Farmall H Found 35 Years Later

Jon Kinzenbaw finds his Farmall H, the first tractor he'd driven, years later

| November 1999

A man never forgets his first love, or his first tractor (sometimes they're the same), especially a boy who feels like he's a man at 4 years old when he drives his first real and exciting machine. 

When Jack Kinzenbaw returned from World War II, and started farming near Ladora, Iowa, he obtained a veteran's permit to qualify for any available tractors. There were few due to the war shortage. But in the spring of 1946 he found one, a brand-new Farmall H, says his son, Jon Kinzenbaw, CEO of Kinze Manufacturing of Williamsburg, Iowa.

"I was only 2 years old at the time," Jon says, "so obviously I don't remember that."

But he does remember the first time he ever drove a tractor – that Farmall H – two years later when he was only 4.

"My dad stepped off the drawbar and left me alone to steer the tractor while he walked along behind," he recalls. "We were in low gear and I was only 4 years old, but I remember it plainly. It's quite a deal when you're sitting on an idling tractor and driving and steering it, and dad's stepped off on the ground, walking right there where he could grab the wheel at any second, but the idea was that I was driving and he was walking. I don't remember much else from when I was 4 years old, but I could take you out to the home farm and show you within 20 feet where that took place."

After that, Jon drove that Farmall H a lot.