Illinois man gives new life to old farm equipment

A Midwestern man took up refurbishing old tractors as a hobby 10 years ago.
A Midwestern man took up refurbishing old tractors as a hobby 10 years ago.
Terry Welshans' love for farm equipment began decades ago through his interaction with his uncle's John Deere tractor.

The 62-year-old Homer Glen, Illinois, man was recently featured in Tinley Park's SouthtownStar newspaper. It was on his uncle's farm in Iowa that Welshans encountered the John Deere tractor, which started his interest in farm equipment.

"The one I have now is just like that one, except now I'm bigger," Welshans told the paper.

Welshans has developed his attraction to tractors into a hobby. After retiring around a decade ago, Welshans began restoring antique tractors. So far, Welshans has restored five antique tractors through a process he said can take months, or even years.

Every year he puts his work on display at yearly antique equipment show put on by the Will County Thresherman's Association. For this year's show Welshans brought two machines, including a 1941 John Deere Model B tractor. Along with displaying his farm equipment, Welshans acts as the association's secretary.

According to its website, the Will County Thresherman's Association has been around since 1966 and was formed by a group of 45 men with the goal of preserving agricultural history. Every year, the association's show features older agriculture methods and antique farm equipment.