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Local History

Auto Wagon

Auto Wagon Built by German Farmer

“Pedestrians along College Street yesterday were treated to a novelty in the shape of the first horseless farm wagon ever seen on the streets of Springfield and the machine speeding along the street made a noise similar to that of the ‘willipus wallipus’ of the city.

“The auto wagon is owned and was built by Joseph Koenig, a German, who conducts a country store eight miles south of Ozark. Koenig drove his peculiar looking machine to the city lot, where he refilled the tanks with gasoline and every loafer on the lot was attracted to the spot. About a year ago, Koenig says he got tired of the slow jog of a horse and wagon in making the trips to Ozark and Springfield for grocery supplies and being of an inventive turn of mind he resolved upon the plan of a horseless wagon. The first one failed, as the machinery refused to work properly.

“He tried again and was successful with the machinery. The frame is made of strong Ozark oak, and is like any other ordinary wagon with the exception of the absence of horses. The rocky hills around Ozark and in other parts of Christian County do not deter Koenig from going any place he chooses, as the wagon is a hill climber.

“Yesterday the roads were muddy, but Koenig left his store at 9 o’clock, arriving at the city lot here before noon. Koenig says he took his time and visited several farm houses along the road. Koenig claims the machine will run thirty miles an hour and he is never more than one and one-half hours in making the trip between Springfield and Ozark, a distance of thirty miles. Koenig says he has to observe the speed law.

“Koenig will return home this morning and expects to take 1,000 pounds of goods back with him. The wagon is operated by gasoline power.”

Republican, August 6, 1907

The photograph is representative of an auto wagon and is not a photo of the one discussed in the article. Image courtesy of Gas Engine Magazine.

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