The RIES'S of Murray, Iowa


| September/October 1974



Leland and Wilbur Ries

This is Leland and Wilbur Ries. Notice the glass jug Wilbur is holding it has a McCormick Deering tractor inside it.

306 W. Anthony, Corydon, Iowa 50060.

Sometime in the later 50's I was out on a farm buying various old items. This farmer was retiring and was cleaning up the place for a tenant who was soon moving onto the farm. During our rummaging we came across a set of top bows for a Model T Ford touring car. This man said he hated to throw them in a ditch, as somewhere there was probably someone who could use them. I told him I didn't have any use for them but rather than see them go to the ditch I would give a dollar for them, so I became the owner of a set of Model T top bows.

Not long after this, George Mills wrote an article about the town of Murray for the Des Moines Register. In this article he mentioned a character by the name of Leland Ries, who collected all kinds of antiques. He and his brother, Wilbur, also made model steam engines and that Leland was restoring a Model T Ford touring car and if any of the readers had a top for a Ford T to contact Leland. I wrote Leland a card and told him I had a set of bows. I gave a dollar for them and I would take a dollar for them.

A few weeks later two strangers came to my place but not strangers for long. I had now met Leland and Wilbur Ries. Leland bought the bows. I didn't make a profit but sure got a lot of interest.

As time went on, I met Leland's wife, Maxine, and their two sons, Dick who lives now in Des Moines, Ia., and Larry, who was killed in a car accident December 13, 1972.

Over all these years we have had a good time swapping antiques and swapping yarns. It was Leland who in 1964 twisted my arm to subscribe to Iron-Men Album. Several times I have visited in Leland and Wilbur's homes in Murray. Leland's wife, Maxine, has their home decorated entirely with antiques. The only time you see anything modern in the kitchen is when she is cooking and I think the only modern items in the living room are a sofa, chair and TV set. She has restored all the furniture. The spinning wheel in the living room for years had had a box nailed on it and set on a porch as a planter by a previous owner and today it looks like new. I'm not going to make an attempt at saying how many hanging lamps she has, we will just say many.