The Passing of a Steam Giant

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The late Joe E. Richardson, a giant in our steam engine world.
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Joe Richardson operating his restored 1916 Case 65 that was originally used for threshing south of Denver, Colorado.
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Joe Richardson's live steam 2'' scale real working model of a 1915 Case 65.

712 Chaps Road, S.E.Rio Rancho, New Mexico 87124

Our steam engine world lost a giant with the passing of Joe E.
Richardson, 86, of Orofino, Idaho, who died of pneumonia May 27,
1993. He will be sadly missed by his many friends across the nation
and Canada. Reference is made to Joe’s obituary previously
published in this magazine.

Joe was raised on a farm. He was a rather shy person who did not
care for publicity or to have his picture taken. When Joe was four
years old, he walked into a blacksmith shop where a flying metal
splinter hit his eye resulting in the removal of his right

His father had a Case 75 HP steam engine and a 30-60 Aultman
Taylor gas tractor which were used for threshing and other farm
work. Joe was fond of the old Aultman Taylor tractor; therefore, a
30-60 HP 1913, Model #578 was rebuilt, restored and added to the
collection at considerable expense.

Joe and his son, Dale Richardson, have one of the finest
collections of late model Case steamers ever assembled. Other than
the Case portable, all engines have butt-strap boilers. The
collection was started in 1961 and consists of: Case 110, 1913,
Serial #29572; Case 80, 1917, Serial #34387; Case 65, 1916, Serial
#33319; Case 50, 1920, Serial #35108; Case 6 portable, 1909, Serial

They also have a 2′ scale model 1915 Case 65 steam traction
engine from Tiny Power, built by Charles Arnold, which is a real
145 lb. working jewel.

Considerable expense was incurred in rebuilding the engines to
Joe’s standards. Except for the Case 80 which has its original
bunkers, new hand-riveted coal and water contractors bunkers were
made for the other engines. All of the engine boilers were repaired
where necessary, like new flues, etc., by the boiler works of the
Union Iron Works of

Spokane, Washington. The Washington Machinery Company of Spokane
rebored the cylinders, made new pistons and rings, many new gears,
reversing gear, new crankshaft for the AT tractor, etc. New
castings were made for any missing parts.

The Richardsons have always had a completely equipped machine
and carpenter shop. Joe liked to work with wood and he was good at
it. Joe made the second cab for the Case 110 after the carpenter
put the first roof on backwards. Both Joe and Dale did a lot of the
restoring work on the engines. Joe had almost enough engine parts
to build another 110 Case, including two good butt-strap boilers.
He was always good to help his fellow engine men with tools, parts
and advice, sometimes in person. Joe had a fine reference library
stocked with books, catalogs, magazines, etc. He was a real steam

This beautifully restored 1913 Case 110 #29572 belonged to Joe
and Dale Richardson, Orofino, Idaho. It was originally used for
plowing in the Edmonton, Alberta, Canada area. The rivets on the
original boiler were badly rusted. Another 110 Case engine was
purchased in British Columbia, Canada, which had been stripped and
used in a saw mill as a skid engine. The second boiler was
installed in 1969-70 along with a complete set of new and rebuilt
gears. Castings were made for the other missing parts.

The Richardsons have two nicely restored Case carsa 1914 and a
1916 five and seven passenger touring. Dale and his wife Brigitte
took the 1914 Case car to the 1992 Rollag, Minnesota, engine show
featuring the International J.I. Case Heritage Foundation Expo #6,
and also to the Brooks, Oregon, engine show.

Joe was a successful businessman having owned and operated the
Riverside Lumber Company at Orofino, Idaho, with over 100 employees
for many years. He was no man for writing letters. He believed in
making full use of the telephone in business and communicating with
friends. When he was through talking with friends after an
hour’s conversation, he would hang up without saying

When it came to his steam engines, Joe was a very generous man.
A stranger called on Joe and told him he used to run a Case engine
like one of Joe’s. Joe pulled the engine from the building and
let the stranger fire it up and play engineer. During the steam
engine shows Joe and Dale put on, they let other qualified people
operate engines and run their equipment. Joe and Dale took their
110 Case to the Brooks, Oregon engine show twice which was quite an
undertaking. The last time was for the 1990 Case Heritage Expo

Joe Richardson and his 1917 Case 80 #34387. This engine was
purchased from the Case dealer in Longmont, Colorado, where it had
been in storage for many years. Originally used very little for

1917 Case 80 #34387 heading for parade with two loads of logs
from Richardson’s lumber mill. Engine was owned by Joe and Dale
Richardson of Orofino, Idaho.

Joe put on his own engine show for many years, with exhibitors
attending mainly by invitation. One of his shows we attended, which
was typical of all of them, was held on a Saturday. That evening
Joe hosted a lovely dinner dance party at the luxurious Konkolville
Steakhouse and Lounge. Music for the evening was provided by the
Latah County Old Time Fiddlers, with 21 musicians from Moscow,
Idaho. Everyone had a wonderful time. Joe paid the entire bill for
his 172 Saturday evening guests and hosted another dinner at his
expense Sunday evening at the same place for his 60 remaining

Joe Richardson telephoned me as the result of a story in the
1971 May-June issue of the Iron-Men Album magazine about the
shipping of my Case 65 outfit to Twin Falls, Idaho in 1969. Joe
invited me and my wife to visit the Richardsons for several days. I
had a good time being guest engineer on his 80 and 110 Case
engines. Since then, we have visited Joe, his wife Marie, Dale and
Brigitte many times. The Richardsons are wonderful hosts under
their ideal circumstances.

Reference is made to an article about Joe and his engines in the
July-August 1972 issue of Iron-Men Album.

Joe and Dale Richardson restored and owned this nice 1913
Aultman Taylor 30-60 #578 which was originally used for threshing
and plowing near Shelby, Montana.

Joe and Dale Richardson owned this nicely restored 1916 Case 5
passenger touring car purchased from the late Professor Stroud of
Hutchinson, Kansas.

The late Joe Richardson (right) and son Dale with their 1913
Case 110 #29572. Dale had just reassembled the engine after
repainting in 1990.

This beautifully restored 1914 Case 7 passenger touring car
belongs to Joe and Dale Richardson. Dale and his wife Brigitte have
shown this car at several shows.

The 1993 Central States Threshermen’s Reunion was
action-packed. Here you see a 110 HP J. I. Case, owned by Graham
Sellers of Coldwater, Michigan, on the Prony brake. Look inside for
more pictures and a show report sent by Mark Corson.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment