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Illinois Man Finds Grandpa's Minneapolis Moline Tractor

January 09, 2017

This story makes me smile.

Macon, IL farmer Paul Butler spent years searching for his grandfather's Minneapolis Moline U tractor. It was the first tractor Butler ever drove. After years of diligent searching, he finally found it. I'll let him relay the tale:

"My grandfather retired in 1976," said Butler. "One of his tractors was a Minneapolis U, it was the first tractor I ever drove-because it had a hand clutch. I was about 8 years old.  The farm went out of the family as my father was not a farmer.   I always wanted to farm and started back farming in 2003.  One of the first things I did was contact the auctioneer that sold the U and got the serial numbers, but after trying to find the seller it was a dead end.  I probably called 30 auctioneers all over the Midwest over the next decade, but never could find a match."

"Finally one came up about 15 miles from home-and I called.  I Could not believe it!  My dad told me “you don’t want that old tractor, it's just going to take up shed space”.  We went and looked at it and found grandpa's handwriting on the hood and in the manuals.  Dad then said “You have to buy this tractor”.

Butler did buy it. Here's a picture of how it looked when they found it:


"We just got it restored," said Butler. "We were able to protect his handwriting on the hood by clear coating over it before painting it."

Here are pics of grandpa's handwriting on the U, the restoration process and the beautiful finished product:






Hats off to Paul Butler, for having a dream and working his way back into farming in 2003 and for the determination and patience to doggedly pursue a part of his family's farming past that meant the world to him...the tractor he learned to drive as an 8 year old buy. His grandpa's Minneapolis Moline U.




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