Oliver 1855 (And 1955) – A Collection of Letters and Documents
Ominously powerful engines may overheat when used at their maximum capacity; nevertheless, Oliver 1855s (and 1955s) can still be found doing their jobs hard. One neighbor has one that he uses both for chore work and planting his crops.
Goldsmith Hall at Trinity College Dublin bears his name. Furthermore, the town library bears his name.
Early Life and Education
The collection contains 20 letters, documents and printed items belonging to Paul Ambrose Oliver and Adelaide Bonnell (his niece).
In 1835, Oliver and his family left Newcastleton, Scotland for America on board an 1835 ship called “America.” Along the journey they dined on oatmeal, brown bread, and smoked bear meat – foods staples at that time!
Once in America, the Oliver family settled at Greenwood Farms near Minnieville in Prince William County; today this site serves as both a church and neighborhood park.
Oliver was active in community affairs and co-founded the National Grange of Patrons of Husbandry as an advocacy and social network for farmers. Additionally, Oliver was also an inventor; on June 30, 1857 he received his first patent for processing plow shares into an extremely hard surface.
Olive was passionate about being a doctor but could not afford the costs for training. Instead, she decided to become a nurse so she would be able to support both herself and her family financially.
Oliver was an active member of various professional institutions and bodies, regularly giving papers and addresses on scientific subjects. Additionally, he served as a guest lecturer at the University of Melbourne.
Oliver never imagined himself attending law school; initially he planned on studying industrial engineering; however, after working with union workers and managing labor relations he realized his future lay in legal matters. With an impressive list of professional accomplishments under his belt and high regard in his field – Oliver stands as proof that hard work can pay off!
Achievement and Honors
Oliver served in both the Seminole Wars and Civil War, becoming known as “The Christian General.” At Fair Oaks he led his brigade where he was shot in the arm resulting in its amputating.
Verstraeten was honored to win the 2017 Delo Tractor Restoration Competition Grand Champion with his restored Oliver 1755 tractor. It marked his third time as a finalist, with Jay Leno’s Garage featuring him and raising over 10 Million for their company through this episode alone! In fact, this particular Oliver 1755 model used by Verstraeten is one of few with front-wheel assist capability!
Oliver was an individual of vast knowledge. Fluent in French and German as well as classical languages, he lectured on chemistry at Dartmouth between 1815-18 and on materia medica and therapeutics between 1827-18.
In 1832 cholera struck Scotland and devastated the Oliver family’s financial standing. One of their older sons, John Oliver, became restless and penniless and decided to set sail for America where he found work at one dollar a day he wrote home ravingly about life there.
Once James died, Oliver, Little & Co. produced fluted columns for Saint Mary’s College; two iron columns for South Bend resident and Vice President Schuyler Colfax; as well as brackets for the city jail – making a major impactful contribution to both local and regional development.
Oliver had amassed wealth exceeding one million dollars at his death in 1884 – an amazing accomplishment for someone who began life as a penniless young farmer in Maine. Oliver achieved financial independence through hard work and prudent investments over several decades; at his death his South Bend, Indiana foundry was among the largest in Indiana as well as one of America’s leading producers of farm equipment; it also contributed significantly to South Bend and St Joseph County growth during this time. Oliver held 45 patents related to his invention of the Oliver Chilled Plow during this period.