by Kristen Miller
Enterprise Dispatch Staff Writer

A large remnant of Cokato's manufacturing past has been added to Cokato Museum’s collection, thanks to a couple from northern Iowa.

Ed and Cheryl Barkema of Garner, Iowa, saw the uniqueness in the cab of a 4000 John Deere tractor they purchased at an auction in August.

On the green and yellow cab was the manufacturer’s label, “Pacesetter Corporation, Cokato Minn,” complete with a 612 area code.

Since the Barkema’s were only going to use the tractor for work around their farmyard, they decided to take the cab off and trace it back to the town it was manufactured in.

Cheryl contacted Cokato Museum Director Mike Worcester to see if he would be interested in having the item donated to the museum’s collection.

Since the museum didn't have a cab in its collection and was unaware of any in the area, Worcester drove eight hours round trip to pick up the cab.

“We had to take advantage of a very generous offer for this item. It would have been unwise to pass it up,” Worcester said.

"It’s an artifact – a part of Cokato’s manufacturing past," he added.

In the late 1960s, Johnson Manufacturing acquired Lundeen Cab Company, owned by Clarence Lundeen, according to Philip Johnson.

Pacesetter Corporation became the sales division of Johnson Manufacturing and was owned by Philip and Virgil Johnson, Clifford Keskey, and John Hed.

The company was somewhat short-lived, however, and ceased operations around 1971, according to Johnson.

At the time, the company sold its products throughout the five-state area, according to Johnson.

Every once in awhile, Johnson will come across a Pacesetter cab during his travels, he said.

"It's a little rusty, but it is certainly a unique piece," Worcester said.

The cab is currently being stored in the city's shed.

This article originally appeared in the November 30, 2009 edition of the Enterprise Dispatch. Reprinted with permission. ©2009, Herald Journal Publishing, Inc.