Today is Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Dillon brothers share Deere with County Fair

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When my granddaddy started farming, he bought a 1951 B John Deere. Thats when Daddy took a liking for John Deere, Danny said. And in 1965 my daddy and granddaddy bought this 1965 John Deere lawn mower. It is entirely worn out.

Weve got tractors everywhere, said Danny, who often steers one of his fathers green machines in the annual Possum Town Christmas Parade.

Jimmy Dillon harvested his big tractors from across the U.S.

Danny recollected, He called me up one day and said, Ive got a tractor I want you to pick up in Omaha.

Whenever he got another one, hed come in and say to our mom, Rose, I bought you another tractor, Richard added.

We had all of them running but five after Daddy died, and most of em you have to crank by hand, Richard said about the John Deere concert produced by the music of the revved-up tractors.

One of the many unique items in the family archives is a large John Deere dinner bell that Mrs. Dillon found for her husband. The collection also holds a single yellow John Deere tractor (an industrial tractor) and a John Deere buggy built for Mr. Dillon by Mennonites.

Jimmy Dillon began his cabinet company in 1969, the same year Cracker Barrel Restaurants started, and Dillon Cabinet & Millwork has made tables for the restaurant chain ever since.

(Earlier this summer, woodworker Danny constructed a 3,000-pound water wheel for the grist mill in Fiddlers Grove at the Wilson County Fairgrounds.)

Theres one piece of equipment John Deere wont stand behind, Richard said, laughing while he pointed at a long piece of machinery behind a tractor. The manure spreader.

Danny and Richards fathers favorite tractor was his 1964 model.

That was the one he always cut hay with, Richard said. He sent it off to be restored but died before he saw it finished.

The Dillon brothers continue to enjoy the green machines, toys and other items their father assembled over 30 years and are hoping fair-goers will like viewing part of the Jimmy Dillon collection at the Wilson County Fair.

Were just gonna keep it together, Danny said. Theres not a lot of em, but the ones there are pretty unique.

Writer Ken Beck may be contacted at

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