STORY OF AN OLD RUSSELL

Russell traction engine

Courtesy of H. L. St. Clair, 7511 Paseo, Kansas City 31, Mo.

H. L. St. Clair

Content Tools

7511 Paseo, Kansas City 31, Mo.

This 6 or 8 H. P. Russell traction engine, located on the Archie E. Yankee farm eleven miles south of Oak Grove, Missouri, was originally owned by a man named Silas Paddock. Mr. Yankee says as a boy about seven years old, or in the year 1907, he remembers that they pulled this engine on to the farm with a team of horses. His father had hired Mr. Paddock with his saw and engine to saw up the timber on the place. Mr. Paddock died a few years after that, some time around 1914. The two boys of Mr. Paddock moved the sawmill off the place, so Mr. Yankee then hired John Roup to come in with his mill to finish the work. Mr. Roup set his saw in the same place that the Paddock mill had been standing, but in order to use his engine he had to pull this engine out from the mill. Mr. Yankee thinks that in pulling the engine away from the mill he pulled the front trucks out from under the boiler and instead of replacing the front trucks left the the front end of the engine sitting on a white oak stump. In time, the stump rotted away and from the stump the four sprouts grew into trees between the fly-wheel and the boiler on the right side of the engine and the left side on the outside of the crank disc, and the pressure of the tree on the disc has broken several of the spokes out of the fly-wheel.

This engine is probably somewhere between eighty and one hundred years old. The boiler seems to be in good condition for its age.

It seems that this engine was traction in power but probably was steered with horses. The picture of the right side of the engine still shows the foot rest as it was fastened to the boiler, and Mr. Yankee says that he recalls that they did pull it in by horses.