THE BIG FOUR TRACTORS


| September/October 1980



Big Four Tractor

108 Garfield Avenue, Madison, New Jersey 07940

Monticello is a town in southeastern Utah at the foot of the Blue Mountains. It was first inhabited by roving bands of Indians. It wasn't until 1880 that Texas cattlemen discovered the tall native grasses which provided valuable food that would fatten their cows before they were sent to market. In 1887 a group of Mormons moved from Bluff, Utah, to the foothills of the Blue Mountains, and Monticello became an established community.

The Emerson Brantingharn Big Four Tractor, Model 1912, shown here was originally purchased in 1913 by the San Juan Arid Farms, Inc., at a cost of $4,000. It was used for sage brush clearing, plowing, threshing and many other jobs on a dry farm located 12 miles east of Monticello in the rolling fields between Montezuma Creek and Coal Bed Canyon.

It was shipped by the manufacturer over the Denver, Rio Grande & Western Railroad to Alamosa, Colorado, where it was transfered to the narrow gauge (36') cars of the Rio Grande's San Juan Extension for the trip through the mountains to Cortez. The last 60 miles to Monticello it was under its own power over dirt roads.

There are only three 'Big Four' tractors remaining in the United States and this one is the only one west of the Mississippi River. In 1962 the Monticello Chamber of Commerce, with the assistance of other civic clubs, including the local Lions Club, purchased and restored this tractor to its present operating condition and have placed it on permanent display in the community park.