Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 20, 2018

4-Her restores grandfather’s 1938 tractor

Jul 23, 2018
Photo by: Gretchen Teske Elijah McGohen, 17, stands next to the 1938 John Deere G he restored in memory of his grandfather, Wayne Fuller.

By Gretchen Teske, Mt. Pleasant News


At a time when most high-school students are working on geometry, Elijah McGohen was working on a 1938 John Deere tractor. Before his grandfather, Wayne Fuller, passed away, McGohan was gifted two tractors his grandfather hoped he would one day restore. In his memory, McGohan brought his John Deere G to the Henry County Fair and took home the outstanding exhibit award.

“I talked about doing it before and it just kind of happened,” he said of the process of getting started. Fuller had four tractors and gifted two each to his two grandsons. McGohan received a model G and B while his brother received models A and H. The tractors sat in a shed for over 40 years before he had the chance to dig them out.

“It’s not as common as others, so I just figured why not start with this one,” he said. The tractors were buried under things and in a foot of mud. Most of the day was spent digging out items in and around the tractors and visiting the dump. Finally, it came time to try and dig the tractors out. It took several hours, but with the whole family’s help, McGohan was successful.

Next came the process of restoration. With the help of his grandfather’s cousin, Richard, the pair spent close to two years taking the tractor apart and putting it back together. McGohan even hand painted the tractor himself, a painstaking process that took several hours and a skilled eye to watch for details. Once everything was complete, Richard and McGohan drove the once not working tractor around to make sure everything was secure and in working order. The final touch was adding a handmade wood sign given to him by a relative, that commemorates the tractor being in honor of his late grandfather.

McGohan’s grandmother, Betty Fuller, said she was very proud when her grandson told her he was going to try and restore the tractor. Although her husband was not around to see the finished product, she said he would be proud, too. “He kept them in hopes of some day having grandsons he could pass them onto,” she said. Fuller was glad her grandson was doing something with the tractor and trying something new. “It was a good learning experience,” she said.

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