D.M. Hartsough designed the original Happy Farmer tractor. Hartsough was a familiar figure in the tractor industry. His earliest success was with the Big Four tractor. Happy Farmer Tractor Company was incorporated at Minneapolis on November 4, 1915. By January of the following year, Happy Farmer announced that the first 500 tractors would be built by the H. E. Wilcox Motor Company, with another 1,500 to be built at La Crosse, Wisconsin. From the beginning, Happy Farmer Tractor Company and La Crosse Implement Company were, practically speaking, two different companies under one management. In 1914, La Crosse Implement sold the Waterloo Boy tractors but discontinued handling them when the Happy Farmer came out. By late 1916, the La Crosse Tractor Company was organized at La Crosse, Wisconsin, and the short life of the Happy Farmer Tractor Company came to an end.