110 HP Case: Behemoth Engine Adds to Cachet at Old Threshers Reunion

Steam traction engine a delight at Old Threshers Reunion

| Fall 2007

When Lennis Moore came to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, as administrator of the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion in 1978, he only wanted to stay about five years. But he fell in love with Mt. Pleasant and Old Threshers, and his wife enjoyed her teaching job, so they stayed. One of his delights at Old Threshers has been the 1910 Case 110 HP steam traction engine, which had been on the grounds for about six years when he arrived.

“It was originally purchased by the association in 1972 from the Justin Hingtgen estate, because they decided they wanted to have a representative 110 here at the show, and apparently felt they had enough money in their coffers,” the 57-year-old CEO of Midwest Old Threshers Reunion says.

At one point, the Case 110 HP, serial no. 24150, was used by a Canadian service station as a fuel oil tank. Lennis notes that the fuel oil doubtlessly helped protect the boiler.

After its use at the service station, Hingtgen, a well-known collector of old iron bought it, dismantled it, and over several trips back and forth to Canada to get the pieces, brought it down to his farm in LaMotte, Iowa, to operate a sawmill he owned. When Old Threshers bought it in August 1972, it was partially dismantled because it was too wide and too heavy to move in one piece.

No Show

In the late 1980s, the Case 110 HP was starting to look pretty shabby, Lennis says, so the decision was made to restore it. Time went on, the restoration process was slow, so Lennis decided not to show it at the annual Midwest Old Threshers Reunion.

“We were not progressing the way we had hoped on the restoration,” Lennis says, “so I made the call to put her in storage for a year. That was a big, controversial thing as far as the older steam guys were concerned, but I just held my ground.” He wanted to show people how good it looked after it was restored.