Volume 124, Number
Jensen has unique collection of tractors he’s restored
BY RICHARD PETERSON
Wayne Jensen of Esmond says he’s about done restoring antique tractors. He’s got a steel building full of them, but a full steel building isn’t the reason he’s calling a halt to his hobby.
"I just can’t see any more," he says. "Everything is a big blur. I can’t see to do simple tasks like putting a cotter pin into a bolt. I have to do it by feel." A victim of macular degeneration, there isn’t anything that can be done for him. But his poor eyesight doesn’t keep him from mowing his huge and immaculate yard with an antique he restored, a 1939 9N Ford tractor with a 5′ PTO mower.
And his poor eyesight didn’t stop him from restoring two D Case tractors last winter.
"Oh, they’re not really restored," he says. "They’re just fixed up into running condition and they look good for parades and such. But they’re probably not ready for heavy field work," he explains. That’s plenty good. Nobody wants to run antiques in the fields these days anyway.
The first tractor he restored was a 1929 10-20 McCormick-Deering he bought from the late Clifford Lysne of Esmond. This was about 1972. He needed something to do during the winter months, so he took on the tractor as a project. He made unique small inside rear wheels so the tractor runs on those and the steel wheels with lugs don’t touch the ground. "That way I can run the tractor on pavement," he explained.
The McCormick-Deering turned out so well he decided to continue his hobby. He advertised for the tractors he wanted and worked on them over the winter months.
He’s also restored a Huber 26" threshing machine. The belts are all replaced, but like the tractors, it isn’t ready for harvest. "The grain pan is all rusted out, but it looks like it’s ready to go," he says. That’s good enough these days.
Other antique machinery in the back of the steel building are three pieces of machinery originally designed for horses. The poles have been converted into drawbars for tractors. These pieces of machinery came from his farm and they sat rusting in the trees for years. Included are a 2-row Blue Star corn planter, a 1-row Tower corn cultivator and a 6 ft. John Deere No. 4 mower.
Probably his most prized tractor is a 1941 IHC A tractor. This was the first tractor purchased by his father, Harold "Bump" Jensen, who had previously farmed with horses. "My brother and I begged and begged him to buy a tractor to replace the horses and he resisted until he bought this tractor in 1941 from Keller Implement in Wellsburg for $545. It was practically new, having been used just a little bit," Jensen said. "I was the proudest guy in the world the day I drove that tractor home," he says. "My brother and I ran that tractor night and day. I’ll bet it’s got 40,000 hours on it and we’ve never had any trouble with it."
Keller Implement later moved to Harvey, where it became a large John Deere dealership.
Jensen has all different brands of tractors, but they’re mostly from the 1940’s. "One I haven’t got is a Cockshutt," he says. "I’d like to do one of those."
Among his treasures is:
A 1944 W4 IHC which came from Mercer.
A 1939 or 1940 John Deere BR which came from Donneybrook, as did Jensen’s wife, Fay.
A 1944 Oliver HG Cletrac. "You don’t see many of these," he says. This tractor is on tracks and was made by the Cleveland Tractor Co. (Cletrac). Cletrac was purchased by Oliver in 1944, so this was the first Cletrac to carry the Oliver name.
A 1944 Massey-Harris 44, which came from Northwood.
A Minneapolis-Moline Z from the 1940’s.
A 1941 M IHC.
A 1941 C Allis-Chalmers.
Remember those two D Case tractors he restored last winter? One is a 1951 model and the other is a 1940 model. Both have hand clutches. One tractor has the clutch is on the left side and the tractor has it on the right side. One is pulled back to get the tractor moving and the other is pushed forward. That could be confusing. The 1940 model was given to him by Esmond Mayor Estagen Zimmerman, who said, "If you can make it run, you can have it." The engine on this one was stuck and Jensen had one heck of a time getting it to turn over. This 1940 model is the first one Jensen’s seen that was originally orange in color. The earlier Cases were gray in color.
He’s also got two homemade tractors. The first was built in 1990 for his first grandson, who was born that year. This is a duke’s mixture tractor. It has a 2 cylinder engine from a John Deere combine, a truck transmission, a Model T rear end and truck wheels on the rear. The other one is a 1993 Massey-Ferguson lawn tractor mower with mower removed and painted in John Deere style, like the first homemade tractor. This was made for his second grandson. "The grandsons had a great time driving those tractors around the farmyard," Jensen says.
Hiding in the rear of the steel building is a blue 1951 Ford 4-door. Jensen bought this car used in Fargo in 1951 or 1952 when he was 23 years old. It was practically new. In 1953 he traded it for a new one, but then had second thoughts. He went back to the dealership, repurchased it and gave it to his parents, who drove it for years. After they quit driving it the Ford sat in the steel building for 16 years before Jensen decided to restore it seven or eight years ago. "The mice chewed up everything on the inside," Jensen said. "It was a mess." Sally’s Upholstery in Anamoose redid the seats and it looks like new. Jensen’s son, Larry Jensen of Fargo, did the body work and Wayne did the mechanical restoration. It now looks like new inside and out and runs like new, too.
Jensen said he was told to spread mothballs around the tires, where mice gain access to the inside of the vehicle. "Either it works or I’m lucky, because I haven’t had a problem with mice since I spread the mothballs around the tires."
The tractors live in the steel building and about the only time they’re taken out is for parades. He’s had many tractors in parades at Maddock over the years. When Esmond had its centennial, he had 11 entries in the centennial parade. "But I can’t see well enough to drive the tractors in parades any more," Jensen said, "so I have to get drivers. I guess I’m about done with this hobby," he says.
Well, maybe not. Maybe he’ll run across a Cockshutt that’ll keep him busy one more winter.
Wayne Jensen of Esmond stands in front of the first tractor he restored, a 10-20 McCormick-Deering. In the background is a Huber 26" threshing machine. One of the steel buildings on his farm south of Esmond is full of antique tractors and equipment he’s restored.
This photo shows the inside rear wheel on which the McCormick-Deering’s weight is placed. The steel lugs don’t touch the ground, making it a perfect parade tractor.
The west side of Jensen’s steel building has a line-up of IHC Case, Massey and Minneapolis Moline tractors. In the rear is a 1951 Ford 4-door.
The east side of the steel building has McCormick-Deering, IHC, John Deere and Allis Chalmers tractors. In the foreground is a homemade Jensen, painted in John Deere green.
Minnewaukan’s Legion Park has new look
Legion Park in Minnewaukan got a new look this summer. The small park on Main Street between the Minnewaukan Museum Annex on the left and the American Legion Building on the right, got a makeover, courtesy of Gary Winters of Waupaca, Wisc. and Minnewaukan. He constructed steel benches and an archway in memory of Lori Howard and also constructed a brick flower planter with a limestone walk around it. The Minnewaukan Beautification Committee planted trees, shrubs and flowers to enhance the site. The Minnewaukan Museum Annex is the former Butterwick-Hiaasen Law Office. The old post office stood on the left side of what is now the park adjacent to the law office and it was turned into a dental office for Dr. E.O. Yri and Dr. Lloyd Juhnke. The Kolsrud Grocery and later the Olson Grocery stood on the right side.
Youth Week at NSCCU
The North Star Community Credit Union in Maddock participated in the ND Credit Union Youth Week August 6-10. In the photo are the youth who attended the movie "Nancy Drew Mystery" in Rugby, sponsored by the credit union.
Pirate Morgan Duren posed in the credit union. "Stash Your Cash at the Credit Union" was this year’s theme. During the week more than 100 youth participated in events sponsored by the credit union. Grand prize winners of the backpacks filled with school supplies were Matthew Ness, Kayla Melaas and Mikel Buckmier.
Youth took part in free swimming and pool games sponsored by the credit union.
Relay for life
Nine members of the Maddock FCCLA participated in the Harvey Relay for Life beginning at 7 p.m. on Aug. 10 and ending at 7 a.m. Aug. 11. The "Sea Urchins" who were "sea-urching for a cure" took turns walking during the night. Participants of all ages enjoyed the music and entertainment provided by DJs from K-Hook Pirate Radio. After midnight, everyone moved inside the armory due to threatening weather conditions. The "Sea Urchins" raised almost $800 in donations for the fight against cancer. Overall, the Harvey Relay for Life raised more than $31,000. Left to right, front row, are Michael Lunde, Mylee Kenner, Stephanie Johnson and Erin Leier. Jillian Maddock is in the second row. In the third row are Erin Yri, Kaidi Kenner, Sharisa Yri and Alexis Buckmier. Advisor Terry Yri is in the back row.
Family wins puppy
Natalia Wright (on the right), co-owner of Little Barks Kennel of Maddock congratulates the Knudtson family of Harvey. They were the winner of the Pomeranian puppy Little Barks donated to the Relay For Life in Harvey. Little Barks is owned by Valorie, Nikita and Natalia Wright of Maddock.