Rollin’s oliver hart-parr tractor


The Oliver Hart-Parr & Charles Dewitt Vandever     The model year of this tractor is 1933. The model designation “18-28” indicates that the tractor developed 18 horsepower at the drawbar and 28 horsepower on the belt pulley. The tractor was originally designed to run on kerosene. The tractor was started on gasoline and then switched over to kerosene.

Charles Dewitt Vandever bought this tractor new from the factory. It was shipped from the Oliver factory in Charles City, Iowa and arrived in Neodesha in 1934 on the Frisco Railway (the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway) on a flatcar with two other tractors. The Oliver was then hauled by horses and wagon approximately 19 miles to the Vandever farm in Oxbow Bend.  

The tractor was used in farming operations in Oxbow Bend and on the Clear Creek farm until about 1940. The farm lands were then leased to Mr. Les Wells. Mr. Wells preferred Allis Chalmers equipment and the Oliver was relegated to storage in the granary. The Oliver could pull a four bottom moldboard plow even in heavy bottom land soil, but at a pace that you could easily match walking. In the days of pull type combines, if a combine and its tractor got stuck in wet ground, the Oliver was recalled to active duty. The combination of wide steel wheels, large lugs and heavy weight coupled with excellent low end torque, made it an ideal recovery vehicle.

In 1948 Rollin “Red” Vandever returned to the farm and used the Oliver for several years. At that time the Oliver was “modernized” with a generator and lights for night operations. The Oliver was replaced with a Massey Harris Model 44 tractor in 1952 and once again was placed in storage in various outbuildings and implement sheds in Oxbow Bend. Ross B. Vandever, the younger brother of Red Vandever got the old Oliver started and running for a brief time in the late 1970s.

Years later it was decided by the Vandever Heirs to restore the Oliver to its former glory.  The tractor was specifically restored in loving memory of our beloved father and uncle as a tribute to his memory and in recognition of his special skills as a kind and gracious counselor for a number of nieces and nephews, as a farmer and rancher, a community leader and a devoted husband and father.

The Vandever Heirs loaned the restored Oliver to the Wilson County Old Iron Club in 2012 to be displayed in the C. Rollin “Red” Vandever Memorial Park.

The Vandever Heirs are:

Christina Vandever Alexander, daughter of C. Rollin Vandever

James Vandever, son of Ross B. Vandever

William Vandever, son of Ross B. Vandever

Linda Vandever Maxwell, daughter of Ross B. Vandever

Laura Vandever Bingham, daughter of Ross B. Vandever

Susan Vandever Martin, daughter of Thelma Vandever Hammond (C. Rollin Vandever’s sister)

Weldon W. Hammond Jr., son of Thelma Vandever Hammond

The remarkable restoration paint and body work was performed by Mr. Kenny Earman, Mount Pleasant, Texas.

Rollin Vandever’s Oliver Hart-Parr tractor has found a home on the show grounds!  His nephew, Weldon Hammond of Texas, had the tractor restored.  This tractor was delivered new to Charles Dewitt Vandever, Rollin’s father, by rail car and horse and wagon, and never left Wilson Co. until it was restored.

Charles Dewitt Vandever

A Brief Oliver Hart-Parr History    In 1929, Oliver Chilled Plow, Hart-Parr, American Seeding Machine, and Nichols & Shepard merged to form the Oliver Farm Equipment Corporation. The first Oliver tractor was the 18-28 introduced in 1930.  The tractors carried the name Oliver Hart Parr for only a few years until a new line of tractors was introduced, which bore only the name “Oliver”.


The Oliver Hart-Parr at work!