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Tractors come to celebrate Heyworth Sesquicentennial
Illinois Correspondent

HEYWORTH, Ill. — On Saturday, May 20, a baker’s dozen of tractors came to help the Heyworth celebrate 150 years of history. A variety of makes and models were on hand for visitors to view and enjoy.

Jim Hanlin, a Heyworth farmer, said he had heard from a group of Case collectors that if they were not in the fields, they too would have come to Heyworth along with their Case tractors to join in the celebration. Besides the tractors, there were also a few in attendance in spirit.

While the beginning of the week brought rain, on Saturday the sun was warm, and the day was fine for the Classic Tractor Drive and show.

Jim explained, “This was our first tractor show. It is a fundraiser for the FFA and FFA Alumni.”

One of the exhibitors was Joe Necessary. The Heyworth native brought two tractors to the show: his restored John Deere 40 hi-crop, and his John Deere AR. These tractors represent two of the 12 John Deere tractors that Necessary has in his collection. Like many other collectors, Necessary got his interest in John Deere because that is what he used on his farm.

“I started farming with a 1951 A in 1953,” he said.

Necessary continued to farm with Deere equipment for the next 49 years. Although he is now a retired farmer, he runs a full-time excavating business.

All week long, festivities had been in full swing while residents celebrated their sesquicentennial. Necessary had been part of the celebration, and seems to be involved in most things in Heyworth. He heads up the upcoming All Wheels Show in July and is on the board of trustees for the fire department.

Hanlin added that the All Wheels Show is what it sounds like - a show featuring anything with wheels. Exhibitors bring cars, truck, tractors, bikes, etc. This event will be July 22.

At the tractor show, everything from an IH puller to a recently restored Allis Chalmers, attracted admirers who enjoyed visiting and sharing tractor stories. One young man, Rickey Veylsteke, 2 1/2, from St. Louis, Mo., was in town visiting his grandfather. His mom said that he really liked tractors and enjoyed the chance to “drive” one while in a stationary position. Along with Rickey, another youngster, Seth, seemed to be enjoying the tractors as well.

For more information about Heyworth, visit its website at or call Debbie Elderton at 309-473-2811.

This farm news was published in the May 24, 2006 issue of Farm World.