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Tractor rarely saw light of dayTractor rarely saw light of day

Tractor Treasures: This John Deere MI was used in a printing company to haul giant rolls of paper.

Tom Bechman 1

August 25, 2018

1 Min Read
INDUSTRIAL GRADE: This John Deere MI tractor was bought new in 1952 to move huge rolls of paper at Hudler Press.

You can likely find some rusty old John Deere M or MI tractors in salvage yards somewhere. The lucky ones caught the eye of a tractor collector and were restored. John Deere M vintage tractors show up at tractor shows and tractor drives now and then.

The yellow John Deere MI pictured here never had to worry about exposure to the elements. It was bought to work, not be a show tractor. But it did the bulk of its work away from storms and snow and other elements of nature.

This 1952 John Deere Model M Industrial, or MI, tractor was originally bought by Reid Hudler of Hudler Press in 1952. Hudler Press published the Noblesville Times newspaper.

According to information collected by Reynolds Farm Equipment, Fishers, Ind., the tractor was never outside. Its useful life consisted of moving giant rolls of paper in the printing factory. Meredith Joe Reynolds purchased it at auction in 2000, and it became part of his collection. It was displayed along with a green John Deere M, which was also part of his collection, at this year’s Indiana State Fair in the Reynolds Farm Equipment display. Previous items displayed there at past state fairs include one of the first John Deere riding lawn mowers ever made, a race car and an original Reynolds delivery truck from the 1950s.

Sources say John Deere developed the M Series to compete with Henry Ford’s popular N Series of Ford tractors, which used the Ferguson lift system. Most John Deere MI models were painted yellow, although a few were orange, and some shipped to New York state for highway work were painted blue and yellow.

If you have a tractor you would like to see featured in Tractor Treasures, email [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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