Hart-Parr tractor and Red River Special in 1915. The place is 5 miles south of Bloomfield, Montana. Owned by Bontreger & Boutelle, Bloom field. Montana. See Mr. Montreger's letter, I Remember.
WAS CERTAINLY INterested to see the picture of the vertical Westinghouse engine in the last issue of the ALBUM, because I saw that outfit along the trail between Miles City and Cohagen when I was driving through there from Miles to my homestead 12 miles southwest of Cohagen on Little Dry Creek.
I was traveling in the 1914 Model T shown in the picture enclosed.
Sorry I do not remember what year it was, but must have been 1916 or later as we bought that car in the summer of 1916, after we had bought a used outfit consisting of a 30-60 Old Reliable Hart-Parr, a 32-54 Red River Special separator, an 8-14 bottom John Deere plow with both stubble and sod bottoms and a 7' packer.
We operated as Bontreger and Boutelle, starting in the fall of '15, threshing around Bloomfield, Montana.
In the spring of '16 we plowed about 500 acres of both old and new ground around Bloomfield and then threshed around there in the fall until after we had zero weather with a snow storm.
In the spring of '17 we plowed around Bloomfield until near June, then drove the complete outfit to our homestead, a distance of 125 miles across the divide between the Yellowstone and Missoura Rivers.
It took us a week because we got caught in a heavy rain and had to wait several days before the ground was again solid enough so we could travel.
Not many bridges then and we had to ford the small streams.
I remember coming up one creek bank the drivers dug in and we were stuck. We had a cedar log for just such cases and tied it across in front of the drivers to lift the tractor out of the hole, but it was in so deep that when we pulled the clutch in, the front end would raise up.
We also had a length of heavy cable so dug a hole about four feet deep and about 30 feet in front of the tractor, stuck the cedar log in there and looped the center of the cable around the log which we called a Dutchman, and fastened each end of the cable to a driver after passing it over the front axle, then when we pulled the clutch in the cables held the front end down and the Old Reliable pulled itself out. Then we used a long chain and pulled the rest of the machinery through the creek.
Since this was about 70 miles from a railroad and town of any size we often had to do things to keep the wheels rolling that you would not think of doing here and now.
For instance, on this same Ford we once burned out a connecting rod bearing while away out of town. Crankshaft bearing on a Model T is 1 and three-sixteenths inches but all I could find was a piece of 11/8' shaft. I took the piston and connecting rod out, cleaned it good, mudded it good, ready for pouring. I had some extra babbit, so I built a sage brush fire and melted the babbit in my frying pan that I regularly used to fry my eggs and potatoes. Had to scrape and dress the bearing down until it fitted the 1 and three-sixteenths inch shaft nicely and the Model T ran O.K. for several months before we replaced it with a standard part, in fact I made a vacation trip over to Minot, North Dakota with that rod in, just before I enlisted in the Army in August '17.
While I was in the Army in France I helped to thresh some wheat but that is another story that I wrote about in a former issue several years ago.
Mr. Peterson mentions an Avery separator but the Yellow Fellow of that time was an all wood frame machine with a long steel tube from the blower pipe down to the frame and it looks like a Case in the picture.
Started threshing in 1905 and did not miss until 1925 except the two years that I spent in the Army and even then had about an hour in France one evening.