Butterfield's Big Case

Case 65

David Fenske owns this Case ''65'' with 2-wheel trailing tender.

Content Tools

1022 North Elm Luverne, Minnesota 56156

Sporting its new paint job, new flues, new stack and some new gears, fittings, valves and bearings, the big Case proudly circled the parade route with the same commanding air a battleship has when it steams up the channel heading for port. This took place at the Butter-field Threshermen's Association's 19th annual engine show, held August 17-18, 1985.

This is the steamer that Neil Miller of Alden Iowa was rebuilding when ill health forced him and Thelma to have an auction sale on June 12, 13, 14, 1980. Jim Tow, Fairmont, Minnesota, bought the big job, trucked it home and stored it for the past five years. This year largely through the efforts of Ed Lammers, Butter-field, Minnesota an agreement was reached which gave BTA the right to show and keep the engine at Butter-field, providing they would finish rebuilding it. I wish the late Mr. Miller could see this beauty now, for it certainly must have looked different when he found the engine and some of the other needed parts scattered around Montana!

BTA has three other belt and plow steam engines; a 65 HP Case owned by Wayne Kispert, and Dave Fenske owns another Case which has a steer able two wheel tender trailing on the back. The tender wheels are steered by a cable and chain arrangement which attaches to the front wheels. The Nichols & Shepard 25-85, double simple, is owned by Lamont Ewy.

Dave Borchert owns and runs a 1/8 scale Mogul train steam engine fired by propane gas which pulls two cars.

These cars are usually filled with kids who purchase the 50 tickets which must be presented in order to get on board. He also owns the first stationary engine shown at BTA. This is a Vilter and was used in a New Ulm Brewery for many years, for it was new in 1901. In the future they plan on using this engine to run the machinery in the blacksmith shop.

The Tuberg mill is a replica of the wind powered mill Andrew Tuberg used to custom grind flour and corn-meal for 15 a hundred pounds and feed for 8 a hundred. He ran this mill from 1877 to 1905. The operator by using a crank and cable arrangement can turn the entire top of the mill in order to keep the four eighteen-foot vanes headed into the wind. A 5 ft. 61-tooth gear mounted on the vane shaft meshes with an 18' gear attached to the mill stone shaft which gives the grinding stone the desired rotation. All gears are made of wood.

On the 17th I saw them thresh one of the stacks with a Minneapolis thresh machine belted to the 65 HP steamer. Since they were stack threshing the wing feeders on the 36' machines came in mighty handy. Other thresh machines were set up and ready to operate so I suppose before the show ended they all got a chance to 'strut their stuff.'

This year they featured International tractors and are fortunate enough to have a 1908 friction drive on exhibit and running every year.

The large ash grove gives much desired shade to the many small engine and other exhibitors. The remaining shade area gives comfort and protection to the large number of campers who flock into the show grounds every year. The small lake, the big grove, the neat, trim show grounds and exhibits give the BTA show an eye catching and pleasing appearance.

On August 16-17,1986, the Butter-field Threshermen's Association will have their 20th anniversary show. How about spending at least one of those two days with them?