For John Kellogg of Morris, his antiques and collectibles have been his pride and joy for more than 60 years.
But now the most important thing is being able to stay home with his wife, Lou, as his health begins to require more help than his wife can handle alone.
“In order for me to keep him home, we have to be able to pay for (home care),” said Lou. “It’s very hard and I feel badly, but he just isn’t physically able to do it anymore. He has an unbelievable amount of stuff, God love him.”
The couple is auctioning off John’s antique tractors, cowboy collectibles, spurs, bits, anvils and forging tools, horse-drawn machinery, antique tools and other collector items to pay for John’s care.
The auction will be at 9 a.m., Saturday, July 27, at their home, 8705 N. Lisbon Road, Morris. A preview of the items will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, July 26.
The auction is being held by Tri County Auction Co. and is open to anyone interested. A complete listing and pictures of the items can be found at auctionzip.com, with the number #14498.
John grew up on a farm in Michigan. He began milking cows at a very young age and became a member of the 4-H at 7-years-old, he said. He later became a member of the FFA. He showed cattle and rode horses in county fairs, and participated in rodeos showing horses and riding bulls.
“I’ve been in every farming organization there is,” said John.
He graduated high school and headed to Michigan State, but had to leave early to return to the family farm to help with the work. On the farm, John did some trucking, taking cattle to different locations, and eventually this turned into a second career for him.
It’s trucking that took him to Springfield, Ill., where he met Lou, whom he married in 1983. They lived together in Michigan for a time and, when he was transferred to Illinois, they moved to Morris and have lived here for 28 years.
“He’s worked so hard all his life. He never ever stops,” said Lou.
John has been collecting for years, but it really took off after he retired in 1998. He started bringing home so much Lou had to make a rule it could not come into the house. The basement and the garage were all his though.
“He could do what he wanted, but it had to stay outside,” said Lou with a laugh.
His favorite item to collect was horse-drawn equipment; blacksmith anvils of all sizes are a close second.
But judging by the amount of spurs, bits, John Deere toys, tools and his seven antique tractors - it’s hard to believe he has one favorite.
“It’s just in my blood,” said John.
For more information on the auction call Tri County Auction Co. at (217) 268-3444.