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Trips to Hey Machinery at Baldwin City

gleaner

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There have been a couple links about Hey Machinery of Baldwin City, Kansas in the "F Rumely Restoration" thread. Several of us have posted in that Thread about Hey Machinery at Baldwin City, Kansas. Dan Crist asked me about posting about our trip there with Harold Ottaway. Harold has been gone for over 15 years now and he is now very much a part of our Collecting history as is the machinery.

I needed some 4 legged frogs to replace the two legged ones on my early Advance Steam engine. I asked Harold Ottaway and he said go to Hey Machinery at Baldwin City. "behind the Fordson building there is a tree and there is a pile of frogs and hand hole plates there". So I went up to Baldwin City and went into the office and a man was setting behind a lonely looking desk in the far end of the office. I introduced myself and said I needed hand hole frogs. The man said in a rather testy way "who told you we had any"? I said "Harold Ottaway to me to stop and see you". The man's disposition changed drastically and he said " Oh well if you are a friend of Harolds go out back and see if there is anything that will work for you". That was my introduction to the Hey Brothers. I found about a dozen frogs that would work for me and I bought them.

Then Harold would plan trips for us to go there twice a year. We would usually meet Dan Crist there. The Hey brothers were rather withdrawn and you had to know how to deal with them or you might not even be allowed to look around. We would each dig for stuff and put a pile together then just before lunch Bill Hey would come out back and look at each pile and tell us what he wanted for the pile. I remember once that Dan Crist had a pile and Bill said "I'll take $40 for that pile" then he went to Harolds pile and said "I want $60 for that pile". Harold jumped Bill and said "$60? but Crist pile is only $40". Bill retorted back "Your pile is bigger"! Harold was just teasing Bill and he knew it and was giving it right back. From that day on we always joshed each other about making sure we packed our piles to be smaller that the other guys.

In my collection of literature I have a Hey Machinery list of parts tractors from the 1930's there are 40-80 Averys 30-60 Hart Parrs and tons of others.

When Harold and I would come home Harold would say as we left Baldwin City "Well I don't think we need to come back, we got all the good stuff now". By the time we got to Emporia to stop and eat supper he would say "You know there are a couple of nice sunflower gears down by that tree Southeast of the Fordson building that we should go get in the spring". So before we got home the next trip was planned.

We would take spades and dig in the ground because on the east side of the fordson building there were piles of gears along the building and years and years of tree leaves falling those gears were now 2-3 feet deep.

Well enough of my stories for now. I hope Dan Crist will chime in and tell about his finds there. If he lies I will post again and correct him :>)
 

Rick Trotnic

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Last Subscription Date
01/05/2019
Gleaner, Can you remember how the story goes as how they got the railroad car loads of fence post? I hauled several loads of parts out of there also after I had went to the auction. Did any of you guys buy any complete tractors at that time or was it just parts that they were selling? I have more stories to tell later about this place. Thanks, Rick
 

Russ Hamm

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Age
61
Last Subscription Date
10/12/2024
It would be good to know what time frame these trips were also, thanks for the story. The only stories I would
have of similar would be Art's speed shop and Goodmans' shopping trips form the 70's -80's.
 

gleaner

Registered
I don't know where the 30-60 Russell went but I am sure Crist knows.

There was one building that they would never allow anyone into and I don't know anyone who ever got in there. But Bill said it was full of magnetos and brass. Someone ended up with that stuff but I have never heard a peep about who. I bought a couple 5 gallon buckets full of NOS spark plugs and several Phillips 66 cans of grease, I'll bet there were 100 of those cans full of grease in a steel bin.
 

Oilpulled

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Last Subscription Date
12/20/2015
I don't know where the 30-60 Russell went but I am sure Crist knows.

There was one building that they would never allow anyone into and I don't know anyone who ever got in there. But Bill said it was full of magnetos and brass. Someone ended up with that stuff but I have never heard a peep about who. I bought a couple 5 gallon buckets full of NOS spark plugs and several Phillips 66 cans of grease, I'll bet there were 100 of those cans full of grease in a steel bin.
I rode to the area with David Shearns in about 1973 in his 1949 Ford with a trailer to get a 12-20 K Oilpull from a salvage yard in Kansas City. The lady sold the K because it had no cylinder head. We loaded the K on the trailer and David asked the lady to give us a car ride to Baldwin City where she watched him buy the cylinder head for the K which she had wanted but was not aware of it. There were lots of parts like cylinder heads for big Moguls and Titans there.
While in the area we went to the part of Kansas City where there were many branch houses still with signage for many of the old machinery companies like Port Huron, Gaar Scot, Aultman Taylor, Advance Rumely etc. That was my only trip there and I didn't have a truck yet.
 

Rick Trotnic

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/05/2019
There was one building that they would never allow anyone into and I don't know anyone who ever got in there. But Bill said it was full of magnetos and brass. Someone ended up with that stuff but I have never heard a peep about who. I bought a couple 5 gallon buckets full of NOS spark plugs and several Phillips 66 cans of grease, I'll bet there were 100 of those cans full of grease in a steel bin.
[/QUOTE]
I got all of the Phillips cans what was in that bin over 100 i'm sure, The shed you are talking about I was in there also no magnetos at that time but a lot of stuff was still there. but I got about 150 new saw blades for the ottawa motors out of one of those shed, this all took place after the auction Thinking 2013 or 2014
 

joeab

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Last Subscription Date
01/24/2020
There was one building that they would never allow anyone into and I don't know anyone who ever got in there. But Bill said it was full of magnetos and brass. Someone ended up with that stuff but I have never heard a peep about who. I bought a couple 5 gallon buckets full of NOS spark plugs and several Phillips 66 cans of grease, I'll bet there were 100 of those cans full of grease in a steel bin.
I got all of the Phillips cans what was in that bin over 100 i'm sure, The shed you are talking about I was in there also no magnetos at that time but a lot of stuff was still there. but I got about 150 new saw blades for the ottawa motors out of one of those shed, this all took place after the auction Thinking 2013 or 2014
[/QUOTE]
I was there last spring and got a small pile of parts case 9-10/18 head and manifolds,head for 25/45 and some other stuff.
They had sold the property on the east side to the baldwin city feed Co. It was all to be cleaned upIMG_5446.JPG
 

Attachments

LukeSte

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Last Subscription Date
07/17/2019
Gleaner was your rumely 1217 that is in dan,s attachment? Funny they would list stuff if not for sale... or was it all for sale "for the right price"
 

gleaner

Registered
Gleaner was your rumely 1217 that is in dan,s attachment? Funny they would list stuff if not for sale... or was it all for sale "for the right price"
No. My E came from Lindsburg, Kansas in 1964.

There were two Minneapolis steam engines in a building that was all open to the west. When it would rain those engines would be standing in over a foot of water. We never tried to buy anything that was complete as at that time the Hey's let it be known that only parts were for sale, and even then don't just send people over. At this time the Hey's were more interested in building wheels for grain carts and combines than selling antique tractors.

Thanks joeab, I always wondered what happened to all those grease cans in the grain bin. I did get alot of spark plugs out of that bin.
 

gleaner

Registered
Picture ! is Harold Ottaway looking through the remains between buildings. Picture 2 is Harold Ottaway and a much younger and slimmer me putting a pile together in the "alley way". Picture 3 is a load on Crist trailer, as you can see Dan always got the cream while Ottaway and I got the left overs.:)
Those were good times.

To answer your question I believe the parts business started in the 20's. There were literally tons of Threshing machine shafts and pulleys in that area of picture 1. Several wood threshing machines had rotted down into piles of steel along the north fence.

Back to picture 3 above I now realize why when it is cold I have back problems as I think I dug over 1/2 that load out of the ground for Dan Crist and as I recall I didn't even get lunch out of the guy!
 
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