Courtesy of John Wegner, age 77, R.R. 5, Box I, Grand Island, Nebraska 68801
R.R. 5, Box 1, Grand Island, Nebraska 68801
When I was a small boy living with my parents, one brother and three sisters on a farm northwest of Grand Island in 1902, my father was part owner of a steam engine and threshing machine. In 1904, at age 14, my job was to help pitch the bundles into the threshing machine. I loved the smell of the smoke coming over me.
At age 66, I retired from working as a dairyman for the State of Nebraska after 33 years. At age 72, I needed something to do besides garden and yard work, so decided to build myself a small steam engine, a replica of a 1912 Case engine.
The machine was built at John Bausch Welding Shop. Bausch assembled much of the vehicle from scratch, including the boiler. My good friend, Forrest Pence from Harvard, Nebraska, being a steam and gas engine man, owns a lot of gas and steam engines and he helped me a great deal and really got my engine running in 'tip top' shape. He, being a restorer of gas and steam engines knew where to get a lot of the parts I needed. Some of the parts are new, such as the flues, as they came from Chicago. The rear wheels are a part of an old grain binder built around 1912. The gear box that helps turn the front wheels came from a Model T Ford. The cylinder inside which moves the piston that turns the flywheel came from Minneapolis. The all brass whistle was made by my friend, Ray Jorgensen, from Dannebrog, Nebraska, and he placed the whistle on the machine just a few weeks before he passed away.
I live with my wife, Marian, northwest of Grand Island. I have two stepdaughters, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. They enjoy seeing the machine run whenever they come home to visit.
20 HP replica of a 1912 Case built and owned by John. It was built from 1974 to 1977.
I have a lot of fun with my machine and met a lot of new people that have come to see it and enjoyed many hours of fun this past summer.
I have been offered a good price for my engine, but it is not for sale yet.
I am a fairly new subscriber to the Iron Men Album Magazine, but I do enjoy each issue so very much and can hardly wait for the new issue to arrive.