The History of the Whitelaw Company of Woodstock, Ontario, Canada


| January/February 1975



Unusual tractor

This unusual tractor is an Imperial gas 35 x 70 H. P. four cylinder horizontal opposed engine.

Verle A. Marsaa

Burgessville, Ontario Canada

One thhing much different from other big tractor is that it has four exhaust pipes, one for each cylinder. This giant weighs eleven tons and was built in 1912 by Valentine Brothers Manufacturing Company of Minneapolis, Minnestoa. The proud owner of this tractor is John Messner of Sanborn, North Dakota. It was bought new by John's father with a 36 x 58 Red River Special thresher. It was never used for field work except for threshing only. It always has been kept in a shed and kept in good mechanical shape by its owner. The last few years it has been a real big attraction at Central North Dakota Steam Threshers in New Rockford, North Dakota. It can be seen in action each fall with its owner doing some threshing daily. No restoring was needed for the fine running tractor. Courtesy of Verle A. Marsaa, New Rockford, North Dakota, 58356  

We thank Mrs. M. B. Harrison, President of Whitelaw Machinery Company Limited for permission to publish the Whitelaw History.

The Whitelaw Co. was one of the pioneer companies of the Woodstock area. Some readers may ask, where is this city of Woodstock located? I will give a short history of the city and county where it is situated.

Woodstock is the county seat of Oxford County. It is located about midway between London and Hamilton. The first white settler on this site was in 1798. This area was rather slow to attract settlers because of the density of the forest. This area was all very heavily wooded and before any grain or hay could be grown they had to clear the land, and this must have been a real problem. There were millions of feet of the very best lumber that was burnt, and then the stumps had to be pulled out. Acre by acre the land was eventually cleared.

The early settlers soon realized that soil that would grow a dense forest was very fertile and it would grow good crops of corn, grain, potatoes etc. It was this type of soil that Oxford County was composed of, and today it is a very rich and productive County.