Route 2, Avoca, Iowa 51521
Case No. 33991, consecutive in serial numbers these two Case
Steam Engines were featured at the 2nd annual Eshelman S. W. Iowa
Antique Machinery and threshing show 2 miles west of Grant, Iowa,
on July 31, August 1st and 2nd of this year (1970).
In the center of this photo is Albert Eshelman from Elliott,
Iowa, who puts on this show. Leaning on the belt posing with my 50
Case No. 33991 is myself, Raleigh Woltmann from Avoca, Iowa.
Quentin Shultz of Griswold, Iowa, is standing by the front wheel of
his No. 33992 Case 50.
This was the first reunion for these two engines, apparently,
after assembly at the Case factory or at least upon separation from
the branch house to the present owners.
A group of 4 farmers from around the Shelby, Iowa, farming
community bought this rig of mine, No. 33991, new in July, 1917,
along with a 32 x 57 steel Separator and water wagon booked out
around $3,900.00 delivered by the Rock Island Railroad to
This year I took the ‘Outfit’ back to Shelby for their
100th year Centennial and we had a threshing demonstration in about
the exact spot where the rig was unloaded 53 years ago in the same
My Grandfather (Adolph L.) and Dad (Ernest H. Woltmann) were
hired to operate the outfit for the owners in 1919 and it made a
more successful management for all. They in turn each bought th
share from two of the original owners.
Down through the years my Uncle Herman Woltmann acquired total
ownership. 1939 was the last year he threshed with steam. Then for
some 10 years or so a Model L Case Gas Tractor which was belted to
the separator and used until the combines took over.
In 1947 I bought this engine from my Uncle for my own
sentimental purpose. This was about the same time ‘The Farm
Album’ by Elmer Ritzman came to my attention. Thus now I have
all the issues from No. 1 until the present, bound in my
collection. Along with this, a visit in 1950 to Dan Zehr’s
Steam Show at Pontiac, Illinois, and attending the Mt. Pleasant
Show (which I have been doing annually since 1951) helped inspire
me to restore the Engine and since have used it for a hobby.