Last Homesteader’s Tractor, Headed to National Monument

BEATRICE – Thanks to a major financial contribution, Homestead National Monument officials are retrieving an old tractor from Alaska, used by the nation’s last homesteader under the Homestead Act of 1862.

Dr. C.T. Frerichs made a major financial contribution in the memory of his wife, Julia Frerichs, to rescue the tractor from the Alaska wilderness.

The 1945 Allis Chalmers Model C has been sitting on the banks of the Stony River, on property homesteaded by Ken Deardorff, who filed for his 80-acre claim in 1974, under the Homestead Act.   In 1988, Deardorf received the patent to his claim…..the last one issued under the Homestead Act.

Photo provided by Friends of the Homestead

As for the tractor, it is being brought to the Homestead National Monument of America to be put on display, in the Heritage Center.  President of the Friends of the Homestead, Diane Vicars, says the tractor will be a great contrast to the single bottom plows pulled by horses or oxen, now on display.  She said the Friends group is grateful to C.T. Frerichs for his donation.  His donation will help bring it to the monument and pay for preservation work, on the machine.

The tractor has been airlifted by helicopter from the site where Deardorff parked it, more than 30 years ago.

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