THE STORY OF GEORGE KOPF


| July/August 1961



20 hp Russell

Here's Engineer Ben threshing on the farm of Vic Schoen wetter in 1931 in North-central Iowa with a 20 hp Russell back in the 'good old days' of steam.

Salina, Kansas

One afternoon, early in the 1914 threshing season, I went to Avery Company's Kansas City Branch, where I happened to meet Geo. and Joe Kopf of Beverly, Kansas. Beverly is 35 miles northwest of Salina and was on my Block but I had never met either Geo. or Joe Kopf.

The House Salesman had worked on the Kopf sale, had failed to close it and they were leaving the office, when I arrived there. Upon being informed Geo. and Joe Kopf were on my block, seeing no time could be lost and save the sale, I hastily approached them and within about 20 minutes, sold them a fully equipped 36-60 Avery Separator.

The years passed and in 1923, Geo. and Joe Kopf were in the market for a separator. Their Avery had served them well and they went to Avery Company's Salina Sub-Branch to buy a separator but after dickering much of the day and half the night, did not buy an Avery. Geo. and Joe came to my room at 1 o'clock in the morning of June 4th, 1923 and I sold them a 36-60 Nichols & Shepard steel separator, with Hart belt and bucket weigher, wind stacker and Ruth crankshaft feeder. That Ruth was popular in the headed wheat belt.

The wheat crop was not good on my Block in 1923 and Nichols & Shepard Co. inquired , if I would like to go north for a short time, to which I replied, it would please me and I was instructed to report to the Minneapolis Branch. I arrived there ahead of schedule, Business was poor at that branch too, but I was there six weeks before returning to Salina. Things were quiet on my Block. It had long been my practice to visit my customers and I had not seen Kopf's separator in operation before going north. I decided to drive to Kopf's separator. It was an unfortunate decision, one for which, I ever since have been sorry and will be to the end of my life.

I drove to within about 40 rods of Kopf's machine on an east and west road. A light wind blew from the north and the straw was being blown south. The old 30-60 Oil Pull was drumming away about 200 yards south of the road. I left the 'Model T' in the road, climbed through a wire fence and walked by the tractor to the separator. Joe Kopf was operating the tractor and Geo. the separator. They were having trouble. The grain was banking up ahead of the feeder knives and the cylinder was not taking it.