This website started as a biography on my Great, Great-Grandfather
John Henry Fitch that was written as a ninth grade English
assignment in December 1981 while I was attending Whitehall (MI) High
School. My teacher, Mr. Greg Boughton, remarked that it was the
best paper of 50 he read over the Christmas vacation and that I must
save this for my family.
Since that time, I have conducted extensive research and located
more information and periodically updated John's biography. What started
as a 7-page written report on John's life had grown to over 50 pages
filled with graphics and photos. Because of the size of the
latest revision in 2001, I decided to remove the information on the Four
Drive Tractor Company and develop this website. Future plans include
an Internet webpage featuring John's biography as well as a published book
on the company.
my Grandmother, Mrs. Arlene Brant, her late brother Mr.
Charles W. Fitch, Jr., her late sister Mrs. Alice Chinnery and
her sister Mrs. Hazel MacDonald for providing valuable information
and for allowing me to obtain copies of photos.
Mr. Donald Chinnery (son of Mrs. Alice R. Chinnery), editor
of "The Four-Drive" genealogy newsletter, [visit "Don's
Genealogy" Internet web site at
Mrs. Laura Lagana (Granddaughter of John H. Fitch's daughter,
Nora Fitch Hayes) for the brochure, letterheads and photos.
the Rose Hawley Museum and the Mason County Historical Society
of Ludington, MI for allowing me to search their files and to photocopy
Mrs. Maxine Sofoulis of the Mecosta County Historical
Society, Big Rapids, MI for her assistance on locating information on
the Four Drive Tractor Company and its demise.
Mr. James Bruskotter, weeklies managing editor of The Pioneer
Group of Big Rapids for his assistance in obtaining copies of photos
used in previous Pioneer articles on the Four-Drive Tractor
Agricultural Tractor Historian and author of "The World of Classic
Tractors", Mr. Ian M. Johnston of Tuncurry, New South Wales, Australia
for information regarding the 1929 Fitch Four-Drive Tractor on display at
the Gunnedah Rural Museum in Australia. [visit Ian's Internet website
Mr. Ken Christensen of Westport, WA (owner of a Model 20-35
Four Drive Tractor) and his friend Mr. Jim Savage for their
assiatance during our visit in July 2001 and Mr. Richard Toy
of Aberdeen, WA for information regarding Ken's tractor.
Mr. Keith Schuberg of Rodney, MI (owner of a 1929 Four-Drive
Tractor) who let my family and I play around with his tractor during our
visit to Big Rapids in August 1998 and June 2003; Mr. Edwin Sanderson
of Big Rapids who arranged for us to visit Keith Schuberg in 1998;
Mr. Alan Walsh of Rodney, MI who drove my family around on the tractor
Mr. Jim Spall of Fielding, New Zealand (owner of a Fitch tractor)
who provided me with photos and information his tractor and other Fitch
Mr. Bob Thoms of Blenheim, New Zealand who sent me photos
and information on the tractor the he restored at Marlborough Vintage Farm
Machinery Museum at Brayshaw Park, Blenheim, NZ.
Mr. Richard Robinson of Rotorua, New Zealand - author and
owner of County Life (NZ) - who provided me with photos and information on
the Brayshaw and Mr. Jim Spall's tractors; and Mr. John Murray of
New Zealand who forward my email to Mr. Robinson.
Mr. R. Alister Clark of Tauranga, New Zealand who sent me
information on the photos he shot in 1947.
Mr. Wayne Walker of Onaga, KS for the photos and information
on the Fitch tractor parts that he has for sale and Mr. Dan Crist
who forwarded me Mr. Walker's email address.
Mr. Alan Crocker of Modesto, CA (owner of a Fitch tractor)
for the information on his tractor and, Mr. David Garrison and Mr.
Gary ?? of California who sent me photos and information on Alan's
Mr. Warren Bolton and Mr. Joe Haze of Big Rapids and
members of the Big Rapids Antique Farm & Power Club who provided
information and photos on Keith Schuberg's "Cat" Four Drive Tractor.
Mr. & Mrs. Richard & Lois Spedowski of Big Rapids -
President and Secretary of the Big Rapids Antique Farm & Power Club
- who provided information Four Drive Tractors.
Mr. Michael Lewis of Elsie, MI and his sister Mrs. Jackie
Danalewich of Westerville, OH who provided information and photos on
Four Drive Tractor and Company that belonged to their Grandfather, Mr.
Albin Johnson who was Secretary and a sales representative of the
Mr. Michael Betz of Battle Creek, MI for the photos of his
1929 Model E Four Drive Tractor .
Mr. Robert Hamilton and his coworker Mrs. Kim McIntyre of
Woodstock, Ontario, Canada for the information and photos of Bob's 1929/30
Model F Four Drive tractor.
Mr. Ole Potter of Escalon, CA for the information and photos
of the Fitch Four Drive Model D at Angels Camp Museum at Angels Camp,
Captain C. W. Addison USN(ret) of Pensecola, FL, who
sent me a 1918 FDTC stock certificate that was purchased by his Grandfather
Mrs. Grace Gibbons of Boynton Beach, FL, who sent me a 1917
FDTC stock certificate that was purchased by her father J. F.
Mrs. Eileen Curtis of the Nebraska Tractor Test
Laboratory for her assistance in obtaining advertising and test information
on the 1929 Four Drive models.
Mr. & Mrs. Ralph & Glayds Nutter of Napoleon, OH from
whom I purchased the Four Drive Tractor Company postcard.
Mr. Donald Staats of Onalaska, WI who sent me the photocopies
of the 1916 "Motor Age" magazine article.
Mrs. Marita Bragg of Goldsboro, NC who sent me photocopies
of "The 1929 Tractor Field Book".
Mr. Russ Pusilo of Bartlett, IL who sent me a copy of a 1929
Model E "Cat" brochure.
Mrs. Nancy Hurley of Spokane, WA who had a photo of a Fitch
tractor posted on eBay.
Mr. & Mrs. Richard & Lynda Rosemus of Portland, OR
from whom I purchased a black & white 8"x10" photo of a Fitch tractor
taken in California in the 1930's.
Mr. Terry L. Ommen of Visalia, CA from whom I purchased a
black & white 8"x10" photo of three Fitch tractors in a ditch taken most
likely in California in the 1920's or 30's.
Mr. Pat Roberts of Bryan, OH - owner of "Paper-N-Parts" -
who sent me a photocopy of the Four Drive Tractor specifications from the
"1919 Year of the Tractor" book.
Mrs. Elayne Hurd of Wisconsin for the scans of the Fitch tractor
ads from the June, August and September 1920 Tractor & Gas Engine Review
Mrs. Donna Adams of Toulon, IL for the scans of the Fitch
tractor article from the January 1920 Tractor & Gas Engine Review
and especially my wife Janelle for helping me search the files
and records in Ludington and Bellaire, for the purchasing of a scanner and
a color printer, and for her love, support and understanding during my many
hours of researching and typing.