Love Tractor – 1939-1941

The pre-War years would find Jabez Love making major changes. Love would move his factory to the village of Eau Claire. He would continue to build his orchard tractors with the new design and shape. Then he saw the future of farming being reshaped by the introduction of the Ford 9N tractor and he planned on being a player.

Selling the classic Love Tractor

Love 1939 Model Ad

Article from Feb 2, 1939 The Herald-Press (Saint Joseph, Michigan)

Love was doing well selling his tractors. But he knew a good thing when he saw it.

Love becomes a Ford Tractor dealer

The introduction of Ford’s 9N tractor was to bring major changes to Love’s business plan.


Article from Jun 30, 1939 Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Michigan)

According to some accounts, Jabez attended a demonstration of the new tractor and declared it “the future of farming.” Once again he saw an opportunity and purchased a Ford Tractor dealership.

Love adding Ford

Article from Dec 30, 1939 The Herald-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Michigan)

The following ad appeared in February 1941


Was this change brought about by Love’s desire to concentrate on his Ford tractor and implement business?

Love Ford Ad Oct 30,1941

Article from Oct 30, 1941 The Herald-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Michigan)

Love begins to manufacture 3-point implements

Note in the above ad that Love now “Manufacturers Sprayers and Hydraulic Discs.” This signals another major change in Love’s business plan.


Article from Dec 11, 1941 The Herald-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Michigan)

Note that Love is still advertising “Ferguson Implements.” Harry Ferguson will become a competitor as Love creates his own line of 3-point implements.

Love disc Courtesy of Daryl Dempsey

Here is Paul Zoschke’s description of how Love came to be in the implement business.1

“In 1939, with the introduction of the Ford 9N, Jabez Love became the Ford Tractor dealer for Berrien County, Michigan. Chuck Prillwitz joined Love as a salesman.  They found that the fruit farmers wouldn’t buy a Ford 9N without a disc, the primary tillage tool in the orchards. Ford didn’t offer a disc for the 9N out of fear that a three point mounted disc would be too heavy for the light tractor. Evidently, the backward flips of early Fordsons left Henry Ford quite cautious in this regard.  Needing a disc in order to sell their tractors, Jabez Love and Chuck Prillwitz took the tongue off a trailing orchard disc, worked out the braces to fit the Furguson three point hitch, and Love was in the disc business before the end of 1940. The disc business took off quickly, so that Love later described the company as having switched from tractors to the less competitive implement business.”

By the end of 1939, Love has gone from being a builder of tractors to a seller of Ford tractors and a maker of 3-point implements for those Ford tractors.

Love is active in his community

Love was active as the owner of a Ford tractor dealership The following article may provide a clue, as we search for a link between Charles Sorensen and Love. Sorensen was Henry Ford’s right hand man for forty years, before becoming president of Willys-Overland. During the war, Love would become a consultant to Willys-Overland.


Article from Jun 19, 1941 The Herald-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Michigan)

Jabez Love – 1942-1946

  1. Paul Zoschke, “A Love Story,” Antique Power Magazine, September/October, 1997, page 40 ↩︎