2008 Wilbur Jones

Wilbur O. Jones

Wilbur O. Jones was born in Boone County and his family moved to Waugh and later to Rosston where his father had a chance to farm for the first time on his own. Wilbur had a lifelong experience with tractors and his first lesson driving was on a Fordson tractor at the age of 9. Wilbur was an ace at tractors from an early age.

In 1936 Wilbur and his family moved to a 160-acre farm near Sheridan. That is where he met and married his wife Luella. The couple had six children: Patricia Jones (husband Bob), Dusty Davidson (husband Larry), Judy Listenburger (husband Mike), Rick Jones (wife Teena), Jack Jones (wife Betty), and Jeff Jones (wife Irenda).

In 1940 Wilbur was inducted into the U.S. Army in the Armored Division. He served until an illness forced him to be discharged. Wilbur then worked for Delco-Remy as a parts man for John Deere in Lebanon and in an independent garage in Terhune. Fortunately, for Carroll County farmers, Wilbur moved to Delphi in late 1949 and started working for Bassett & Talbert John Deere.

On his first farm service call they sent him to Burrows via Adams Township. There he met Louis and Don Brubaker. Together they developed a dynamometer using a pony clutch system that checked horsepower within one-half horsepower accuracy of the one that was developed by Purdue University. The original dynamometer was belt driven and they later adapted it to a power-take-off system.

Wilbur is known throughout the community for being able to make about anything run. Once he converted a John Deere 60 gas tractor into a diesel. He would take parts from all makes of equipment to make them run. In the early 1960s he ran his own shop and had more work than he could handle because of his expertise in farm equipment. Bill Lee asked him to come to work for him at the John Deere store, Chittick-Jackson-Lee in Flora, known as JLP today. He was service manager from 1964 to 1984.

Wilbur was one of the founders of the Carroll County Antique Tractor & Machinery Club. He was the first to receive the Carroll County Tractor and Machinery Club Wall of Fame Award. In 2003 he received the Carroll County Heritage Award. In 1994 he was given the FFA Educator Award. In 1983 he earned the Indiana State Farm Tractor Pulling title in the 4500-pound class. In 2000 he was given a certificate of appreciation for 50 years of service to the Camden Lions Club for their pulling contest. Wilbur has also donated many hours to the Delphi Canal projects, restoring many structures. Wilbur has helped farmers by keeping their machinery running with excellent service, knowledge and caring.

February 11, 2010

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