STOCKTON - The Leader tractor is featured at this year's Chautauqua County Antique Equipment Show at Stockton this weekend on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This little-known tractor was made in small numbers by a father and son, Lewis and Walter Brockway in Auburn, Ohio, from 1940 to 1949. The Brockways continued to make similar tractors under their own name in Bedford, Ohio, until 1959.
There is a national association of Leader collectors and it is holding its national gathering and show in conjunction with the Chautauqua County Antique Equipment Show this year.
Despite its small production figures and lack of advertising or distribution, the reputation and demand for the Leader tractor reached this area. In an interview Aug. 8 in Busti, Sugar Grove resident Paul Hultberg told about his father and uncle making a special trip to Ohio to bring back a Leader for their several hundred acre operation around Chandlers Valley in 1947. The two men arrived home with the tractor late in the day. Young Paul immediately hooked the new tractor to a set of drags and fitted a large fresh plowed field all night so corn could be planted the next day.
Antique cars featured at last year’s Antique Equipment Show in Stockton.
Though small, the new tractor was powerful, modern, and efficient. It had electric start and headlights, both a belt pulley and power take off, hydraulics and a three point hitch. The Hultbergs found it could pull a two bottom 12-inch plow or a single bottom 14-inch plow and even power a threshing machine ordinarily turned by a much larger tractor. Their main complaint was it had a rather small fuel tank. They kept the tractor five or six years.
The Antique Equipment Show is held at the Association grounds on Cemetery Road, Stockton and includes a host of features, museum and demonstration buildings, parades, pulls, and games, and exhibits besides the main attraction of tractors and stationary engines.
Food will be offered both by the Equipment Association and by guest vendors. The Association will offer a biscuit, sausage, and gravy breakfast while the Maple Producers of the Chautauqua Region will serve a pancake and syrup breakfast at their building starting at 8 a.m. For the rest of the day there will be hot dogs, hamburgers, sloppy joes, ice cream, pop, coffee, Philly steak sandwiches, fried dough, cotton candy and kettle corn available. The Stockton Volunteer Fire Company will put on a chicken barbecue Friday afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at noon. The Stockton Citizens Organization for Renewal and Expansion will have bake sale items including cookies, pie by the piece, cakes and more.
Visitors can eat comfortably this year at the new picnic pavilion. The pavilion will also be the location for an 8:30 a.m. Sunday religious song and worship service featuring Mary and Gordon Carlberg
Another new feature in progress will be a line shaft and belt powered machine shop. The blacksmith shop, expanded print shop, and old time gas station will be open and operating throughout the show. There is also an engine house with large oil field and industrial engines which will be started intermittently. The museum building features household and domestic displays and active demonstrations. Antique machinery from the Association's own collection and the large electrical insulator collection will be on view in the Dale E. Nickerson Building. Permanent restrooms in that building have been upgraded. There is an equipment related flea market on the grounds.
Other curiosities and demonstrations will be scattered over the grounds. These include such items as a windmill, stone crusher, stationary baler (hay press), operating threshing machine, shingle making, and industrial cord weaving machine. Gerald Nelson, nationally recognized expert on early local firearms makers, will have his prize winning display of Chautauqua County guns and gun making tools and history on the grounds.
The Old Dawg Bluegrass band will play on the grounds from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday at no extra charge.
Admission is $5 per day for adults, children under 14 free, senior rate $3 on Friday. Parking is free.