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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

First Gasoline Tractor Arrives

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

It doesn’t seem possible, but just over 100 years ago the first gasoline tractor arrived in the Upper North Platte River Valley in south central Carbon County and probably the rest of Wyoming.

An article in the April 24, 1913 issue of the local weekly newspaper touted the event as thus:

“The horse has seen its best day when it comes to being the power ahead of the plow. The horse has been man’s best friend, and for sure work he is still, but the heavy work is being lifted from his shoulders by gasoline. The gasoline power machinery is slowly but surely taking up the heavy work.

“This week, W.M. Engleheart of Encampment, who purchased 320 acres of land from D.S. Stout on Cow Creek, shipped in the first gasoline tractor, which he will use to break up this land with. This machine will pull five plows and harrow the ground after it. It will travel at the rate of four miles per hour while pulling. The gasoline and oil consumption of this engine, for the amount of work it does in a day, is not nearly as expensive as the hay and grain for the required number of horses that would turn as much soil.

“In a very short time this power will be used to take the place of horses on all the big ranches in this valley as it has already taken the place of the plow horse on the big farms throughout the eastern states.”

Prior to 1913 the steam driven tractor pulled the plow and, of course, the faithful “plow horse.”

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