'OLD NANCY'


| January/February 1983



Case steam traction engine

'Old Nancy' is a 1905 Case steam traction engine which has hosts of admirers on the campus of Auburn University in Alabama.

Her story is rather remarkable for an engine that started working 76 years ago, was retired, and then became a beloved fixture in the life of an institution of higher learning.

She is Case engine #15035, rated at 12 HP, an 8 x 10' cylinder simple traction engine that has been completely restored by Auburn engineering students. She gets deluxe treatment that makes Auburn seem like 'engine heaven'.

'Old Nancy' was purchased by J. W. Dupree in 1906 for use in his sawmill in Lee County, Georgia. Dupree had seen a Case on display at the St. Louis Exposition in 1905 and felt it would make a good stationary power source. The engine arrived in Opelika by train and was driven to the Dupree home, south of Beauregard.

She got her name fast. Dupree named her in honor of the steam railway locomotive, 'Nancy Hanks' which operated on the line between Atlanta and Columbus, Ga.

She served two generations, providing power for the sawmill. In 1954, the engine was driven in the Opelika Centennial parade. On July 4 in 1956 and 1957, 'Nancy' was operated as part of the Independence Day celebrations.