroyed by fire, and it
appears that the One Man Plow
was notmanufactured after that.
The letter was written to
Markam & Puffer in Avon 0n
May 11, 1914: “Gentlemen:
When I wrote you before, I
be done with Grand Jury work,
but not yet, so he can’t go to see
you so I wrote I would. Grippe
prevents my going, but Please
phone me at my expense if you
would like a plow andwant one
as soonaspossible. YoursTruly,
JohnMcPhersonwasa farmer
on Oatka Creek Road. (David
Frost’sGreatGrandfather). A.H.
Olmsted was from Pavilion and
had a farm south of LeRoy.
Both men apparently thought
that this newAuto Plow Tractor
would be of interest to local
farmers. More than likely, since
the Hackney Factory burned in
1918, McPherson and Olmsted
didnot remainagentsfor theplow
for very long. The only record
we have of their business is this
unusual letterhead.
I discovered that there is a
workingHackneyPlow inNorth
Dakota at the Dale and Martha
Hawk Museum in Wolford.
Each year in June they host
a large Antique Farm Show
whichdraws a large crowd. The
Museum also has a farmhouse,
church, school and a variety of
other historic buildings as well
as several large barns full of
agricultural equipment. Ifyou’ve
ever inNorthDakota stopbyand
take pictures. Which brings me
to North Dakota - - For several
years, the Jell-O Museum has
hadvisitors fromeverystate.Last
year, the hold out was Alaska
and finally in October we had
visitors from Alaska, but this
year, it’sNorthDakota.Wefigure
that folks inNorthDakota are so
busyworking, theydon’thave the
chance to take a few days off for
vacation. So if you have friends
or family fromNorthDakotawho
might be stopping by - - send
them over to the Jell-OGallery.
We have a special gift basket for
Photo taken at theDale andMarthaHawkMuseum inNorthDakota.
1,2,3,4,5,6,7 9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,...20
Powered by FlippingBook