Alvin Ray Straight (October 17, 1920 – November 9, 1996) was a resident of Laurens, Iowa, who gained fame for traveling 240 miles on a 1966 John Deere riding lawn mower to visit his 80-year-old brother Henry in Blue River, Wisconsin who had recently suffered a stroke. At a top speed of 5 miles per hour, the journey took six weeks. The event happened in the summer of 1994 when Alvin was 73 years old.
Mr. Straight could not see well enough to get a driver license so he decided his only option was the mower. Setting off in early July, he towed a trailer loaded with gasoline, camping gear, clothes and food, and arrived at his brother's house in mid-August. Henry Straight recovered and moved back to Iowa to be closer to his family.
Alvin Straight was born in Scobey, Montana. He married Frances Beek on Oct. 17, 1946 in Scobie, Montana. He moved with his wife Frances and their family to Lake View, Iowa in 1973 where he worked as a general laborer. He was a veteran of World War II — serving as Private First Class (PFC) in the United States Army — and the Korean War. He was the father of five sons and two daughters.
On November 9, 1996, Straight died of a heart ailment. A mower similar to the one he had used on his journey accompanied his funeral procession to the Ida Grove Cemetery.
- "Alvin Straight". Desmoinesregister.com. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
- "Man Who Made Solo Lawn Mower Journey Dies At 76. - Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. 1996-11-14. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
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