P.O. Box 190 Auburn, Indiana 46706
The Oscar’s Dreamland auction was billed as the largest
private tractor and steam engine sale in the world. On June 13, 14,
and 15 1998, Kruse International presented a sale that exceeded the
expectations of nearly 6,000 people who attended. Over 2,000 of
those who visited Oscar’s Dreamland during the final week were
registered as bidders.
Oscar Cooke’s collection was known throughout the world as
the largest collection of the rarest tractors in existence.
Oscar’s Dreamland was the work of Oscar and Marcella Cooke, who
spent over forty years assembling the collection. Oscar dedicated
his life to preserving the heritage of American agriculture.
Several world records were broken during the auction. One of
these records, broken late in the auction, was a butter churn which
sold for $2,600. Top sales included the 1908 Best steam engine for
$142,500; a Holt 75 tractor for $120,000; an IH Titan 30-60 tractor
for $120,000; an Olmstead 25-50 tractor for $90,000; and the 1920
Rumely Kerosene Annie tractor sold for $89,000.
The most active buyer of the sale was Idaho potato magnate, JR
Simplot, who announced during an interview with ‘The Discovery
Channel’ that he was constructing a $100 million museum that
would pay tribute to the history of agriculture in America. Dean
Kruse announced that Oscar’s dream would continue in the new
museum, as several of the items from Oscar’s collection were
added to the list of inventory for Simplot’s venture. Simplot,
who is 89 years old, earned a standing ovation from pleased
Another announcement that had the crowd buzzing was that Kruse
International and the Limpp family would begin presenting annual
events at Oscar’s Dreamland. The second annual event has been
slated for the last week of June 1999, and over 500 items have
already been consigned. Marcie Limpp, Oscar Cooke’s daughter,
was glad that antique tractor and automobile enthusiasts would
continue to gather at Oscar’s Dreamland. ‘My father built
his museum because it was his dream to share this passion. He would
be proud that an annual event of this nature will be held in his
memory,’ she said.