Portrait of Emil Dittrich

By Staff
article image

R.R. 2, Box 34 Tilden, Nebraska 68781

Emil Dittrich of Tilden, Nebraska, displays his Waterloo John
Deere gasoline engine with an attached Hudson grinder in the living
room of his rural home.

On a winter day about four years ago, Emil decided to restore
the old engine. As he lived alone, and the workshop was too cold to
work in, he thought he would just bring the engine into the

It’s a conversation piece and entertainment for him and his
great-grandchildren. When you visit his home, he starts the engine
to ‘grind a little corn’ while you drink a cup of

Emil’s daughter Judy recently moved back to the farm, after
an injury as a flight attendant. Friends asked him if she made him
move the equipment out of the house. He answers, ‘Judy insisted
that she paint the engine; and she has to dust more

Emil has a large collection of over fifty operable antique
tractors, including a 10-20 Mogul, 10-20 three wheel Case, high
wheel cross motor Huber, four-wheel drive Massey-Harris, and a
Smith Model T Ford conversion.

He has a collection of about ten other gasoline engines,
including a Superior 35 horsepower gasoline engine.

A restored 1915 Ford Roadster and a 1926 four door Ford sedan
are amid ten running and restored antique automobiles, plus a
couple of hard rubber tired trucks. Emil removed a tree blocking
the doors of an old garage to retrieve his 1914 Reo in original,
good condition.

Larry, a son, farms with Emil. A daughter, Bonnie, lives in
Phoenix, Arizona.

If you’d like to talk about old engines and tractors, give
Emil a telephone call at (402) 368-5686.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines