Editorial: Tractor ride was a fun time

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 6, 2006

The tractors traveled one by one along highways in Freeborn County. It was sight to behold, and people had smiles as long as the late-spring day.

This was the second year for the Grandpa’s Tractor Ride, though you wouldn’t think it considering what a good idea it is. It seems like the ride has been around forever. Maybe that’s because its stars &045; the tractors &045; have. Who doesn’t love antique tractors?

It wasn’t too far from here the where first factory to make tractors was built. Charles City, Iowa, lays claim to that honor. While some inventors built tractors before them, Charles Hart and Charles Parr built the first tractor factory in Hart’s hometown. They coined the term tractor.

Today, the 14,000-pound Hart-Parr No. 3 is on display

in the Smithsonian National Museum of

American History because it remains the oldest surviving internal combustion engine tractor in the United States.

The Upper Midwest was the builder of many tractors. We’ve all heard of Minneapolis-Moline, a merger in 1929 of the Moline Implement Co., the Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co. and the Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Co., which used to make the now highly collectible Twin City Tractors.

John Deere’s still roll off the line at a factory in Waterloo, Iowa, and parts for tractors are produced at machine shops all around Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

We wish the Grandpa’s Tractor Ride luck in future years and look forward to the event’s expansion.