Smith Mill tour highlight of Wayne County Tractor Drive
September 3, 2018


Wayne County Farm Bureau  - Fairfield, IL
Copyright 2018 All rights reserved.
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Antique tractors from three states traveled the north-central areas of the Wayne County countryside. 44 tractors participated in this year's Wayne County Tractor Drive.
Darrin Hopper of Fairfield was voted to have the “Most Original, Unrestored” Tractor at this year’s Wayne County Tractor Drive. Hopper drove a restored 1949 Ford 8N.
Jackie Knackmuhs, Jr. from Vincennes, IN drove the oldest tractor, a 1936 Allis Chalmers RC.
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The Youngest Driver Award was presented to 16-year-old Kaleb Smith from Johnsonville.
Antique tractors from three states joined the Wayne County Farm Bureau for the 10th Annual Wayne County Antique Tractor Drive held on Labor Day, September 3. 44 tractors participated in this year’s drive, which began and ended at the Nutrient Ag Solutions plant (formerly CPS) in Johnsonville, IL. Proceeds from the Tractor Drive support the Wayne County Ag in the Classroom program.

This year, tractors headed north of Johnsonville; making their first stop at Smith Mill near Rinard. Drivers toured the historical grain mill press and blacksmith forge. The group traveled east and south to the Jack Fearn farm for lunch. After lunch, the tractors headed east to the Wabash Valley Service Company plant at Cisne, for a tour of their new fertilizer building. Tractors headed west to the home of retired farmer Bob Reed, for homemade ice cream and cowboy shoot demonstration put on by Jack Fearn and Clarence Cooper. The final stretch took the tractors west and north back to Johnsonville. The length of the route was around 35 miles.

George Smith presented the Earl Smith Memorial Award to the oldest driver, 84-year-old Oren Dale Laughlin of Rinard. The Youngest Driver Award was presented to 16-year-old Kaleb Smith of Johnsonville. The Oldest Tractor Award was presented to Jackie Knackmus, Jr. from Vincennes, IN, who drove a 1936 Allis Chalmers RC. The award for “Most Original, Unrestored Tractor” went to Darin Hopper from Fairfield who drove a 1949 Ford 8N. The individual who won the award for Farthest Driven were Bill and Kathy Owens from Sturgis, KY who drove 87 miles to participate in the drive. All of the winners received a 1/16 scale antique toy tractor.

The Wayne County Farm Bureau would like to thank 4-R Equipment, Albion Equipment, Herschel Johnson Implement, LeMond’s Carter Ltd, Outdoor Energy LLC, and William Nobbe & Co. for sponsoring this year's drive. We would also like to thank Fairfield Bank Company for providing donuts and drinks during registration. We appreciate Bob & Marleen Smith for giving us a tour of Smith Mill. We would also like to thank Jack & Carol Fearn for their hospitality in hosting the tractors for lunch. We would like to thank Bob & Karen Reed for hosting us for ice cream, as well as Wabash Valley Service Company for opening their Cisne plant for a tour. We would like to thank Walt Townsend for donating the award for the most original tractor. We would like to thank Sheila Walker and Hayden Byars for taking so many wonderful pictures of this year’s event. Finally, the Farm Bureau would like to thank all of the drivers, volunteers, and their families for participating in this year’s Wayne County Tractor Drive.



84-year-old Oren Dale Laughlin of Rinard was presented the Earl Smith Memorial Award for being the oldest driver at this year’s Wayne County Tractor Drive.
The individuals who won the award for Farthest Driven were Bill and Kathy Owens from Sturgis, KY who drove 87 miles to participate in the drive.