Jabez Love – The early years

Jabez Love was born in 1909. His father moved the family from the northwest to Benton Harbor, MI in 1916. Jabez’s father, Jabez Sylvester Love, had been associated with the Ross Carrier Company on the west coast and had become the supervisor of the company in Benton Harbor in 1921. Jabez S Love’s obituary provides as much information as we have found on young Jabez’s early years.


Article from Oct 12, 1944 The Herald-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Michigan)

Young Jabez would have been exposed to heavy machinery through his father’s work. Also note the he is going by Jabez R rather than Jabez A (for Arthur) as appears in some writings. He will also go by just the initials JB.

The earliest mentions of Jabez in the newspapers reported on his athletic ability.


Article from Jun 19, 1929 The Herald-Press (Saint Joseph, Michigan)

Love completed three years of engineering training at Northwestern.1 ” Jabez…, goes to work for Dent Parrett at the Benton Harbor plant of Ross Carrier Company, manufacturers of lumber and industrial carriers since 1920. Being located in the fruit belt of southwestern Michigan, located along Lake Michigan, all the trees and ground crops are protected by the warm temperatures of the lake. This in turn created many, many tons of fruit and vegetables headed for the open market. The farmer had to haul his fruit to the Benton Harbor Fruit Market, the largest cash-to-grower market in the United States. The farmer would haul his fruit and vegetables in baskets and field crates from the fields and orchards; haul it to the barn, and then reload it onto his truck for the trip to the market. So at this time, Mr. Love decided that there had to be an easier way to get the job done. Why not make a tractor using a car or truck motor, transmission and rear-end out of a 3-ton truck, and just haul the fruit and vegetables directly from the orchard and field to the market, with a tractor?”2

After highschool Jabez studied engineering at Northwestern University and seems to have been an outstanding student.


Article from Apr 9, 1930 The Herald-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Michigan)

Love’s success in entering the tractor building game may have been in part due to the “Michigan environment.” Michigan, according to this article, could claim more that a half dozen companies, including Love’s, contributing to the development of the tractor.

We will explore how Love developed his ideas in the next section – The Love Tructor

  1. Paul Zoschke, “A Love Story,” Antique Power Magazine, September/October, 1997, page 39
  2. “The LOVE tractor story,” Antique Tractor Forum, August 8, 2012, https://www.antiquetractorsforum.com/threads/the-love-tractor-story.1914/ ↩︎