A Pair of Case 50's

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Route 2, Avoca, Iowa 51521

Case No. 33991, consecutive in serial numbers these two Case Steam Engines were featured at the 2nd annual Eshelman S. W. Iowa Antique Machinery and threshing show 2 miles west of Grant, Iowa, on July 31, August 1st and 2nd of this year (1970).

In the center of this photo is Albert Eshelman from Elliott, Iowa, who puts on this show. Leaning on the belt posing with my 50 Case No. 33991 is myself, Raleigh Woltmann from Avoca, Iowa. Quentin Shultz of Griswold, Iowa, is standing by the front wheel of his No. 33992 Case 50.

This was the first reunion for these two engines, apparently, after assembly at the Case factory or at least upon separation from the branch house to the present owners.

A group of 4 farmers from around the Shelby, Iowa, farming community bought this rig of mine, No. 33991, new in July, 1917, along with a 32 x 57 steel Separator and water wagon booked out around $3,900.00 delivered by the Rock Island Railroad to Shelby.

This year I took the 'Outfit' back to Shelby for their 100th year Centennial and we had a threshing demonstration in about the exact spot where the rig was unloaded 53 years ago in the same month, July.

My Grandfather (Adolph L.) and Dad (Ernest H. Woltmann) were hired to operate the outfit for the owners in 1919 and it made a more successful management for all. They in turn each bought th share from two of the original owners.

Down through the years my Uncle Herman Woltmann acquired total ownership. 1939 was the last year he threshed with steam. Then for some 10 years or so a Model L Case Gas Tractor which was belted to the separator and used until the combines took over.

In 1947 I bought this engine from my Uncle for my own sentimental purpose. This was about the same time 'The Farm Album' by Elmer Ritzman came to my attention. Thus now I have all the issues from No. 1 until the present, bound in my collection. Along with this, a visit in 1950 to Dan Zehr's Steam Show at Pontiac, Illinois, and attending the Mt. Pleasant Show (which I have been doing annually since 1951) helped inspire me to restore the Engine and since have used it for a hobby.