| November/December 1995

  • Oscar Oliver Cooke

  • Oscar Oliver Cooke

3100 Harrow Drive, Billings, Montana 59102.

OSCAR OLIVER COOKE, age 94, of Billings, Montana, passed away Saturday, July 29, 1995 at Glendeen Nursing Home of natural causes.

Oscar was born to Riley and Fannie Palmer Cooke on March 8, 1901, in Gueda Springs, Kansas.

As a young lad, Oscar followed his dad's threshing machine, accompanying his parents who operated the rig. His mother was cook for the threshing crews and traveled with her family throughout the area. By the age of nine, Oscar was firing his dad's steam engine during the grain threshing. When he was 16 he was farming his own small piece of land, had learned to fly, and had his own threshing crew. Oscar studied math, commerce law, and banking at the Emporia Business College in Emporia, Kansas.

During the 1920s and '30s, Oscar barnstormed around Kansas with his plane. His love for aeronautics continued and he built many air strips in the Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Montana areas and he attributed a great measure of his success to his flying background.

Oscar began in the machinery business as a salesman for Allis Chalmers in Emporia, Kansas. He continued with Allis Chalmers and was promoted to branch manager in Omaha, Nebraska. Oscar sold a trainload of Allis Chalmers combines in one day. He made 33 landings in four states to complete these sales, and, all the combines were shipped on one special train. Oscar was instrumental in the development of the Round Baler. He helped Mr. Lubben obtain copy rights to the baler and formed the mass production agreement between Mr. Lubben and Allis Chalmers. Oscar has the #1 tound baler in his collection today. While in Omaha, Nebraska, he continued in his aeronautics by putting on an air show and doing stunt flying himself.