Henry Bents Antique Tractor Auction set for June 11

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Farm Forum

Farming is the backbone of the Midwest. Iowa is no exception with its rich soils that make it perfect for growing crops and dreams. Henry Bents was a life-long Sibley, Iowa, resident and grew up farming. You could say he was a true definition of a farmer with love of the land and the Lord that provides. Henry was a quiet man who was private but enjoyed family, good stories and working with his old tractors and cars. He enjoyed having friends pop in his shop and at the farm to talk about farming, tales and old tractors, of course. There wasn’t just one flavor that he liked — his collection has a little of everything. John Deere, International, Case, Moline — there is something for everyone. He always seemed to have a project going and sometimes two.

Henry met and married Twila in 1996. Both of them have children of their own and all shared together in the old tractors and cars. Twila always remembered that Henry had all these old tractors and also loved Corvettes. He had a 1959 Corvette, that he had for years, and was always looking for another project. Together they shared a life full of laughter and joy out on the farm on the edge of Sibley, Iowa. But life can change in a blink of an eye, and a tornado is the worst twist of fate. In June 2010, Henry had a hard day and was going to bed early, and Twila heard the warnings on the news. She quickly ran in and woke up Henry, and they headed to the basement. They were barely in the basement when their lives were turned upside down, and the F4 tornado tore through their farm and their lives. Twila was hit on the legs with debris, and she talks about hearing nails being pulled out of the wood in the house and everything blowing apart. It was about 10 p.m., and they were alive and together, and that’s all that mattered at the time. They got out of the debris and saw their farm was totally destroyed along with other neighbors’.

The 1959 Corvette that Henry had was in a ball. Many tractors, equipment and almost all buildings were gone. Family and friends came immediately to help the family start to recover. Twila lost her wedding ring in the storm and a neighbor found the ring and her glasses in the field. It was an amazing testimony that God is good and looks out for his faithful. It took a lot of work, but they managed to build Henry a new shop on the edge of Sibley, and they bought a house in town. Things were getting back to normal and farming was good, and like normal, Henry had projects, several, going in the shop. He had bought a 1962 Corvette Roadster to replace the 1959 that was lost in the storm, and it was at the shop in the middle of a restoration. Everything was back to normal. Friends were dropping by the shop to see what project was in the works and talk farming.

Like that tornado, life again had a twist of fate. Henry suddenly passed away July 9, 2015. A shock to all family and friends — another Iowa farmer taken too soon. It has been hard on the family, but on June 11 at 10 a.m., they have decided to sell Henry’s antique tractors, parts and antique vehicles at auction. All will be sold at no reserve, and the 1962 Corvette will be offered subject to confirmation of seller. The family sold all the farm equipment last year, and now VanDerBrink Auctions will sell all the remainder of his collections. There is something for everyone from the beautifully restored Farmall Super MTA to approximately 100 antique tractors for projects and parts. There is also a large number of tractor parts, Honda scooters, the 1962 Corvette and a 1923 Ford Model T Speedster that survived the F4 tornado. Plan now on attending this auction at the farm outside of Sibley, Iowa. Spend time with the family and friends as they celebrate Henry’s collection and talk memories. Be on time. The tractors are first, then vehicles, and the parts to follow. If you can’t come to the auction, online bidding is available through www.proxibid.com and complete catalog, inventory and more is online at www.vanderbrinkauctions.com. If you are looking for antique tractors, parts and good project cars, you won’t want to miss this auction. See you in Sibley, Iowa, on June 11 at 10 a.m.