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A Bit of My Tractor History

Discussion in 'JD Farm Tractor Forum' started by grnspot, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. grnspot

    grnspot New Member

    I grew up on a 400 acre farm in northwest MO, about 20 miles west of where I live now. It was owned by Dads father, Dad farmed a little over half of it, my uncle the rest. Dad's first tractor was a 1930's jd "A", before my time, then a "G", after that the 51-"G" that was the first one I remember. Next came a 53-60 to work with the G. In 1959, he traded the 51"G" in on a new 1958 720D ES, his story was he went to the dealer to buy a 730D, they had this leftover 720 on hand & he "didn't see any reason to pay $800 for a bent steering shaft"! This is the 720D after he died & I brought it home, cleaned it up & repainted it:


    He also had an MT & later a B at various times & farm other rented ground beside Grandpa's farm. In the mid 60's, my folks bought the 190 acre farm that I have 140A of now, about 10 miles from home. Dad went to the usual jd dealer to find an 8N Ford with the intention of putting a "lead hitch" on it to pull it behind the pickup to the other farm, which was on a dirt road, to use as a "saddle horse". The dealer had two Fords @ $750 & $850 and an MT jd for $150, be bought the MT. Made a cart to run the front wheels into to tow it behind the pickup. I put a lot of hours & road miles on that MT over the years as a teenager pulling wagons & such.

    I had also owned a 70D that my brother had owned, then a 720D ES while still trying to farm, but in the late 1960's I couldn't rent enough ground to get started farming. So, off to town for a job at a lumber yard for $330/month.

    Then, after Dad died, when Mom decided to move to town, I brought the "diesel" home. Cleaned it up, repainted it & took it to local shows.

    At one are show I noticed an Amish man reading the copy of the original purchase paperwork on the "diesel" that I had displayed. He finished reading, looked around a bit, saw me & came over, he explained that he had worked for Dad for a short time when Dad was talking about buy a diesel tractor, but never got to see it. Here it was 40 years later!

    When we bought the house we have now, I was going to need a smaller tractor to take care of the drive & do various dirt work projects. Found a 58-520 at an auction, but had to be gone that day, gave Dad a check & sent him. On our way home that evening, we went by the folks farm to see if he bought the 520 & saw narrow front tracks in the road before we got there, knew he'd bought the 520:

    TRACTOR SHOWS 2008 003a.jpg

    That's pretty much the story of my farm tractors until last fall when I found the 40 Standard I'd wanted for 50 years since the old MT!

    HPIM3271.JPG     HPIM1541.JPG

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2015
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  2. johndeereelfman

    johndeereelfman Member Staff Member

    Very nice Lowell, and Thank you for sharing your memories. Sounds like your Dad brought you up right!  :D
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  3. -GR-

    -GR- Where am I? Staff Member

    Lowell, thanks for sharing your story on the John Deere farm tractors. I think it is terrific you were able to keep the 720D in the family and now take it to shows. I really like the 40 Standard and look forward to seeing more on it.
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  4. grnspot

    grnspot New Member

    Don't have the 720 anymore, sold it a few years ago because I only started it 3-4 times a year.  Somebody needed it who would get more out of it!
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  5. grnspot

    grnspot New Member

    A friend just sent me this picture of my parade unit from 2004:

    chillicothe 2004 165.jpg

    I grew up on the 58-720D, bought the 58-520 when we bought our current property around 30 years ago & the 69-140 H1 was my first jd garden tractor. Don't have any of them anymore though.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2015
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  6. I really like that 520, that's sharp! Don't see many of the rear slung mufflers like that anymore. 
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