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This John Deere Model A tractor will be sold at auction Dec. 17 with proceeds supporting two Columbus families.

COLUMBUS — Two local families with members battling illness will benefit from the sale of a vintage tractor.

The 1950 John Deere Model A, donated by the Jeff Mullinix family of rural Columbus, will be auctioned off at 2 p.m. Dec. 17 at Pinnacle Bank's east location, 210 E. 23rd St., with proceeds going to the Rick Zoucha and David Gokie families to help offset medical expenses. The men have both been battling cancer.

Potential bidders can contact Rick Grubaugh of Grubaugh Auction Service at 402-276-1210 with any questions about the tractor.

Grubaugh said the Mullinix family contacted him with the idea for an auction and it aroused interest in potential buyers. Bidders can show up for the Dec. 17 auction or enter a proxy bid online at

Grubaugh donated his services for the sale, allowing all proceeds to support the Columbus families.

Mullinix, Zoucha and Gokie got acquainted through activities at St. Isidore Catholic Church and Scotus Central Catholic.

“We’ve worked together in a men’s program at the church,” said Mullinix, who remembers the Model A tractor being in his family since the early 1950s.

It initially belonged to his great-grandparents, then was passed down to his grandfather and later to his stepfather and mother.

The tractor, which remains in good working condition, even picked up a nickname over the years.

The family owned two Model A's at one time, so they pinned a moniker on today’s surviving model. It was named after Mullinix's late mother, Linda.

“They had to have a way to tell them apart when they needed to use only one,” he said.

The Model A was John Deere's first true row-crop tractor, and the first model to come from the factory with rubber tires.

The last Model A's were manufactured in 1952.

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Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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