80 Years With An 80 Case


| November/December 1997

  • Case steam engine
    1931: Frank Peternell Farm, Brockway Township, Stearns County, Minnesota. Gust Schuneman, engineer.
  • Case 80

  • 80 Case
    Trying out the plow in September 1995. For more photos and Jim's story, see ''80 Years With An 80 Case'' inside this issue.
  • Case 80
    Freshly painted at that same show, with John Vouk at the levers and son Tom at wheel.
  • Frank Vouk
    November 1924: Frank Vouk third, H. P. Lahr Lahr Farm, Lesauk Township, Stearns County, Minnesota.
  • Case engine
    At rest In 1961, canopy removed to put on 65.
  • Frank Vouk in center
    Late 1920s: Frank Vouk in center with white shirt. Gregor Smoley Farm, Brockway Township, Stearns County.
  • Case 80 with a Minneapolis 36'' separator'
    November 1924: Case 80 with a Minneapolis 36'' separator at the Matt Lahr Farm.
  • Gust Schuneman
    Gust Schuneman, age 73 in the summer of 1963. ''Almost done.''
  • Case engine
    Gust Schuneman at work on restoration, summer 1963.
  • Case engine
    Under restoration, summer 1963.
  • 80 HP Case
    80 HP Case: Star of Vouk's Steam Show, at the first show in 1965.

  • Case steam engine
  • Case 80
  • 80 Case
  • Case 80
  • Frank Vouk
  • Case engine
  • Frank Vouk in center
  • Case 80 with a Minneapolis 36'' separator'
  • Gust Schuneman
  • Case engine
  • Case engine
  • 80 HP Case

703 County Road 2 South St. Stephen, Minnesota 56375

This 80 HP Case steam engine, serial number 30357, was purchased 'new' in 1917 by my grandfather, Frank Vouk, of Brockway Township, Stearns County, Minnesota, in company with his engineer, August (Gust) Schuneman. It was shipped by rail from the Case Distribution Center in Minneapolis to St. Cloud, Minnesota, and driven the fourteen miles to Frank's farm in what was to become the village, and later the city of St. Stephen. When Gust had to leave for the World War, Frank bought out his share.

I put the quotes on the word 'new' in the above paragraph because sometime after the purchase a man wrote to Frank and asked how he liked the engine, because he said it had been repossessed from him. The inference was that the distributorship had taken it, cleaned it up and sold it as new. Well, this rather peeved Grandpa, and so he subsequently refused to let the distributor ship take the 60 HP Case engine he had traded on the 80. The 60, which by this time was 20 or more years old, sat along the fence row for many years and eventually was scrapped for the World War II effort.

Frank did custom sawing each spring with the 80 on his farm with a No. 2 Howell mill, and threshing in the surrounding area, sometimes for up to 80 days in a season, with a 36' wooden Minneapolis separator with wing feeders, until his death in 1930; at that time my dad, Bill, at age 18, took over as head of the family, which included his mother, one brother and six sisters.



Bill continued custom threshing and sawing with the engine until 1939, when it and the wooden separator were replaced by a 1919 10 ton Holt Caterpillar and a 36' Huber steel separator, also with wing feeders. For several years, the 80 was steamed up each fall to clean this threshing rig. It sat at its old resting place at the end of the barn until 1952, when Bill and Gust decided to get it going again. They used it on the sawmill that year and the next with Gust as engineer. Then it was once again retired.

After starting to attend steam shows in the mid'50s with Gust and Henry P. (Horsepower) Lahr of St. Joseph, Minnesota, and with the purchase of a 65 HP Case engine in 1961, at an auction in Little Falls, Minnesota, the steam in Bill's blood once again came up. So in 1963, with the help of Gust at age 73, who did much of the work including the painting, he completed a total restoration of the 80, with new flues put in by Mr. Lahr, new water tank built by Bill, a correct canopy (the old one was for a 65), repoured canon bearing, new piston rings, etc.



SUBSCRIBE TO FARM COLLECTOR TODAY!

Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.




Facebook Pinterest YouTube

Classifieds