Sunday Stories: Armstrong Implement

Excerpted from the Sutherland Centennial 1891 – 1991, published in 1991.

James (Jimmie) Armstrong owned and operated an Allis-Chalmers Implement Company in Sutherland for more than twenty years.

Mr. Armstrong was the proud owner of an airplane that he used in his implement business to deliver repair parts to his customers who lived in the Sandhills. Jimmie was not a pilot, so he hired several people to pilot the plane on these deliveries. J.M. (Marion) McKinley, Claire Sherman, and Irvin Brownell were the three gentlemen who were hired to be the pilots. Whoever was available at the time was selected.

Marion McKinley related one incident that transpired when he was piloting the plane to Diamond Bar to deliver parts. Jim Flannigan and of course, Jimmie Armstrong, were along. As there was no landing strip on any of the ranches, the pilot was to ascertain the area that looked to be the smoothest on which to land and take off. This particular time an area chosen and they landed with no problem. When it was time to leave, the area chosen was none too long… they were rapidly approaching the lake and all three on board were becoming very nervous and concerned. Marion said he gave the plane all the power it had and just as they were about to enter the water, the plane began to lift just enough and they were slowly becoming airborne. It took quite some ime before they all began to relax a little. Marion further states that he was not again asked to pilot the plane for deliveries.

Bernard Gummere bought the Implement business from Jimmie Armstrong in September of 1957.


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