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Emerald Reflections Online

Table of Contents - September 2003

You are viewing the electronic version of Emerald Reflections,
the monthly publication of the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin

A Tale of Two Henrys and Their Tractors

Milwaukee St. Patrick's Day Parade 2003

Parade Entrants Winners

Shamrock Club of Rock County

Fox Cities Shamrock Club

Dane County Shamrock Club

Hallamór Series Concert#1: The Fureys and Davey Arthur

Celtic Women International First Friday Lectures Thru December

Hurling Club Update

Introductory Irish Set Dance Class

Shamrock Club Scholarship Recipients

Shamrock Club Color Guard Pipes and Drums News and Notes

St. Patrick's Help Fund

Welcome New Members

Milwaukee Calendar of Events

Wisconsin Calendar of Events

A Tale of Two Henrys and Their Tractors

by Brian Witt

Henry "Harry" Ferguson was an inventor who was constantly tinkering and trying new things. In the course of his life, he helped to revolutionize the design of the tractor, helped revive an American automobile company's farm implements sales, and had his name become known worldwide. Henry Ford was the son of emigrants from Cork who revolutionized automobile manufacturing. Together, these sons of Erin formed a strong alliance and helped change the way the world was farmed.

Harry Ferguson was born at Growell, near Hillsborough, Co. Down, on November 4, 1884. In 1902, he joined his brother Joe in a car and bicycle repair business in Belfast, and in 1904 began to race motorcycles. In 1909, at Hillsborough, he made the first powered flight in Ireland, traveling 130 meters in a monoplane he had built. He later drove racing cars, and helped to establish the famous Ulster Tourist Trophy races in 1928. Ferguson formed his own motor business in 1911, and during World War I began to sell tractors to Irish farmers accustomed to horse-drawn plows. With the revolutionary concept that tractor and plow should be designed as a unit, Ferguson began to register his own patents.

Irish-American car maker Henry Ford started building automobiles in Ireland almost from the start of his company's founding in 1903. An early model prototype tractor was completed in 1907. It was instead referred to as an "automobile plow," and, in fact, used many parts from the Ford line of cars in order to cut development and production costs. It would be nearly a decade later before production would start on the first viable commercial model, the Fordson Model F. As work proceeded, and it became clear that the Ford Motor Company and its directors were completely unwilling to produce a tractor, Henry Ford set up an independent company to build and market the machine. The Fordson Model F was rolled out in 1917 in limited production in Cork, and scaled up to mass production in 1918 to meet the urgent need for tractors by the British government, due to the loss of farm laborers in England and Ireland during World War I. When Ford assumed sole control of Ford in 1920, the Henry Ford & Son Company was rolled into the Ford Motor Company, but the Fordson name was kept.

The Fordson was revolutionary first and foremost because it was a smaller design than many of the tractors produced by other companies at the time. The smaller design of the Fordson allowed the tractor to be affordable and easy to produce. The engine, transmission, and axle housings were all bolted together to form the basic structure of the tractor. As a result of this, the machine could be sold at a much lower price, affordable to average farmers. Just as Ford had brought the car to the middle class through assembly line production, the tractor was now also within reach. The Fordson tractors were produced in Cork, and later in Degeham, England. This would prove to be costly for Ford down the road, as all tractors sold in the United States were at least three thousand miles away from the factories.

Harry Ferguson was also producing tractors during this period. He developed a plow suitable to Fordson line tractors, model F. His very first system was made of springs and levers. In 1925, with Eber and George Sherman, he founded, ironically, in the United States, the Ferguson-Sherman Corporation in Detroit, which produced a plow with the "Duplex hitch" system suitable to Fordson line tractors. In 1926, the principal patent of the Ferguson system - hydraulic regulation of the working depth of the various implements linked to the tractor - was granted. He made his first Ferguson hydraulic system for his Ferguson-Black prototype tractor of which David Brown had made the differential gear and transmission. In 1933 he founded with Brown the Ferguson-Brown Co., where around 1350 Ferguson-Brown tractors, model A, equipped with the Ferguson hydraulic system, were produced. Henry Ford offered Ferguson a job, but he preferred his independence. In time, the system would change the face of agriculture, but commercial success proved elusive.

By the middle of the 1930s, Fordson sales had all but died in the United States. The cost of importing them was the largest issue. In 1938, Ferguson met with Henry Ford and a so called "gentleman's agreement" was struck in order to produce Ferguson system tractors. The deal was sealed with only a handshake. Henry Ford's reputation was therein involved as well as an important part of his financial resources. As for Harry Ferguson, his patents were his most important contribution. Through the Harry Ferguson Inc. Corporation, he sold tractors and parts of equipment, among which Ferguson-Sherman Inc., produced several. At that time, Ford 9N tractors (1939-1942) and Ford 2N tractors (1942-1947) were being sold. The tractor contributed enormously to wartime food production, but Ferguson's real hope was to raise living standards throughout the world. "Agriculture should have been the first industry to be modernized, not the last", Ferguson said in 1943.

Henry Ford died of the effects of a stroke in 1946. It was reported that he suffered it upon viewing footage of the death camps of Nazi Germany. Ford was a staunch anti-Semite, and had for years said that stories of atrocities were in effect fairy tales. Towards the end of 1946, Henry Ford's grandson, Henry Ford II, advised Ferguson that the agreement would be ending on June 30, 1947.

The moment Ford Motor Co. started to sell its own newly named tractor, model 8N, Harry Ferguson countered by filing a suit against Ford Motor Co. and associates for an amount of $350 million, and then in negotiating with Standard Motors Co. to produce his tractor, model TE20. Harry Ferguson drove the serial # 1 tractor; model TO20 (Tractor Oversea) built in Detroit, in 1948. Tractors model TO20 and TE20 were identical except for the electrical system and transmission case.

Harry Ferguson won $9.25m compensation in 1952. In 1953 he merged with the Canadian Massey-Harris manufacturers to form Massey-Harris-Ferguson, which later became Massey-Ferguson Co. He retired from Massey Ferguson in 1954, selling out his portion of the company. After his departure, he developed through his Harry Ferguson Research enterprise, race cars and tractors. He retired to Stow-on-the-Wold, in Gloucestershire. His last ambition was to improve car safety through a four-wheel drive system and anti-lock braking, but he failed to make a commercial breakthrough. He suffered from insomnia and depression and, when he died from a drug overdose on 25 October 1960, a coroner's jury returned an open verdict.

Milwaukee St. Patrick's Day Parade 2003


Jim Keane has portrayed our St. Patrick since 1980. Jim now spends the winter months in Florida and has handed his miter over to Tom MacCleese who will assume the role of St. Patrick next year.


Shamrock Club of Wisconsin's (Milwaukee) Irishman of the Year, Tim OBrien, and Irish Rose Sharon Murphy proudly stroll the parade route.

A record crowd of 65,000 flocked to downtown Milwaukee on March 15, 2003 to enjoy the best St. Patrick's Day Parade the state of Wisconsin has ever seen. The entertainment districts of Water Street and Old World Third Street provided an idyllic setting for the event - assuring a great time was had by all - before, during, and after the parade. Milwaukee's historic downtown buildings and river walk also figured prominently and will continue to do so in the future.

As advertised, leprechauns dyed the Milwaukee River green for the first time in event history. Due to hyperborean conditions on the Milwaukee River in early March they moved the injection site to an open body of water just south of Michigan Street.

Parade planners intend to make this an annual tradition for crowds to enjoy along the river walk between Juneau Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue. 2004 may even include a currach regatta on the green river. "What's a currach regatta?" you ask. Well, come and find out!

2004 will have more "firsts," the most prominent of which will be the inaugural Shamrock Stomp 5K Run through downtown Milwaukee. Please visit for periodic updates.

Adventurer Tim Kent of Elm Grove, WI has been selected as 2004's Guest of Honor. Mr. Kent completed the Around Alone race in May 2003, skippering his 50ft Everest Horizontal solo around the world. This is an extremely rare distinction only 128 people in history have achieved. Soloing around the globe is referred to as the "Mt. Everest of Sailing." Hence the name of his boat. To illustrate just how rare this is, over 1200 people have scaled Mt. Everest. There is, perhaps, only one feat in the history of man that is more rare - walking on the moon.

Tim is "officially 150% Irish." How might this be? Tim explains, "I was adopted; my birth mother was from Ireland, my father of Danish extraction. My adoptive parents - my real parents as far as I'm concerned, as I was adopted at 6 weeks - were both Irish. So out of a possible 200%, I am 150% Irish. I even went to college for a year at University College, Cork in Cork, Ireland."

"Thank you" to everyone who made 2003 a special year. We would be remiss if we did not comment on the weather. Great job, Lord! A special "thanks" also goes out to Jim Keane, our St. Patrick since 1980. Jim now spends the winter months in Florida and has handed his miter over to Tom MacCleese who will assume the role of St. Patrick next year.

Saint Patrick will return... Saturday, March 13, 2004.

- Dan Malloy

Parade winners for 2003:

Best Unit Judge's Choice: Chicago Caledonians

Best Unit Director's Choice: Trinity Irish Dancers

Brian Boru Award (Best Irish Group): Glencastle Irish Dancers

Guest of Honor: Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan...* Archbishop Dolan was ill and unable to attend. He will participate in 2004

Neville Dunn Award (Best Marching Unit): Wisconsin National Guard Challenge Academy

Ward Irish Music Archives Award (Best Musical Group): Racine Kilties

St. Brendan Award (Best Float): Westown Association

Spirit of St. Patrick Award: Tom Riddle

Rock County

Upcoming Events

SEPT. 16: Monthly Meeting, 7 p.m. at Janesville Senior Center, 69 S. Water St.

OCT. 21: Potluck Dinner (6 p.m.) Monthly Meeting (7 p.m.)

Come to our September meeting and show your support for our new officers.

Plan now to come to our potluck dinner and meeting and bring a friend with you, they might like to join our club. This will be at our October meeting.

- Tom Kennedy

Fox Cities

September 17: Halfway to St. Pat's. at Mark's Eastside. Featuring Celtic Knot live music and Bread Smith Irish Soda Bread.

Dane County Shamrock Club


SEPT. 9: Board Meeting, Coliseum Bar, 6:15 p.m. General Meeting at 7 p.m. president, Bob Kerans presents a program on "The Irish Waterways" 7 - 8:30 p.m.


Co-presidents of the Dane County Shamrock Club, Inc., Colleen O'Meara Schams and Paul Buckalew hand over the gavel to the new president, Bob Kerans, at the summer picnic.


Colleen O'Meara Schams retired as Co-President of our club on July 8, but her enthusiasm did not diminish as she planned to continue as membership chairperson. However, the angels needed her in heaven to help with the chorus. Colleen died on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 at University Hospital in Madison following complications of cancerous multiple myeloma. Her beloved husband Albert Schams, Shamrock Club Treasurer, was at her bedside.

What did Colleen bring to the Shamrock Club? The list is endless. For the past two years she and her co-president Paul Buckalew revitalized the club through increased membership, additional membership benefits, and the affiliation with the St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee in Madison.

But more than these accomplishments, it was her devotion to being Irish. As quoted in her obituary "she acknowledged a bit of imperfection in herself, but fully expects to be the first Saint Colleen." Many of us now envision her leading the choir in Heaven, and knowing Colleen, they better be in key!!

Another important part of Colleen's life was being a world traveler. She had been to over 140 countries. One of her most memorable trips in the 1970s, when she was single, involved an effort to visit troubled Northern Ireland. On her first attempt arriving by auto, she was turned back at the border because she was an American Irish Catholic. Later, deciding to go by train, she found herself seated next to a woman with many red-headed children. Colleen offered to help the mother by holding one of her babies. All the mothers in the train car ignored the conductor when he asked for passports, including Colleen, enabling her to enter Northern Ireland.

All the members of the Club were enriched by being with Colleen - to know her was to love her. She was an unselfish dedicated person who did not seek honors for herself but took pleasure in the results of her efforts. We shall miss her radiant smile and her lovely Irish ways.

- Paul Buckalew, past co-president

Hallamór Concert #1


Friday, September 12, 2003

The opening act in the Fall 2003 Hallamór Concert Series will be the Fureys, George and Eddie, along with lifelong friend and former band member Davey Arthur. Rounding out the group will be Derek McCormack, Morley Mooney, and Stephen Leech. They are celebrating their 25th Anniversary on this concert tour around the world. The Fureys are responsible for some of the most stirring and familiar music heard over the years such as Clare to Here, Steal Away, and When You Were Sweet Sixteen. Some of their most famous admirers include Australian Prime Minister John Howard, Irish President Mary McAleese, Pope John Paul, and Tony Blair proclaims Green Fields of France as his favorite "peace song."

Concert: 8:00 p.m.
Opening Act: 7:00 p.m.
Individual tickets:
$19, advance, reserved / $21 at the door
Irish Cultural and Heritage Center of Wisconsin
2133 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233
(414) 345-8800

For season tickets or individual concert information, please call the Center at (414) 345-8800.

- Gwen Sisk, Publicist

Celtic Women International
First Friday Lectures


The Fall schedule for First Friday Lectures has been completed. Everyone is welcome to these wonderful, gentle sessions. Scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center, you may also enjoy a cup of tea and biscuits. Admission is only $5. Members, non-members, men, women - all are very welcome. We hope to see you there.

Sept. 5, 2003 Topic: "Memories of Celtic Miners in Southwest Wisconsin" Speaker: Carol McLernon. As a child, Carol grew up next to a ghost town in the area of lead mining. She learned how to drive a team of oxen and has many stories to tell of the Cornish and Irish miners who settled in the area. She has also written several children's books about those years.

Oct. 3, 2003 Topic: "Stuart Twilight: The Romance of Bonnie Prince Charlie." Speaker: Eugenia Brown, Ph.D., historian, teaches at Carroll College in Waukesha, History Dept. Musical accompaniment by Beth and Charlie Johnson, leaders of the Stone Ring musical group and aficionados of Scottish and Irish folklore.

Nov. 7, 2003 Topic: "My Life with Cherish The Ladies" Speaker: Joanie Madden, President Cherish the Ladies. Joanie will speak to us from 5:45 - 6:15 p.m. sharp. The band CTL will perform in concert later that evening in the Hallamór. This is a unique opportunity to hear the leader of the band speak to us in person rather than from the stage. All members of her group are honorary members of Celtic Women International. Don't miss this one! (Admission to concert is separate).

Dec. 5, 2003 Topic: Celtic Women Christmas Celebration. Speaker: None featured; Craft artisans will explain their creations on display. Bring your favorite Christmas treat to share. Music by the Psaltery group led by C.C. Westgaard.

- Jean Bills, founder, Celtic Women International

Hurling Club Update

Final Standings of
Regular 10 Week Season

Guinness Division:
McBob's 7-3
The Harp 5-5
Derry Hegarty's 5-5
Axel's 5-5

Harp Division:
County Clare 6-4
Shamrock Club 6-4
Hanley's 4-6
Milwaukee Ale House 2-8

Playoffs to follow:
County Clare vs. Shamrock Club
The Harp vs. McBob's

- Matt Larsen

Introductory Irish Set Dance Class

Set dancing continues to be a highly popular activity in Ireland, the States and elsewhere. In the Milwaukee area classes are held regularly, offering newcomers and those with just a bit of experience the opportunity to learn and enjoy. The next class series will begin on Tuesday, September 16 at O'Donoghue's Irish Pub.

Classes will continue for eight weeks and run from 6:30 until 7:30 p.m. These classes provide a foundation in traditional set dancing with an emphasis on footwork and style. Prior dance experience is not required. You need not come with a partner. Owing to the popularity of the recent classes, class size will be limited, so it is important to register in advance. The fee for this series (eight classes) is $20.

O'Donoghue's Irish Pub is located at 13225 Watertown Plank Road in Elm Grove.

For more information please visit the Milwaukee Set Dance web site at www. A registration form is available for download. Or contact Julie (414 321-3521 or email: jpuhek23@ to request a brochure or for answers to your questions.

Scholarship Recipients

The Shamrock Club of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Scholarship Recipients for 2003 were recently anounced. Five hundred dollars each were awarded to:

Janice Culver. Studying Gaelic and Irish culture this summer in Ireland through UW-Milwaukee Celtic Studies program.

John Duffey. Enrolled in History of Ireland at Duke University in fall of 2003.

Brian Hart. Graduate Program, University of Limerick, Traditional Irish Music, beginning in September 2003.

Nora O'Leary-Roseberry. Celtic Studies program through UW-Milwaukee this summer in Ireland.

All recipients are required to write a report or give our Club a presentation and volunteer for club activities upon completion of their program.

- Tim O'Brien, Chairman

Color Guard News and Notes

"Pride and Honor"

The Shamrock Club of Wisconsin's Color Guard, Pipes and Drums truly lived up to their 2003 motto - "With Pride and Honor."

August 2nd, the Unit performed honorably in the annual Sheboygan Brat Festival Parade. Irish Fest 2003 - the emotions, feelings, pride and honor, that each member of the Unit displayed, in representing the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin, their Irish heritage and the traditions and ancestory of Ireland spoke volumes of their total and loving committment to the furthering of the Irish "family/community" values.

The parades, special performances and the Irish Fest Mass in which the group participated should give our Shamrock Club members and Irish community a very warm, proud and positive feeling that the heritage, ancestory and the love of all that is Irish - is in very capable hands! We should all be proud for such "very dedicated people!"

August 24 in Muskego Fest your Shamrock Club of Wisconsin Color Guard, Pipes and Drums, followed-up by the August 30 St. Francis Days' Parade, showed the Color Guard Pipes and Drums Unit will continue to rise above any challenges presented to it - displaying with Pride and Honor - all that is Irish.

Upcoming Events

Oct. 4: Ancient Order of Hibernians Mass, followed by dinner, 5 p.m. (Sat.)
Oct. 5: Mayville Heritage Days, noon (Sun.)
Oct. 18: Sister Bay Fall Festival, 11 a.m. (Sat.)

Would you like to share, feel, and experience the feelings and emotions - Pride and Honor - of representing your Irish heritage and membership in the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin? You can honor your family, yourself, your love and respect of Ireland. Volunteer to be a banner carrier, color guard member, piper or drummer! Please contact for membership, parade, special event, family appearances:

Richard Pfeiffer, Director
Shamrock Club Color Guard, Pipes and Drums
Telephone: (414) 769-1250

- Richard Stover

St. Patrick's Help Fund

St. Patrick's Help Fund needs all kinds of non-perishable foods, and pampers. Please place in container at each meeting. However, donations can be brought to the ICHC any time during the week. It is not restricted to just meetings. A big thank you to everybody who has contributed to help the needy people at St. Patrick's. Questions? Call Katy Voss (414) 352-6479.

New Members

NOTE: Please send your dues to your Membership Chairperson in your chapter. All names and addresses are listed in Emerald Reflections.

Milwaukee - Judi Derby; Leo and Daris McLaughlin; Alicia Noonan.

Membership Report >Milwaukee Chapter:

June: 32 memberships up for renewal, 23 paid, 9 dropped for nonpayment.

July: 27 memberships up for renewal, 18 paid, 9 due.

August: 114 memberships up for renewal, 10 paid, 104 due.

Wisconsin vs. Michigan State football game, November 15: Game time has not been announced. Tickets are $44 per person (game ticket $28, bus $16). We will have beer, soda, snacks on bus. If you're interested please let me know soon.

- Tom Smith, (414) 384-4119