Antique Farm Equipment Collection

Iowa man’s collection of antique farm equipment includes hay tools, hay forks, horse-drawn equipment and walking plows.

| August 2014

For a while, Bill Hagerdon was content to watch his friends as they built collections of antique farm equipment. But about 20 years ago, the now-retired Mapleton, Iowa, banker found he could no longer resist the itch to start assembling his own collection.

Countless sales, private buys and hundreds of pieces later, Bill has filled several buildings with antique farm relics and parked larger pieces in out-of-the-way areas on his family farm.

“Friends of mine from Mapleton — Orville Lundeen and Carl Maas — piqued my interest,” Bill says. “They collected horse-drawn implements, wagons, buggies and carriages.”

Digging into the past

Bill got his start with walking plows. “I acquired some 30 to 40 of them,” he says, “including large wood-beam plows, left-hand plows, rollover plows and more.” Two John Deere plows — a wood beam rollover plow and a wood beam subsoiler — are among the rare pieces in his collection. “Both of those plows are in excellent condition,” Bill says. “They date back to the 1800s. They’re two of the prized items in my collection.”

As his plow collection grew, Bill began finding small implements. “I started buying other horse-drawn farm implements, like cultivators,” he says. “I also started picking up farm tools.”

As he collected new pieces, Bill made arrangements for sandblasting and restoration; then came the job of finding a place to house the additions to an admittedly varied collection.