The ULTIMATE Surprise


| May/June 1989

  • 50 HP Case

  • Engine

  • 50 HP Case
  • Engine

Ternings Steam Show 7701 N. Hoover Valley Center, Kansas 67147

I think all of us at one time or another have been surprised by what somebody has done for us or given to us. It just leaves you with a warm feeling inside. I want to share the following story with you because Tom, Aaron and I felt honored that Larry and Mark Doehling selected our show over the 1988 Labor Day weekend to present their father, Ed Doehling, the surprise of his life. I will give you a bit of background on what led up to this event.

Ed Doehling, along with his sons Mark and Larry, had attended our 1987 Steam Show and had assisted with its functions. They had such a great time they decided to make Labor Day weekend in Valley Center a part of their 1988 schedule as well. When 1988 rolled around Ed and his lovely wife arrived, but no Mark or Larry. Ed explained that something had come up and that perhaps they could come later. Ed proceeded to assist the Ottaway family with their steam carousel. Completely unknown to Ed was the fact that his sons had been carefully planning the purchase of a steam engine for their father. They had looked at several engines and had talked with Tom about various aspects of the different engines.

They decided on a 1916 Case 50 HP, Serial number 33661. It belonged to Bruce McCourtney of Syracuse, Nebraska. The engine was stored at Table Rock, Nebraska. This 50 HP Case had been shipped to Ed West, a Case dealer in Dunbar, Nebraska. He sold it to a five-man threshing crew near Dunbar in May of 1918. The only engineer on the threshing crew was George Fenske, who worked the winter months in Lincoln, Nebraska at the Case Factory Branch rebuilding engines and separators and getting new ones ready to sell. Mr. Fenske took excel-lent care of the engine. Several years later the crew traded the Case back to Ed West for a larger Port Huron. Mr. West had the engine until 1950 when he sold it to Bruce McCourtney.

Much planning by the Doehling family was done in preparation for the trip to Valley Center and attempting to sneak this engine past their father's eyes until the right moment arrived for its presentation.

As soon as Mom and Dad Doehling left for Valley Center on Friday, September 2nd, Mark, Larry, and Larry's wife Janice jumped into action. The camper was packed and the semi-trailer was made ready for the trip to load the Case engine. They left early Saturday morning, September 3rd to pick up the engine from Mr. McCourtney. Loading went well and the Doehlings left Table Rock around noon.


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