Daryl Dempsey

One of the best parts about researching old Jeeps and farm equipment is getting to meet new people. Daryl Dempsey is a Love Tractor collector along with several other brands, including the Friday Tractor. Daryl has provided new information and, importantly, photographs in our Jabez Love research. As often happens when we meet someone new, we also found a great Jeep story.

Daryl Dempsey

I was born in November 1964. The youngest of four and one of the last baby boomers. My family has a history of farming in Jackson County Ohio since 1811. I’m farming some of the same land first bought in 1824 and thereafter. My father was a cow/calf producer and I have made a career out of it too.  

My family used Jeeps on the farm, basically like we use side by sides today. Transportation, working cattle, fixing fence, hauling feed, salt, and mineral, and pulling wagons and implements. I faintly remember the old CJ(?) my dad used in the 1960’s and have a couple of pictures of it. About all I remember of it is sitting in our shed and having a star on the hood. My uncle took the engine to use in an irrigation pump. I remember a neighbor coming to get the rest of it to use the axles from it. In the early 1970’s my father Dale bought a brown CJ5 with a white factory steel half cab. In 1978, he bought a dark blue Levi Edtion CJ7 with the soft cab. He later added an aftermarket aluminum full cab and we took it off in the summertime and finally just used a bikini top to keep the sun, rain, and snow off our back. It was a great helper on the farm. In 1987 the Jeep was replaced by a new concept on the market, the John Deere AMT 600. 

Dayls’ faithful childhood friend Bee-Bee

My earliest memory of driving a tractor was when they put me on a 65 Massey Ferguson to steer while picking up square bales. I was not tall enough to see over the hood and my legs were not long enough to reach the clutch. I think I remember this because by not being able to see over the hood, I straddled a hay bale and it got caught under the tractor! My next memory is driving a brand new John Deere 2030 tractor in 1973. It’s first job on the farm was pulling a square baler while my father stacked hay on the wagon. I would have been eight years old. 

My interest in antique tractors came from my father. In the late 1970’s, he wanted an old two cylinder John Deere. He found an old model H that was in Poor condition. He overhauled it and got it fixed up. He just kept buying them when he could find them for $300-$500 apiece. His interest in them came from driving one when he was a boy. My grandfather bought a new John Deere B in 1944. My dad remembers his father somehow getting the rear tire of the tractor onto the fender of the family car. The John Deere B had a hand clutch and my grandfather was desperately stomping on the left brake trying to use it for a clutch and yelling “Whoa” as it kept grinding on the fender! After he got it stopped, he exclaimed “As soon as I get enough money, I’m going to trade it in on a new Farmall” and that’s what he did. So, I guess my father never forgot about that little B and wanted one again. 

Being young at the time, I was more interested in old cars. I had a couple of old Triumphs I was working on before I could drive. It wasn’t until I was nearing graduation from college in 1987 that I really became interested in the old tractors and their history. The very first tractor I bought on my own was a 1929 steel wheeled 10-20 McCormick Deering from Ross Implement in West Union Ohio. We got it running and is still in my collection. 

The Love connection. It sort of started by way of Friday, and The Friday Tractor Company. My uncle ran the family orchard business. In the mid 1980’s he took his old Ford box truck to Hartford Michigan and bought a Friday Wish Basket. It was a pruning tower on a trailer built by David Friday. I helped my uncle unload it upon his return. He used it for many years in his orchard. When he sold out, the Wish Basket went to an orchard in a neighboring county. I became friends with the owner, Tom, as he collected old tractors too, Allis Chalmers. He said Friday made tractors and we should get one or two. I knew they were scarce, but wouldn’t you know it, two popped up within a week or two for sale. I arranged to have them delivered from Michigan. They were both parts tractors. One missing a rear axle. The other missing the engine and transmission. The idea was to make one from the two. Tom said we shouldn’t do that since very few were made. He took the one without the engine and restored it. I got the one without the rear end. I tried to find the serial number on it, and eventually got ahold of Bob Hall who had written some articles on Friday tractors. By using the serial number from the engine, we determined it was 4832, a 1948 model that was a trade in for the last Friday made in 1960. Well, the story gets more interesting when I meet a fellow in Michigan that has 4832. He’s the same fellow that has the last Friday built. I find out the tractor I have is actually a Love that they traded in,  instead of 4832, which they had originally intended to trade for the last Friday built. They had swapped engines before the trade because the Love had a better engine than 4832. Friday records showed 4832 as being the trade. So, the tractor I thought was a Friday for many years was actually a Love tractor made by Jabez Love. It looks almost identical to a Friday, but has a straight channel iron frame that is unlike the 1937-39 Loves and those made afterwards and the ones made by Friday. It’s the only one I’ve seen like it. It was originally bought by K & K farms in Coloma Michigan and traded in for a new Friday in 1947.

Daryl, Bob Hall, and Richard Weber

Loves and Fridays used the same hoods and grilles that is believed to have come from Ross Carrier in Benton Harbor Michigan. 

I have four Loves. A couple of 1937’s, the K & K, and a row crop from 1950. Five Friday tractors. Two 1947’s, 1949, and the first and second built in 1958. I have a couple of the Michigan built doodlebug tractors too. That’s what David Friday started out building before he got acquainted with Jabez Love in 1941 and began building the New Improved Love tractors. 

I like old Chevy farm trucks as my grandfather had one on the farm back in the 1930’s-40’s. I like orchard tractors but have several row crop and standards as well. John Deere, International, Case, Huber, CO-OP, Allis Chalmers, Minneapolis Moline, etc. 

Friday and a few friends hanging out in the barn

I’ve met a lot of nice people over the years that share the same interests in this old iron and it’s history. 

My son was married on our farm in June 2021. They wanted to include the tractor. It made a couple nice pictures.

View the picture gallery here.