| May 2004

In the antique farm equipment world, many collectors naturally gravitate to the pieces they used while growing up. But in Raymond Mattox's case, he's happily jumped back two generations. Raymond, who lives in Crete, Ill., just south of Chicago, collects and restores horse-drawn implements typical of those his grandfather used.

'I wish I had been born back in the era when this stuff was being used,' Raymond says. 'It reminds me of the days when my grandfather had horse-drawn equipment, and when there was stuff like that in my dad's saddle shop. My grand father used mules to pull his machinery.'

Raymond's collection is fully restored and in working condition. It includes a 1923 International Harvester one-row cultivator, a 1925 International Harvester cultivator, a 1925 International Harvester two-row corn planter, a 1925 John Deere No. 999 corn planter, a John Deere two-row cultivator dating to approximately 1900, a 1907 McCormick-Deering dump rake, a 1940 Case one-row corn binder, a 1930 Oliver hay loader and a 1935 Case sickle-bar mower.

Raymond's father, the late John Mattox, introduced him to the hobby in 1987. 'My dad asked me if I wanted to go to a steam show with him,' Raymond recalls, 'and I said sure! So, he took me to my first steam show at Crown Point (Ind.).'

John was a regular exhibitor at shows near his home in Crete. He displayed a 1/5-scale Case steam engine built by his father, Elbert Maddox, and used it to power an antique corn sheller.

'We did a lot of exhibiting as father and son, beginning in 1987,' Raymond adds. 'It was really exciting, and I started enjoying it more and more.' The two men were regulars at area shows until 1991, when John's health began to deteriorate. After John's death in 1994, Raymond says he quit going to shows.


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