The 1912 Reeves 40-140 cross compound steam traction engine was donated to the Mitchell County Historical Society by Ed, Evelyn and Ray Smolik of Osage, IA. The Smolik Brothers formerly housed this rare engine at Antique Acres near Cedar Falls, IA until moving it to the "Smolik Exhibit" building at Cedar Valley Memories in 1992. This engine, #6867, is the only survivor of the 1912 Reeves 40-140 known to be in operation.
Marshall Truman Reeves founded Reeves & Co. in 1874 in Columbus, IN. Incorporated in 1888, the company started building steam engines in 1895. Reeves & Co. built some of the largest steam traction engines in North America. The huge engines were often called "road locomotives" to set them apart from railway locomotives. With a cab height of two stories, the massive Reeves 40-140 allowed the engineer (driver) to see over the cross compound engine. Weighing in at about 26 ton, the #6867 Reeves 40-140 was the largest manufactured by Reeves and is equipped with power steering.
Reeves & Co. was sold to Emerson-Brantingham Co. of Rockford, IL in August 1912. Steam engines were phased out gradually by the internal combustion tractors that were lighter, faster and became more economical after WW I.