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Green Fun Store News

Illinois man's love of John Deere started 60 years ago

Posted by Green Fun Store on 10/5/2010
Having returned from naval service around 1950, Irvin Wildhagen started collecting John Deere tractors, according to a report from Illinois' The Telegraph newspaper.

His collection now stands at around 57 pieces of John Deere equipment, including lawn mowers, agricultural pieces and even bicycles. The 85-year-old restores the machines and shows some of them at festivals.

"We always farmed at home with horses," the Calhoun County native told the paper. "When all us boys went to service, dad got a tractor, and it was a John Deere. I've been in love with them ever since."

Wildhagen's first project was a 1937 John Deere Model B. Since then, he often finds himself putting in some heavy restoring work to return a machine to its former glory.

The most elderly of Wildhagen's pieces is a 1925 Model D, which was produced the same year he was born. He even owns a John Deere truck, built by the company in 1953.

Collectors like Wildhagen are not as rare as the machines they take the time to refurbish. Many fairs across the country feature the older machines, which provide spectators with a connection to the past.