| January/February 1956

Salina, Kansas

Jeremiah Mahoney, as the name implies, was an Irishman, born in Erin on the 'Emerald Isle,' emigrated to the United States about the time of the Civil War and served in the Union Army, from New York. After the war, he and a few comrades founded a bakery business in Chicago. Later, he sold his interest in the business, went to Bunker Hill, Dussell County, Kansas and bought a farm, with a house built of lime stone rock, quarried from the hills of the Smoky Hill River. The house now stands north of highway No. 40, midway between Bunker Hill and Dorrance. Jeremiah Mahoney lived on that farm the remainder of his life and it was there his four sons, Ed., Mark, John and Thos. E., the youngest, the subject of this sketch, grew to manhood. He will be Tom Mahoney from here.

In the late 80's and early 90's, custom threshing was considered a poor business because so many failed in it. For that reason, Jeremiah Mahoney advised his sons not to buy a steam thresher but they disregarded his advice and bought a Gaar-Scott steam rig of Sam Roe, a local dealer. in 1889. Self feeders and wind stackers were in the future. Mahoney Bros. did well that fall and earned enough to pay for the machinery. They paid two-thirds of it and bought land with the remainder. Their buying of land with part of their earnings that year, continued to be the policy of Mahoney Bros, and accounted for their large holdings of land in Russell County.

Tom Mahoney, when on other business in Kansas City, called at Avery Company's Branch. The company quickly followed the lead by sending Frank Averill, a high class salesman, to see Mahoney Bros. and he sold them a complete Avery steam rig, in 1898. They were so successful with it Tom Mahoney bought and operated nothing but Avery machinery as long as Avery Company did business.

The sale proved a good one for Avery Company, not because the machinery was paid for but what later resulted from it.

In 1899, Mahoney Bros, bought the second Avery return flue engine and separator and operated two rigs- - two brothers being with each rig. Tom Mahoney went to the factory in 1905 and bought two 30hp. under mounted engines from the blue prints, the only 30's built that year. The brothers operated two rigs a few years longer and all but Tom, the mechanical end of the combination, quit custom threshing.