PLOWING BUFFALO GRASS SOD IN THOMAS COUNTY KANSAS IN 1906

25 hp. Russell

Where Happy Memories linger Offutt's miniature hitched to a 25 hp. Russell at the Mt.PleasantReunion,1853. It was right in that corner that there was more clowning and laughter than any other spot on earth. As I remember the Offutt engine did not out pull

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Advance Thresher Company had no monopoly on trouble. Companies that sold engines to plow buffalo grass sod, shared the trouble. That Advance was not the only engine that cracked its boiler. Flues leaked, side sheets of fire-boxes buckled, hubs were twisted from drive wheels, crankshafts were broken and brackets ripped from boilers. Engines having plowed but little, were returned to factories and not replaced. Regardless of what put them out, they were out.

Mike Jensen and Advance Thresher Company were losers because of that engine trouble but good resulted from it. A combination bracket of the pillow block and intermediate brackets was made and contained the strain, and not the boiler. The intermediate gear bearing bracket was studded to the combination bracket and could be removed without loosening cap screws in the boiler. Later engines were equipped with combination brackets, an improvement over-due and Advance were better engines.

The old engine was returned to the factory, rebuilt, equipped with gearing an inch wider than the original and sold in the northwest. The Home Office wrote Kansas City, 'The engine fully satisfied the customer.' Kansas City graciously sent me a copy of the letter.

Later, the service man was assigned the Kinsley Block and since has lived in Kinsley. He was successful on sales and remained with Advance Thresher Company until that firm closed its doors in December, 1911.

Colby, now is a city of 3,862 population, with many blocks of paved streets and remains the highly advertised city of northwestern Kansas.

The O'Pelt was enlarged in 1931 and the capacity doubled. A large heating plant was installed and consisted of three boilers from 35 hp. Advance engines. Guests, since 1931, on cold stormy days, have enjoyed the comfort of steam heated rooms with steam generated from Advance Thresher Company boilers, one of which was the La Fever type of boiler.

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