January/February 2014 Volume 16 Issue 1
FROM THE PRESIDENT:
Hello Tractor and Engine Club Members. We are now in a new year. The 2014 Spring Show will be here before we know it. Very soon it will be time to clean off the dust from the tractors and engines and crank them up. When we hear the pop and bang of a hit and miss engine, we will know spring is really here. When the tractors are driving around the show grounds, all will be right with the world. The sun will shine and the birds will sing and flowers will bloom and the Show will go on. It will be a happy year for the EDGA & TA Branch 37.
I sent Mike Martin, the owner of the line-shaft shop, the September show video to acquaint him with our club, and I have just now received word from him that we can have the line-shaft shop. We will provide him an inventory of the items in the shop and a document for tax purposes. Please attend the January 21 meeting to be involved in the plan-making for the shop.
Jack Hutcheson, President
Thanks to the guys at Dale Crawford's shop who built two more train cars for the Tired Iron Kiddie Train. Bryan Parsons provided new, much larger, tires for the new cars and for the older cars. The new tires make a much better ride and should have fewer flats. Dale provided new axles for the modified cars. Several others provided lots of labor for the project, which also included new safety rails around the cars' seating areas.
We are scheduling a silent auction for the Spring Show. The auction in 2012 raised nearly $900. Please bring your donated items to the January, February, and March meetings and the week of the April show to be registered ahead of time. Items should be listed by Friday morning of the show if at all possible. Opportunity to bid will begin at 8 a.m. the Friday of the show and end at 3 p.m. on Saturday. If you wish to rebid during the auction, be certain to reenter your personal info and the new bid at the bottom of the column. Only the last bid on the bid sheet will be considered. Remember your personal donations and any donations you can solicit from area businesses are greatly appreciated. Several members have already mentioned nice items they intend to donate.
FOR SALE: From Jack Daugherty on Facebook:
I have a 1951 John Deere model B for sale. It is about an eight year restoration, runs great. It has been bored .045 over. It would be great for parades or tractor pulls. It has new rear tires and almost new front tires. It is a 6 volt electric start with a new battery. I am asking $5,000 for it. Call 479-524-4091.
EVENTS CALENDAR: If you notice any discrepancies, please call 479-524-0450.
January 21 Tired Iron regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m.
February 18 Tired Iron regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m.
April 18-20, 2014 Tired Iron 22nd Annual Spring Show
September 5-7, 2014 Tired Iron 23rd Annual Fall Show
Family Tractors: Used...Abused...Renewed
Johnny Burger's seventy-eight year old 1936 John Deere B has an interesting history. Our knowledge of the history of the tractor began when a man named Oscar "Kitten" Osborn from Watts, Oklahoma, was working in Calumet, Oklahoma, in the early 1960s and decided to move back to his home between Watts and Chewey, Oklahoma. He purchased the unstyled John Deere B and a four-wheel, wooden wagon in Calumet. He loaded all his possessions, his wife, and his children on the wagon, hitched it to the tractor, and started for Watts. At about five or six miles per hour, it took them three full days from daylight to dark to make it home, a distance of about 230 miles.
Bob Wiley of West Siloam, Oklahoma, bought or traded for the tractor from Kitten Osborn in the 1970s. Bob kept and used the tractor for about three years. Johnny Burger's family ties to the tractor came when his sister Odie Burger Howell and her husband Elmer traded for the tractor. Bob traded the tractor to the Howells in return for a flat-bottom, wooden boat, an automatic 22 rifle, and $200. At the time the Howells lived on property located south of Siloam Springs on Arkansas Highway 59. Odie's son, Terry "Pudd" Howell, and others rebuilt and repainted the tractor. At the time, the engine was rebuilt along with the magneto. They used the tractor to put in a garden, but soon had a broader purpose for it.
In 1979 the Howells bought an 80-acre, mountain-side property near Chester, Arkansas. When Odie and her family began building a home and developing the property, they made good use of the tractor. The main use was to pull logs to their sawmill as part of the clearing of the land. It was also used to plow and maintain a large garden and, with the attached blade, to keep up the gravel road leading to her home
About 1995 the JD was pretty much retired when the Howell's began using a little larger MF 35 and a Farmall F 12. A neighbor continually asked to purchase the tractor and finally Odie consented. After a time, the tractor sat long enough for the engine to be "stuck," as the saying goes. When this owner passed away owing a neighbor for bulldozer work, the owner's family offered the JD B for payment. This is when the "abused" label became applicable. The piston was indeed stuck, which should not have been too much of a problem. However, this owner used a much larger tractor to pull the JD while in gear to supposedly free the piston. It didn't work. He dragged the stuck tractor on several occasions until even the treads on the previously good rear tires were severely damaged.
It was during this time that Johnny asked if the fellow would sell the tractor. The guy said he would but asked an exorbitant price for it. Of course, Johnny didn't buy it. Apparently the owner continued attempting to free the piston with no luck. In the meantime Odie had passed away and Pudd, Johnny's nephew, asked if Johnny might still be interested in the tractor for a fair price. Since this had been his sister's tractor, he still wanted to get it and restore it. A short time later Pudd called and mentioned a price Johnny could accept. About April 2008, Johnny and Larry Morrison went to Chester to get the tractor. Loading the tractor was a bit of a problem, but Pudd owns, operates, and mechanics on all types of heavy equipment and had equipment to use. He had a backhoe which lifted the tractor while Johnny winched it on the trailer. The tractor was unloaded with the assistance of Johnny's Mahindra and loader.
Then the "renewed" part began. Early on, 36x12 inch rear tires were purchased from Shumaker Tire in Golden, Missouri. Now the restoration began. Johnny completely disassembled the engine to survey the damage. It was as bad as he imagined. The engine head and block were taken to Osbourn's (no relation to Kitten Osborn) Engine Machine Shop in Siloam Springs to be placed in a heated vat with chemicals to be thoroughly cleaned. The parts were closely checked for any damage. Johnny had to purchase an entire rebuild kit with new rings, gaskets, etc. The tractor was completely disassembled and the individual components were cleaned, primed, and painted. With all the other activities he was engaged in, the rebuild took several months. Finally, in late 2011 the tractor was up and running. Its first parade was on October 1, 2011, at a festival in Jay, Oklahoma, with club member Everett Howell, Odie's brother in law, driving. The classic 1936 John Deere B was now back in the family in all its former glory. The tractor was also one of those pictured on the cover of the November 25, 2013, issue of Ozark Farm & Neighbor magazine, which contained a nice article about Johnny and his Tired Iron membership.