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Farmington News
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From "Doc Alders, Farmington's Lone Eagle" A Reminiscence. George Mattesich worked his Farmington ranch with a Rumley Model F OilPull. The Rumley Company of LaPorte, Indiana developed the kerosene burning OilPull. The kerosene or "coal oil" as it was called burned hotter than the boiling point of water, so oil was used as a coolant because it had a much higher boiling point. On light loads, straight kerosene was burned but on heavy loads, water was injected into the carburetor. The OilPull was the first tractor to economically burn kerosene, which was much cheaper than gasoline. He used to haul grain to the warehouse in Farmington. The model F was the one-cylinder version, which had two large flywheels to smooth out the power. George would pull two or three wagons. There was a wooden ramp at the brick warehouse. The old tractor busted through one day and was lying on its side. The wooden ramp was replaced with a dirt ramp. Moreover, there was never any more trouble. The Farmington adobe tended to collect in gobs on the iron-cleated wheels. The wheels had a small contact area with the soil and tended to sink in. That led Benjamin Holt to develop the track laying tractors with large surface areas contacting the ground.

Handcarts were used to carry the sacked wheat into the warehouse and the same handcarts carried wheat out of the warehouse and into the trains on the siding for shipment. The handcarts would tear up redwood planking. Averel (Doc) recalled that the warehouse floor was pine. He remembered the warehouse activity that was so important to Farmington when he was a lad. The community was progressive. A new brick schoolhouse was built and the old Shady Oak schoolhouse was converted to a private residence. The new school was farther out on the Farmington Road beyond the old school house. Subsequently, the shady Oak School District became the Farmington School district. Doc attended the 5th grade in the "new" brick schoolhouse in 1923.


Belated Happy Birthday to Gunter Schlange who celebrated his 82nd birthday.

A surprise birthday party was held Saturday, January 14th, for Arlie Kirkendall, hosted by Steve and Diane Wallace, to celebrate Arlie's 80th Birthday.


Please contact me if you have items for the Farmington News column. E-mail me at or phone 896-6697.