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They Restored Junked 1914 Waterloo Boy
Ten years ago, E.J. Siefker, Moran, Kan., discovered a "Waterloo Boy" tractor in a river bed in Missouri. Today the tractor sits on his farm, shiny and polished, and completely restored.
"The guy I got the tractor from said that when the river was up, it completely covered the tractor. It was in real sorry shape. That guy's father had purchased the tractor new in 1914. It hadn't been run since the early 1930s," says Siefker.
Siefker struck a deal, pulled the tractor from the riverbed, loaded it onto a trailer and transported it to his farm. There it sat for seven years, until he met Ken Kass of Dunkerton, Iowa.
Kass is a farmer who also restores three or four antique tractors a year. He restored Siefker's tractor, spending about 500 hours on the project. He completely disassembled rusty parts, sandblasted them, rebuilt or remanufactured other parts, and reassembled the tractor for delivery.
By today's standards, the tractor sports many unusual features. For instance, the Waterloo Boy has only one forward speed (about 2 mph) and one reverse speed. The tractor has chain-driven steering and it uses kerosene for fuel. Steel-spoked wheels support the tractor's weight of about 4,000 lbs.
Siefker says the model was termed a"12-24". "It was a two-cylinder model with 12 horsepower to the drawbar for operation in the field, and 24 horsepower to the bek to operate other machines such as a thresher."
Kass himself owns eight Waterloo Boys. He says the tractors sold for around $700 when built, and are probably worth $20,000 apiece today. He estimates that 200 to 250 Waterloo Boys still exist.
The Waterloo Boy Co. of Waterloo, Iowa, began building tractors in 1914. In 1918, John Deere purchased the company.
"The Waterloo Boy was the first tractor Deere ever marketed, but they marketed it under the name Waterloo Boy," explains Kass. "A later Waterloo Boy tractor did carry the name John Deere on an oval emblem in front of the frame, along with the Waterloo Boy name in larger letters, but by that time Deere was selling its own tractors."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, EJ. Siefker, Rt. 2, Box 81, Moran, Kan. 66755 (ph 316 237-4486).

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1989 - Volume #13, Issue #3