Mini-Tractor Collection Provides Memories of Farming Days

May 10, 2015 07:00 AM
Mini-Tractor Collection Provides Memories of Farming Days

Ordale Frandle loves to collect miniature tractors.

He loves it so much that he's done it many times — because he also likes to sell them, the Mason City Globe Gazette reported.

"Twice I had over 300 of them and I sold them all both times," Frandle said with a laugh.

A retired farmer, he now lives at the Manor and his latest collection is on display in the lobby.

Frandle has his favorites. He pointed to a red one with a one-armed loader on it. Then there was the green one with the yellow top up in the corner. He likes that one, too.

"I actually owned some of the ones I have miniatures of," said Frandle, 79, who began farming in 1959. Over the years he had corn, beans, hogs and cattle. "A little bit of everything," he said.

And he had tractors.

"I had all new equipment when I started — 100 percent," he said. "In fact, I started my collection when I bought my first tractor.

"They were selling the little ones and I wanted one for each of my two sons. It didn't cost me anything. I talked them out of them," he said.

One thing led to another and before long he had hundreds of the models.

Frandle, originally from Rake, came to the Mason City area in 1955 and farmed on land northwest of the city. He farmed at several different places but lived 2 miles north of the Brakke Implement dealership, he said.

Frandle collects more than just the miniature tractors. He said he had 150 beer steins and still has an old cookie jar that is worth $300 to $400.

As he looked at the display of his tractors, Frandle divulged another collection of sorts that he has, though it was unintentional.

"I still have all of the boxes these tractors came in," he said.

It's a hobby that has given him a lot of satisfaction over the years and is particularly appealing to him now.

"I don't drink and I don't smoke. This is something I can do," he said with a smile.--John Skipper, Mason City Globe Gazette

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