Moving Day, 1997

Ryder truck And Tractor

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P.O. Box 73, Prescott, Iowa 50859

We had planned to take an early retirement from Nebraska Public Power District in northwest Nebraska, and move to our farm in southwestern Iowa, near the small village of Prescott.

The next big decision, when your hobby is collecting antique tractors, engines, and of course a few antique cars, is whether to move or sell the collection. We decided to move our prized possessions.

I thought it might be interesting for readers to see what transpired into quite a task and expense when you move 620 miles. If  I move again, I would probably move only the toy tractor collection.

We had a new Morton building constructed to house the better antiques, and had to coordinate its completion with our moving day. Plus we had a retirement party, closing on our property in Gordon, Nebraska, and a funeral for the wife's mother who passed away in that time period. I made thirteen trips to begin with, using my pickup and trailer, hauling seven antique tractors, three antique cars, and a couple loads of antique machinery, which had me worn to a frazzle! Then my brother-in-law, Norman Amende, offered to haul a load on his semi-truck. We hired a contractor with a crane to load the tractors, as several weren't in running condition. We got six tractors, at least a dozen hit and miss engines, plus a Ford cultivator and mower on his truck for the trip to Iowa.

In the pictures of us loading the tractors, that's me hooking up the chain on the Ford mower.

We made quite a caravan going down the road: semi-truck with its load of tractors and engines; my son Steven DeWitt driving the Ryder truck with the household goods, and a 1958 Edsel on a trailer; my wife with the family car followed by me with my pickup and a trailer hauling my restored 8-N Ford tractor with a corn planter and plow! We got a lot of comments and questions from people as we stopped at gas stations and rest areas on our way to Iowa.

When we arrived at our farm at Prescott, our good neighbor Jerry Russell brought two loader tractors over. We put one on each side of the semi-truck and raised each antique tractor enough so the semi-truck could pull ahead enough, so we could let each of them down, until we had them all unloaded.