Strong Survivors: Trio of Rare Tractors Endure

Learn about a tri of survivors, after an unfortunate fire, a lucky trio of tractors survive. Discover more about them by reading on.

| March 2020

Joyce and Jerry Linker regularly drove their rare 1928 Rumely OilPull 40-60 Z in parades. Photo courtesy Steve Linker.

Steve Linker is an exceptionally lucky man. When a fire started in the shed where he typically stored three rare antique tractors, Lady Luck smiled on him not once, but twice. Two of the three tractors had been moved to another shed; aware of the presence of the third tractor, firemen took extra care to protect it.

The 1919 12-24 Russell Model B tractor was a large tractor in its day. Photo by Nikki Rajala.

The fire occurred at his mother’s (Joyce Linker) Malden, Illinois, farm in 2017. Normally, a high-profile trio – a Russell, a Case and a Rumely OilPull – would have been stored in the shed where an electrical fire started.

“I was fortunate that I had brought the Russell and the Case over to my house to store them for the winter,” Steve says, “instead of in that shed, where we usually had them.”

The third rare tractor – a Rumely OilPull – was still in the shed with three lesser tractors and many antique collectibles. A couple weeks before the fire, Steve and a friend had searched for parts in the old shed. “When my fire department friends (Darren Carlson, Travis Rossler and Jerry Jackson) arrived on the scene with the rest of the department,” Steve says, “they remembered where the Rumely was stored.”


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