Edward “Ted” Billups was born and raised on the Camas Prairie of North Central Idaho. He began work at the local John Deere dealership, Brown Motors (later Bell Equipment), at the age of 19, and worked there for 75 years. While working there, Ted developed a hydraulic booster steering system that was integrated into all of Brown Motors’ three-lunge crawlers, making them easier to steer. He was known throughout the community for his extensive knowledge, which he was generous with, as well as his work ethic. Ted and his wife, Dolores, raised their family in Grangeville, where each year’s 4th of July parade would feature his tractors.
Ted was a well-known collector and restoration expert. His collection and expertise have been featured in Farm Collector and Fastline magazines, as well as numerous other publications.
Ted and Dolores were active members of their community, and various tractor clubs. They were Life Members of the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association, Lewis & Clark Antique Power Club, Branch 54, and was inducted into the National Hall of Fame in 2010. He was also a member of the Antique Caterpillars Machinery Owner’s Club, Chapter 14.
All of the machines on this auction were expertly restored by Ted himself from the motor out, with minimal hours on them after restoration.