Very little remains of what once was a typical American farm. My granddad bought a small farm after WW2 and pretty much things was set in motion then. Theres a lot I could write about but to keep this short and to the point I'm just hitting the highlights.
Over time his two eldest sons started their own roots farming together and somewhat quickly became a fairly large operation for our area during that specific time. By the early 70's they were to a point of needing to upgrade equipment and pretty much was going to do it by the "go big or go home" mindset. In came a IH 915 combine, 2 IH 1066's tractors, IH 8 row corn planter, 8 row John Deere bean planter, grain trucks, plows, disks, etc etc etc. All of this stuff is considered small in today's world but in the 1970's these boys was farming.
I grew up on this farm and loved every minute of it! As a lot of folks know or remember the agricultural business took some really hard knocks in the early 80's as many other areas of industry did in this country and that is the biggest factor in what kept this farm from growing any larger. Other than trading the 915 combine off for a newer machine, the equipment purchased in the 70's was still in use putting out crops up until 2007. The grain was still being hauled out of the fields in the same trucks purchased back then. These guys drilled into my brain maintenance is everything and using the same equipment for over 30 years says something, to me it does anyways.
The last few years they farmed it was more for passion than business and eventually health and age trumped the passion. Most everything was sold with exception of some acreage, the shop, shed, a few tractors and handful of implements. Last week we buried one of the two uncles that taught me most everything I know to this day. The other has health issues that keeps him pretty much kicked back in his recliner, granddad has been gone for years, and the rest of family has scattered to different counties and many to different states so there's not many of us around these days. I was honored when my aunt called and asked me to come "put away" what equipment is remaining and thought I would share a few pictures of some of the old iron that once made the money.
The 135 Massey Ferguson is the first diesel tractor ever to come onto the farm and granddad purchased it on 10/10/1966. I know this because the dealership put his name and the date purchased onto a small plaque and it's still on the tractor today. This tractor has been flat out amazing, other than replacing one front rim, the injector pump, and the seat this tractor has ran since the day it came home new with virtually NO problems. It has a 3 cylinder Perkins and the tractor is estimated to have around 8 thousand hours. I say estimated because this tractor has worn out several tachs and we simply lost track of the hours each had when replaced. The 1066 is a 1975 and was the tractor that did the majority of tillage work and ran hay equipment. It has had one clutch, a TA, injector pump, and 1 major engine overall. Other than that it's untouched including the turbo. The original engine started knocking around 10 thousand hours and when it was rebuilt, a new tach was installed and its reading 1684 hours today. The other tractor is a 1959 Massey Ferguson 50 gas burner. This tractor had very little to do with our farming operation, it was one of those "think I'll buy that just because I like it" tractors by my uncle in his later years. It's got 6143 hours on the original working tach and other than a cam shaft being replaced, a paint job in the 80's and probably a dozen carb rebuilds, it's pretty much untouched mechanically as well. I removed the bushhog off the 1066, pulled the rear blade off the Massey 50, and lined them up in the shop where the combine and headers once was stored. I pretty much did all it takes to store a tractor for an extended amount of time.
As much as it breaks my heart I'm anticipating these old tractors to sit here until the tires dry rot off them. It's crazy to have looked around at what once was a staple of a small community where everyone gathered to tell stories and borrow tools to patch up the stuff they broke on their properties but those times are long gone, it's now just a pole barn housing what little remains.