This is the depot where we found the old Minnie. If buildings could talk, this one could probably tell a lot of stories- the days of steam trains, floods on the Illinois River, people leaving home and people returning to Naples.
I have been at this tractor collecting game thirty years or more
now and I'm still amazed where one finds some of these
Received a letter this last summer from Mrs. Smith who lives in
a small town on the Illinois River, Naples. Mrs. Smith indicated
that she had an old Minneapolis tractor that her late husband had
used on his farm and wanted to know if I would be interested in
looking at it. Needless to say, I was interested and was in Naples
the day after I received her letter. I stopped to meet Mrs. Smith,
a very nice elderly lady, and she informed me that the tractor was
out on the farm. As we drove the two miles out to the farm, she
told me that the tractor was shedded in an old depot. Depot on the
farm-miles from the nearest railroad? It turned out that her late
husband had purchased the depot and moved it out to the farm. When
we drove into the old farmyard, lo and behold- there was the Naples
depot. Couldn't wait to see what old 'Minnie' was
It turned out that it was an old (1929) 17-28 Twin City. As I
stood there looking at it, I suddenly realized that we weren't
alone- mosquitoes by the thousands and big ones! It was also very
evident that the old tractor wasn't alone either as the smell
of skunk was very, very noticeable.
On the way back to Naples, Mrs. Smith told me that she had
several other old tractors, steel wheels and old plows. When we
arrived back at the house, she showed me two 'R' Minnies, a
'Z' Minnie, two 'U' Minnies and a junker John Deere
'A'. Also found under a very large old tree, three rope
trip three-bottom M-M plows plus a little two-bottom with chain
driven lift, make unknown.
I didn't get anything bought that day but several months
later I was able to make a deal with Mrs. Smith-bought the 17-28,
steel wheels and the plows.
The next day, a friend of mine, Charley Calvin and I, hooked my
implement trailer to my pick-up and away we went to Naples. We had
quite a time getting the 17-28 out of the old depot, but three
trips later, we had everything hauled home.
The old Minnie seems to be in very good condition, but
haven't had a chance to start it yet. We hope to have it
running for the Franklin, Illinois Sesquicentennial that will be
held on July 4, 1982. Incidentally, Franklin is known far and wide
as the Burgoo Capital of the World due to the fact
that annually we make 1200-1500 gallon of burgoo.