Case Heritage Foundation Off To Fast Start At Pawnee

Heritage Expo

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204 E. Melbourne Avenue Silver Spring, MD 20901

Several hundred persons joined the International J. I. Case Heritage Foundation, as the organization officially opened its charter year in Pawnee, Oklahoma, this spring with the election of officers, the adoption of by laws and the celebration of what it hopes was the first of a long line of successful Case Heritage Expositions.

More than 450 persons from across the United States and Canada attended a special Case Heritage Foundation barbeque at the home of Kenneth and Minerva Kelley on May 2. After the big feed, most of them trooped into the Kelleys' steam engine barn to attend the first meeting of the Foundation's general membership.

Jim Briden, of Fargo, North Dakota, who has headed the J. I. Case Heritage Steering Committee ever since it was formed last fall at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion (Rollaag) to set the stage for launching of the Foundation, chaired the meeting.

Briden and 10 other persons were elected unanimously to the Foundation's board of directors, which includes Kevin Anderson, Andover, South Dakota; Otis Astle, Oxford, Pennsylvania; W. C. 'Chady' Atteberry, Blackwell, Oklahoma; JackBeamish, Hamiota, Manitoba, Canada; George W. Hedtke, Davis Junction, Illinois; Kenneth Kelley, Pawnee, Oklahoma; Thomas G. Lee, Calhoun, Kentucky; Tony Wells, Upper Marlboro, Maryland; Don Bradley, Forsyth, Montana; and Helen Case Brigham, Silver Spring, Maryland.

By laws also received the membership's unanimous approval, and Briden announced that action has been taken to incorporate the Foundation as a 'not-for-profit' organization in the State of North Dakota. The Foundation expects to be broadly based, with membership throughout the United States, Canada and other countries.

The board elected Jim Briden as the Foundation's charter president, also naming Chady Atteberry as Vice President and Helen Brigham as secretary-treasurer. Standing committees are currently being formed under the leadership of chairman named by President Briden. They are: By Laws, Jim Briden; Meeting and Show Site Selection, Chady Atteberry; Finance and Budget, Otis Astle; Membership Development, Helen Brigham; Ways and Means, George Hedtke; Communications, co-chairman Helen and 'Brig' Brigham; Archives, Jack Beamish; and Nominations, Tommy Lee.

The Case Heritage Foundation is offering two types of memberships, both of which include a subscription to a quarterly newsletter. The 'Family' membership costs $20 a year and provides membership with voting privileges for husband and wife, as well as seniors (70 years of age or over) under the same roof. Young people at the same address who have not reached 18 years of age receive cards as non-voting members under the family umbrella. The 'Individual' membership costs $15 a year and covers one voting adult member.

About 450 persons attended the Case Heritage Barbecue held at Kenneth and Minerva Kelley's home place at Pawnee, Oklahoma. The beef was turned by steam power over the Kelley's barbecue pit.

After the good food had been devoured, members then took part in the Foundation's first general meeting to elect directors, approve by laws and conduct other important business.

Charter memberships in the Foundation will be open until June 30, 1988; and the first issue of the organization's newsletter is scheduled for distribution during the summer of 1987.

During the May 2 membership meeting, the following Case Heritage Expo participants received special awards from the J. I. Case Company: Harold Musolf, Sr., Seattle, Washington, owner of the Case Car (five-passenger, 1912) coming the longest distance (1,350 miles) to the Expo; Thomas R. Gingell, Emmitsburg, Maryland, owner of the Case steam engine (50 HP, 1912) coming the longest distance (1,020); Bob Porth and his son, Jason, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, owner of vintage Case gas tractor (Model R, 1938) coming the greatest distance (950 miles); Russ Logan, Sunrise, Florida, owner of the operating scale model (1/3-scale of 1912 steam engine) coming longest distance (1,100); Tony Wells, Case dealer coming the greatest distance (1,050 miles) to exhibit (1917 7-passenger Case Car, 1917 Crossmount tractor, 1934 C tractor and 1936 RC tractor); and the Oklahoma Steam Thresher men's Association, hosts of the 1987 Expo. The awards were presented by William Simpson and Harry Kline, two of the Case Company's best known and most respected 'ambassadors' of goodwill.

The first case Heritage Expo featured what is believed to be the largest gathering ever of Case cross mount and other vintage Case gas tractors.

There were Case steam traction engines as far as the eye could see. In the foreground is one displayed by John Chitwood of Conway Springs, KS.

At the Oklahoma Show/Case Expo this year there were almost 400 exhibitors presenting 444 exhibits, including nine Case cars, 25 Case steam engines, about 40 Case cross mount tractors and 35 other antique Case gas tractors. According to a check of license plates during the three days of the first Case Expo, the crowd included attendees from at least 46 U. S. states and six Canadian provinces.

The next Case Heritage Expo will be hosted from August 17 through 20, 1988, by the Rough and Tumble Historical Engineers' association of Kinzers, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The Western Minnesota Threshers will host the event in 1992.

Persons interested in receiving Foundation membership applications or organizations interested in offering to host a Case Expo in the future should contact the Foundation's Secretary-Treasurer, 204 East Melbourne Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20901. Phone (day or evening) 301-587-5552.