Annual tractor drive honors the
late Ken Harnacke
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[July 10, 2019]
On Saturday morning the Antique Tractor and Small Engine Club
members made a trek from New Holland to Mason City for a visit with
residents at the Mason City Nursing Home. The club annually holds a
tractor drive traveling through the country. Afterward the club
returns to New Holland for lunch and a time of visiting and in many
cases, comparing notes about their vintage farming machines.
This year was somewhat bittersweet as the group was traveling minus
one very important member, Ken Harnacke. Harnacke has been
responsible for hosting the annual drive as well as a fall tractor
show in New Holland for many years. This year, Harnacke passed away
on June 10th following a brief battle with cancer. Harnacke had been
diagnosed earlier in the year with cancer in his back. He had
undergone cancer treatment and rehab, then died suddenly on June
10th from a heart attack.
This year, his family including his wife Carla, daughter and
son-in-law Amanda and David Gray, and grandson Ryne, continued the
tradition bringing together the club for a day that included
remembering the man who has helped keep the club going over the
More than a dozen tractors left New Holland at approximately 9 a.m.
via Illinois Route 10. At the curve north of town, they took the
blacktop road north to a second blacktop heading west. That road
took them straight into Mason City just a half block from their
final destination in the parking lot of the nursing home.
Tractors were parked and Carla Harnacke and Amanda Gray worked to
hand out bottles of ice cold water on the very warm day. Residents
of the nursing home came out to visit with the drivers, admire the
tractors, and perhaps remember some days of old when they might have
had first-hand experience on similar machines.
After a time of visiting with the residents and each other, the
tractor brigade headed back to New Holland. On the return trip the
group veered from their original route to make a swing past the
cemetery south and west of New Holland where Ken was laid to rest.
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They then made their way back to New Holland and the Harnacke
Buildings Shop where they were treated to lunch courtesy of the
Before and after the drive, members were offered the opportunity to
purchase raffle tickets for the International 856 pedal tractor that
Harnacke has donated to the Friends and Family Relay for Life team
from Lincoln. Harnacke donated the tractor to be raffled as a
fundraiser in honor of his wife Carla, who is a cancer survivor. At
the time he gave the gift, he didnít know that he would within a
very short time be diagnosed with cancer himself.
A number of the tractor club members took the opportunity to
purchase those tickets in memory of Ken. At the end of the day, the
relay team had another $125 for the American Cancer Society.
The tractor has been making its way around the area, visiting the
ALMH Farmerís Market, the Oasis Flea Market held during Pigs &
Swigs, Relay for Life annual relay day, Collision Concepts in
Lincoln, and currently the tractor is at the New Holland Banking
Center in New Holland. Tickets are on sale at Harnacke Buildings,
Lincoln Daily News/CCAOnline, Collision Concepts, and the New
Holland Banking Center. The drawing for the tractor will be held on
September 14th at the New Holland Memorial Tractor Show.