Farm Collector


Madisonville, Kentucky

(This story was sent to us by Arthur P. Brigham and is from
the Case Heritage Newsletter, August, 1987 issue.)

I have been asked why I joined the J. I. Case Heritage
Foundation as I am a 150 percent Nichols & Shepard man, own a
16-60 N & S engine and am a retired railroad engineer. (Note:
He also ‘starred’ as a featured steam drivin’ man on
CBS’ ‘On the Road with Charles Kuralt’ program and is
an engineer for the historic Tennessee Valley Railroad at

First of all, I am a lover of old equipment, especially steam
engines, with railroad locomotives, traction engines, old farm
tractors and equipment in that order. I was raised in a farming
community at Adams, Tennessee. The second engine in that part of
the country was a 20-60 J. I. Case steam engine that was used to
pull a saw mill and to steam tobacco beds. The last steam wheat
threshing rig at Adams was a 65 HP Case engine, which had been
rebuilt at the Keck-Gonnerman factory in Mt. Vernon, Indiana, and
operated with a brand new Oliver Red River separator. I thought
that engine, with its green and red paint and its boiler jacket
with brass bands, was the prettiest thing I’d ever seen.

I believe in preserving our heritage. It should never be
forgotten. The main reason the steam shows were started was to let
the old folks relive a part of it and let the young folks see how
hard the old folks had to work. I love all steam engines no matter
what make; and, if I had a field full of them, I couldn’t part
with a one. Like my good friend (Mr. Avery) Sullivan says,
‘They would all do what their designers and builders intended
them to do.’

As for myself, I’m partial to the double cylinder rear
mount. Good friend, Chaddy Atteberry, says he’s never seen a
railroad man who didn’t like a double cylinder.

J. I. Case and men like him made this country what it is. They
changed the labor from animal and man muscle to machine which
doesn’t get tired. They made the industrialization of this
country possible. I feel that our generation now, as well as the
ones who come before and after us, owe them a great deal for making
our labor easier and for setting examples for others to follow.

The founders of the J. I. Case Heritage Foundation are to be
commended for starting this great organization to recognize our
heritage and to let us have a part in preserving it although I
worship at the shrine that was in Battle Creek (Michigan), I’m
proud to be a member of this organization. I urge others, no matter
what your engine preferences, to join.

We are all in the same category. We should never forget when
Steam was King.

  • Published on Nov 1, 1989
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