At the Mid-State Collectors Club meeting on Wednesday, April 10, Jim and Della Niemann of Litchfield were named to the 2018-2019 Mid-State Collectors Club Hall of Fame and awarded the Honorary Member plaque.
The award represents a lifetime achievement of collecting and preserving Allis-Chalmers tractors, combines, and farm equipment. The Niemanns are active members of the collectors club and participate in area shows. The couple has even hosted events at their family farm. Mr. Niemann serves as the current president of the collectors club and Mrs. Niemann is always by his side to help out when needed.
The Niemanns have been married for 53 years and are blessed with three children and seven grandchildren, each of whom shares the couple's love for orange Allis-Chalmers equipment.
The Niemann's Allis-Chalmers collection began in 1994, with the purchase of a 1937 Allis-Chalmers WC tractor and two-bottom plow. This outfit was similar to the one Mr. Niemann's father traded a team of horses and some cash for in 1937. The purchase was the beginning of the couple's collection, which now numbers over 55 pieces. The collection is housed in an antique barn-type shed on the Niemanns' farm. The doors are always open to anyone who may be interested in visiting the sizeable collection of antiques.
Past winners of the Mid-State Collectors Club award include Kenneth Wilson in 2006-2007, Clarence Keiser in 2007-2008, Judy Probst in 2008-2009, Ray Swanson in 2009-2010, Shirley Randle in 2010-2011, James Randle in 2011-2012, Andy Theriac in 2012-2013, Mark Dozier in 2014-2015, Arland Kasten in 2015-2016, Larry Harnetraux in 2016-2017, and Jim Lohman in 2017-2018. Each of the Hall of Fame award winners have represented a longtime achievement in collecting and preserving the heritage of antique agriculture related items.