Grudle Farm Machinery Museum
The Tabor Historical Society maintains a unique collection of farm machinery made possible by the generous donation of Orvan and Rita Grudle.
Orvan came from a farming family and was a graduate of Tabor High School’s class of 1934. He enlisted in the army during World War II and served as a sergeant with the 8th Air Force in England maintaining the electrical systems of B-24 bombers. After the war he married Rita Ann Jessen of Omaha and settled down to a life of farming about a mile north of Tabor. But if you were to ask Orvan what he did for a living, he more than likely would have told you he was an inventor, and invent he did. Around the farm he was always tinkering with machinery trying to make equipment more efficient and effective. For example, he took a double-disk grain drill used for planting seeds and modified it with a hydraulic lift and seed feeder so it could be used more easily on hills.
Orvan and Rita Grudle
In 1994 the Grudles approached the historical society and offered to donate Orvan’s equipment to the organization as well as funding construction of a building to house the collection—ground breaking on the 40-by-50-foot structure occurred in the fall of that year, completed in September 1995. The museum has since become a home to donations from other families and includes farm implements old and new, everything from a one-horse sickle mower for cutting hay, donated by Richard Johnson, to Orvan’s Super C Farmall tractor.
The Grudle collection continues to be an integral part of the society’s holdings and is an important record of Iowa’s agricultural ingenuity and achievements. The museum is open by appointment.
Grudle Museum Display Floor