About the Curator
Austin Frederick grew up in central Wisconsin’s small farming town Markesan. He was lucky enough to grow up on a 180 acre farm, where he was able to help his dad with different things on the farm, ranging from milking cows to planting crops. It was growing up on a farm that sparked Austin’s interest in Allis-Chalmers tractors and equipment. In addition to having numerous tractors to use for planting and harvesting, Austin’s dad bought a tractor for him and his two sons restore in 2005. This tractor was an Allis Chalmers D-17 Series II and it was the first of many tractors Austin, his dad and his brother restored together. One tractor to restore quickly became two, which soon became three and then four. People even know the Frederick’s farm as Antique Allis Acres!
Austin also loves Allis Chalmers tractors because of the history behind the company and its local ties. For as long as he can remember, Austin has been passionate about history, so the combination of Allis Chalmers’ Wisconsin roots and the company’s interesting history is what makes him so interested in everything Allis Chalmers. Austin pursued this passion by studying history at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in journalism in the spring of 2013.
In 2011, Austin started on his first large-scale history project; writing a historical book about his hometown, Markesan. His book, titled Markesan: Images of America, describes Markesan’s humble beginnings and takes readers through time to show how the town grew into a community that thrived in the areas of farming, granite mining and railroad activity, making it one of the richest areas in the country. Austin sorted through hundreds of photos at the Markesan Historical Society to find the photographs that would best tell the story of Markesan. After finding the perfect pictures, identifying hundreds of people and places, and organizing those photos to his liking, Austin’s book was released by Arcadia Publishing on February 20, 2012.
For 9 years, Austin has collected Allis Chalmers photos, advertisements and other memorabilia, which is one of the reasons he decided to create the Allis Chalmers History Museum. He launched the Allis Chalmers History Museum in 2013 in hopes of sharing his collection and collaborating with others to preserve and share the history of Allis-Chalmers.