Kansas City Hay Press

An abandoned Kansas City Hay Press prepares for restoration

| March 1999

  • Bill Hatcher's hay press, as found near Raton, N.M.
    Bill Hatcher's hay press, as found near Raton, N.M.

  • Bill Hatcher's hay press, as found near Raton, N.M.

This month's photographs come from Bill Hatcher, Springer, N.M. He recently acquired a Kansas City Hay Press Company hay press with a 6 hp KC-built engine (shop number #744). 

This rig, abandoned years ago, was originally owned by Joe Floyd, Johnson Mesa, about 20 miles from Raton, N.M. Joe and several brothers homesteaded there, and they shared the hay press in their farming operations.

The hay press looks to be complete and in fairly good condition, but the engine is stuck. Bill plans to restore the rig, which has been shown in Springer at the Colfax County parade. Bill said a lot of people there had no idea what it was, but were very interested in it.

As part of his restoration plans, Bill is looking for any information about this hay press or the manufacturer. He would also like to know what the blocks for the hay press look like, and could use a sketch in making a new set. He hopes to get his hay press restored and bale hay with it at demonstrations. Bill is a rancher, and hay is a major part of that operation now, as it was 100 years ago.

The KC Hay Press Company built some very interesting engines and equipment since its founding in the 1890s. Although the company's early hay presses were horse-powered, some were belt-powered by steam engines.

In about 1901, the company expanded its line with the introduction of the Lightning gasoline engines. Those were offered on hay presses, as well as stationary, portable and traction engines.