top of page

The Frank G. Hough Company Plant in Libertyville

Jack Murrie

May 12, 2015

This story was in the local newspaper, and shares some IH history surrounding The Frank G. Hough Company in Libertyville, Illinois. Perhaps a lot of IH collectors don’t know about this plant.


I worked at this plant from 1964 until I retired in late 1991. Mr. Hough (pronounced Huff) was a people person. He really cared about his help. When IH took over, you became just a number.


At one time, almost all of IH construction equipment was made in this plant: crawlers, loaders large and small, rubber tire loaders large and small, scrappers, loggers, mining trucks, aircraft movers large and small. They also made an articulated yellow farm tractor in the mid-1960s. In fact, IH construction equipment took the “pay” name from the Hough Payloader name.


The man in the picture on the front page of the newspaper article, Bruce Priebe, was my boss for many years. We went through many ups and downs including strikes, layoffs, and mergers. I worked through the company’s many transformations: Hough, IH, Dresser, and then Komatsu.


Since I’ve retired, I still like IH. I grew up on a Red Farm in northern Illinois. My first tractor driving was on an F-30. I was about 10 years old at that time. I stayed on the farm helping my Dad until I went into the Army. When I got out, my Dad had to sell the farm, so I went to work in a feed store until I got a job in construction work, and then went to work for Hough.


I currently belong to the IHCC Florida Chapter 27, although my health does not let me do much with the Chapter.

An older H-65 and H-60 used in yard work, circa 1988.

The first Payloader

Date unknown

Same building, being torn down in 2015.

bottom of page