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Pipestone County Historical Society Heritage Cookbook (April 2003)

In April 2003, popped up in the most unlikely of places - a cookbook.  The Pipestone County Historical Society (Minnesota, USA) have just written a heritage cookbook that includes recipes of county homemakers.  One of the ladies mentioned in this book is a Mrs. O’Leary who in the 1940’s drove an Autoette 3-wheeler. After flicking through the Owners Gallery on this web site they found Tom Burke along with his Autoette in Gallery 165 and so a picture of Tom (see right) and his Autoette was included in the book on page 95

Mrs. James O’Leary and her three-wheeler

Many remember Nellie O’Leary in the late 1940’s driving her three-wheel Autoette in the streets. Mre. Ellen (Nellie) O’Leary was born November 1st, 1878 to Ellen and William Crook at Winona, MN.  Her family moved when she was a child to a farm near Ward, SD.  . There she grew to womanhood and married James O’Leary at St. Leo’s Church September 4, 1899. The couple spent their honeymoon at the Nebraska State Fair in Omaha. They made their home in Pipestone and spent many years in the real estate business.  They lived at 602 2nd Avenue SW.  James and Ellen had one son, Gean O’Leary. James passed away in 1944 and Ellen remained very active in the business.  She passed away at the Pipestone hospital on Monday, May 25, 1970 at the age of 92. They are both buried at St. Leo’s Cemetery in Pipestine, MN.

Above is a photo of a 1949 autoette “CruiseAbout” located on the intenet at just like the one Mrs. O’Leary drove around town.  The Autoette is owned and operated by Tom Burke of Sunset Beach, CA. Tom says that this autoette was manufactured by the Long Beach Electric Car Company.  After World War II, a couple of enterprising Vets from Long Beach, CA, brought a bunch of Army surplus, 24-volt, Sherman Tank turret motors abd from 1949 through the early 60’s manufatured the Autoette. An electrically powered, two seat utility-vehicle/personal-conveyance for the elderly/disabled.  Power was supplied by 4 deep cycling 6-volt batteries, designed and manufactured (specifically for Autoette) by the Trojan Battery company if Santa Fe Springs, CA. It’s rumored that these popular abd sturdy little tanks from the 50’s were the forerunners of the Gold Carts today