Pierson, Iowa 51048.
I was born in Sioux City, Iowa on June 23, 1927, lived on S. Lemon in Morningside. We moved to a 160 acre farm, 2 miles west of Pierson, Iowa, the spring of 1931. Dad farmed for about five years with six horses until 1936 when he traded in 4 horses for a new 'B' John Deere on steel, 2 row cultivator, and 2 bottom 14' plow (a #45). I still remember Dad in the field (before us kids got up) picking corn by hand and coming in after dark and unloading corn with 2 horses powering the elevator by pulling a horsepower. As a kid I remember men coming out to fix the deep well (165' deep) and also in the spring we had one old gray horse that you couldn't hook up to the disk unless she had a blindfold on. After my dad had the gates open to the field and was sitting on the disk with the reins in his hand, it was my job to jerk the blindfold off and away they went! After a couple of rounds of the field she settled down and behaved. Three bay horses and this gray one named Silver were used on the disk. When Silver was used with a bay horse for a teammate, the bay horse was named Tina.
Our family and Dad's sister's family used to get together about once a month for Sunday dinner and after dinner Dad would get out the hand clippers and give everyone a haircut. He would cut my uncle's hair and then Dad would get his hair cut. I don't believe I had a barbershop haircut until I went in the service. This was in the 30's, remember?
One Sunday the uncle's car got stuck in the lane (dirt lanes and dirt roads in the late 30's) and since Dad was sick with a bad cold, I got to start the B and pull the car out! Pretty heady stuff for a 10 year old kid! I spent a lot of times plowing, disking, and dragging with that old B. I can't remember how many times when dragging, I would get up on the top of a hill and put the B in 3rd gear and try to go faster. No luck with steel wheels and a fast 3rd, it just wouldn't hack it.
I used to hate mowing and raking hay with horses. In the middle of the morning and afternoon the sickle would almost stop moving. I might of dozed off a time or two myself. I can't remember what year we got rubber on the tractor, but WHAT A DIFFERENCE! About this time Dad bought a new #5 John Deere mower with a seven foot bar instead of five and moving in 3rd gear instead of two old slow horses. Boy, that was really living!!
Uncle Sam called in 1945 (I enlisted) and I was sent to Great Lakes Naval Training Camp, Company 926. Seems like all the farm boys from the mid west wanted to serve in the Navy. While home on leave from Boot Camp, I woke up late in the morning and one of my younger brothers was driving up the lane with a new B John Deere (1945) with starter, lights, power lift and six speeds forward. After 10 months with the 121st Sea Bee Battalion on Saipan, I returned home in September of 1946 to help tear down our old horse barn. The next spring I rented 80 acres, 2 miles north and raised seed corn for $3.56 a bushel. Now almost 40 years later corn is selling for $2.18 a bushel. What happened??? During this time Dad had traded our first B for a 1939 A which would be mine if I helped Dad farm his land also. I was using most of his machinery at that time also. The spring of 1948, with some of the money for the seed corn and trading in the 1939 A I got a new 1948 B (serial no. 227473) which was the first and looks like the only NEW tractor I'll ever own. After two years of college at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, where I took Livestock Marketing, in 1949 I met a good looking blond named Darlene. We were married Easter Sunday 1952. We started farming 120 acres across the road from the Home Place and my next John Deere was a 1941 G (serial # 10661). What a lot of power! Later a 1949 G that a neighbor had burn up on him, was able to be bought by me from the insurance company and I fixed it up. I consider myself somewhat of a mechanic from the years working on old John Deeres.
Later a 1936A (serial #435530) came along to sit on the side of the road and hold our mail box. About 1966 our first John Deere with live power and live hydraulics was a '50' (serial #5018300) and first John Deere with live power, hydraulics and power steering was a '60' (serial #6015324). Right up town now!
In 1969 we started buying the home place from the folks, moved into the house when they retired to town and also rented 160 acres 3 miles north. Three sons have arrived over the years. All three are married and we have one granddaughter and one grandson.
Our latest Deere is a 720 Diesel, pony engine (serial #7221405). TALK ABOUT POWER AND ECONOMY!!! Now I have a 520 (serial #5208584) with a loader on it, the 50 with mower on it, 1948 'A' (serial #602005) with mounted 227 picker and the 720 diesel is almost always hooked on a Gehl grinder-mixer for grinding hog feed. A 1949 A (serial #633072) does a lot of odd jobs, as does a GM 1946 (serial #19758) and I have also acquired a M, MT, AR, BR, R diesel, GP, 80 Diesel and H to name a few.
Since the boys are not at home now, we are only farming the original 160 acres, where I grew up as a boy. Don't raise as many hogs or corn, do have more time for shows, parades and the latest craze: antique plowing with tractor and plows manufactured before 1938. I won the state match in 1980 and have been in the national contest in six different states. When I won the state match I used a 1936 'A' full steel (serial #443924) and 2-16 #52 plow. Now I use a #4 B plow in 2-16 inch. Nationals in Iowa and Minnesotta were when I used my Spoker 'D', full steel (serial #34866). In Pennsylvania and Ohio I used a small radiator G with full steel, lent to me by good friends The Johnson family of Napoleon, Ohio. Last year in South Dakota I used the 1936 A with full steel and 4 B plow and in 1985 at Dwight, Illinois I used a 1927 D (serial #48519) full steel and 4 B plow. The 1927 D and I are the same age, and I had a lot of fun but can't seem to place any higher than 6th out of 10 to 14 entries. I did receive the Sportsmanship Award in 1984 and 1985 which was voted on by about 40 plowmen. I also have another 1936 A (serial #443777) built on November 30 and 1936 A (serial #443924) built on December 2. G.P. serial #200468.
A serial #443777 shipped to the dealer in Pierson, Iowa and a serial #443924 shipped to Anthon, Iowa to a dealer are both owned by me as second owner. These two towns are about 12 miles apart. Over the years I have 11 D's from spoker D 34866 to D serial #177031 with individual brakes. Also have early G serial #1080, built June 14, 1937 which I restored and take to state antique plowing to qualify in the national matches. Now on the original 160 acres that Dad farmed with 1936 B, I use an 80 diesel factory cab, 720 diesel, 60, 520 and 50 from around nine HP in 010 'B' to 260 HP. I have sold parts to a lot of nice guys and I've never met many of them. We meet a wonderful group of people in our travels to shows and plowing matches and hope to attend many more in the future.
By the way, the 1948 B that I bought with $3.56 a bushel corn cost $1818.00 and last year we bought a riding lawn mower (John Deere, of course) for $1145.00 and corn was selling for $2.60 a bushel at the local elevator. With all the John Deere tractors we have also a Gleaner combine and a Gehl grinder-mixer, but as long as we keep them in separate sheds we haven't had any trouble yet!
If you're in the area drop in we'll put the coffee water on and talk old tractors, toys, guns, belt buckles John Deere literature and of course grandchildren.