Westward Ho, Was A-OK 1990 Case Heritage Expo Report

1 / 7
2 / 7
3 / 7
Joe Richardson.
4 / 7
5 / 7
Harvey Mikkelson
6 / 7
7 / 7

‘Brig’ Brigham Co-Chairman, Communications, P.O. Box
5128 Bella Vista, AR 72714-0128

Gordon Fullmer, as specialist with Case-West, gets some hands-on
experience with Case steam power in the cab of the 110, under the
watchful eye of steam engineer Dale Richardson.

I’m not sure what was best about the 4th Annual
International J.I. Case Heritage Exposition. Was it the sight of
Joe Richardson’s 1913 110 HP steam traction engine from
Orofino, Idaho, parked nose to nose with the Case-IH 9150 with Stan
Miner’s 1/3-scale model of a 65 HP Case steamer out of Howell,
Michigan, parked in the shadow of these behemoths? Or of Alan
Schurman from Ridgefield, Washington, standing in a cloud of chaff
as he fed sheaves of grain to his old 1880’s Case apron
thresher with power supplied by Case No. 711, perhaps the oldest of
old steam traction engines owned by the family of the late Willis
E. Smith, his son Robert (of Eugene, Oregon) at the throttle? Or of
young Jeremy Johnson of Portland, Oregon, on the second weekend
when he tooled up to the Case Heritage exhibit area aboard his
newly restored 1949 SC (he and Dad worked night and day to get that
tractor ready!)? Or of Foundation Director Neil Heesacker’s
son, Bruce, driving his dad’s great old 15-27 Case Cross motor
to a full-course run in the tractor pull, with flags (U.S., Case
Heritage and Case-IH) flying; and of Neil Heesacker, the dad,
breathless and almost speechless (a first for Neil) in his
excitement over his son’s achievement? Or of meeting people
like Bill Wallner of Cave Junction, Oregon, who had details to
convey about an old Case car; Leonard Case, who brought his
‘Case-owned Case,’ a 1934 C tractor, all the way from
Duval, Washington; and Joe Madesh (J.I. Case ret., who lived up to
his billing as the ‘Harry Kline of the West’); and Ed
Gerber, whose vintage LA is not the usual tractor it’s
personalized with PTO, power steering, a homemade cab and a coat of
‘northwest power orange’ paint? Or of Bob Waechter
unveiling his almost completed 2-inch scale model of a steam
traction engine he once worked with decades ago at the Bradley
(Foundation Director Dan Bradley, his dad and Don’s brothers)
Family’s sawmill in Montana?Or of Kurt Spegal (who is basically
a JD Green man) driving his son Bryan’s 1942 LA in the parade
with Sauder Farm’s 1870 Case engine No. 25 from Archbold, Ohio,
in tow Or of Walter Spreeman, a Case legend, at the helm of another
legend, the 110 Case engine? Or of Perry Johnson, making his first
visit to an Expo cruising the grounds on the last Sunday in the
driver’s seat of Monte Shelton’s 1913 Case touring car out
of Portland, Oregon, vowing not to miss the next one and tooling by
Stan Sill, a regular visitor to Expos from Rockford, Ohio, as Stan
was loading up his 1924 Case roadster for another circuit of
Antique Power land? Or of Tom Fenton playing his violin in the Case
Heritage building as some extra added special entertainment for
spectators watching the handcrafted models in his farm display go
about the task of threshing ‘in miniature’? Or of Dick Van
Dyke, aboard his 1939 Case C tractor demonstrating Glen Watts Case
‘Tumblebug’ plow Or of Foundation Director Carl
Tuttle’s well-traveled, smooth-running 9-30 HP Case steam
engine from Michigan working its heart out on the belt powering a
Case threshing machine? Or of the pride in the eyes of Tony Stetson
and his son, Jim, as many of the Case tractors the Stetsons have
restored for themselves and others in the Pacific Northwest in
recent years gathered for a mass showing to an appreciative,
international audience of Expo-goers? Or Dottie Parsons, a veteran
gatherer of old Case equipment and workhorse at vintage tractor
rallies in New Zealand, soaking up the sights and scenes of a very
special Case event in the United States with her video camera? Or,
Ace Wischstadt from Vista, California, explaining how he made the
beautiful wooden patterns, on display, in the process of building
his nearly completed scale model of the 60 HP steam engine he runs
at the annual ag-heritage events at Vista, California.

Case Heritage Foundation President W.C. ‘Chady’
Atteberry presents the Host Committee Plaque to Larry Leek,
president of Antique Power land. Pat Atteberry (left) and Linda
Leek look on.

No, as great as they were, they weren’t what was best at
Case Expo #4!

Not even the tremendous crowds of people who flocked to the
Expo/Great Oregon Steam up in spite of record-tumbling hot weather
on both weekends were what was best about this event.

Stan Miner of Howell , MI, and his 1/3 scale model of a 65 HP
engine are dwarfed by the Richardsons’ 110 and a 1990 Case-IH
9150 tractor

At any other Expo, any and all of the above-mentioned memorable
happenings and experiences could be considered to be the
highlights. But, what was best about Expo #4 was seeing two really
great men of the West and of ‘Casedom’, Harvey Mikkelson of
Silverton, Oregon, and Joe E. Richardson of Orofino, Idaho, meeting
old friends and making new friends.

Both Harvey and Joe (with his son, Dale) played major roles in
the success of the 1990 Case Expo. The Richardsons were represented
by their ‘110’ and their 1914 Case touring car. From Harvey
Mikkelson’s array of Case, Expo featured his 50 HP traction
engine, plus several portables (including the wonderful old 1881
No. 1056), his 1929 L tractor and his Case Eagle.

But, it was the presence of the two men, themselves, that was
best. For young people like Jeremy Johnson, Brian and Bret Spegal,
and for all others young, old or somewhere in between it was a
thrill to see the two men in person. For many, there was the
opportunity to visit with these two good friends who have done so
much for so many years to find, save, repair, restore and preserve
old Case equipment, while at the same time doing so much to help
others who are interested in working with vintage Case. They are
living legends who were enjoying a grand reunion under the bright
sun at Case Expo #4. It was not uncommon to near people who had not
met Joe Richardson and Harvey Mikkelson before, say words to the
following effect:

‘What an honor to meet them.’ ‘What a thrill to talk
to them in person.’ ‘What wonderful men they are!’

My wife, Helen Case Brigham, and I were pleased to make special
presentations of the International J.I. Case Heritage Foundation
flag to Harvey Mikkelson and Joe Richardson in recognition of their
contributions over the years and at Expo #4 to the Case Heritage
Movement.

James G. Tumelson of Seattle, WA, displayed this model Case
steamer operating a matching electric power generator which, in
turn, powered several light bulbs for his display.

As has been the case with all past Case Heritage Expos, the 1990
event drew spectators from distant points. Visitors came from as
far away as New Zealand and Australia; but their commitment to
long-distance participation was overshadowed by the effort made by
exhibitors from across North America to bring special exhibits from
many miles away to the Brooks event for the enjoyment and education
of attendees.

Special awards, provided by the J.I. Case Company again this
year, went to the following exhibitors who traveled the longest
distances to Expo #4 and suffered some trials and tribulations
along the way (one-way distances are approximate, as the crow
flies; but a crow never went up and down as many mountains and
rounded as many curves as these folks did going to-from Brooks this
year).

Carl Tuttle, Howell, Michigan, 1910 9-30 HP steam traction
engine, 2,100 miles (several flat tires and a broken axle in
Wyoming on the way home; he finally had to summon help from home to
bring a lowboy from Michigan and make the rescue); Stan and Katy
Sill, Rockford, Ohio, 1924 Model X Case Roadster, 2,200 miles, top
canopy around car on trailer blew off, constant fuel pump problems
with their pickup truck not solved until within 200 miles of home;
Stan Miner, Howell, Michigan, 2,100 miles, 1/3-scale model of 65 HP
Case engine, no reported breakdowns, but a long trip and a lot of
uphill climbs Stan deserved a good trip because on his way to
Austin, Manitoba, for last year’s Expo, he had trouble finding
a motel one night, ended up sleeping on a picnic table in a public
park and was almost carried away by mosquitoes! Robert Porth,
Regina, Saskatchewan, 1939 R tractor, 1,000 miles, two awards one
for the vintage tractor coming the longest distance and the other
for the operating Canadian exhibit coming farthest to Expo #4,
problems with a rented RV, needed repairs at Brooks before starting
home; and Sauder Farm and Craft Village, Archbold, Ohio, special
historical exhibit, the 1870 Case No. 25 portable steam engine,
2,100 miles, accompanied by Mahlon Detter and Steve Sauder of the
Farm, broken spring and some other operating problems along the
way. Substantial contributions toward the cost of transporting the
No. 25 engine to Brooks were made through the Foundation to Sauder
Farm by In-situform East, Inc., a pipeline reconstruction
corporation based in Landover, Maryland, and members of the Brigham
family. The little engine probably traveled farther in this one
trip than it has journeyed in all of its previous 120 years put
together.

Fischer Mill supply, Inc. of Oregon City, which was the Case
dealer bringing a vintage operating exhibit to the event from the
greatest distance (Gene Fischer brought a 1948 VA tractor),
received the coveted J.I. Case plaque.

The cost of transportation for the Richardsons’ 110 HP
engine from its base in Orofino, Idaho, to Brooks, was borne by
Case-West (western regional office), J. I. Case Company, as its
principal contribution to the success of the Brooks event. But, in
addition to the special assist, the Richardson especially Dale
Richardson consumed many hours putting the old workhorse into
Double-A-1 order for the show. Dale stayed with the engine
throughout the two weeks of the Great Oregon Steam up show
period.

Special thanks are due Gordon Fullmer, Ag-Products Specialist
for J.I. Case-West, who coordinated the delivery of new Case-IH
equipment for display and demonstration at this year’s Expo and
spent the first weekend of the event as an exceptionally helpful
representative of J.I. Case at the Case Heritage exhibit area and
to Hans Voldengen, who was on hand for the second weekend of Expo
and continued with good cheer and helpfulness the Case-West
participation through the second weekend. Hans even put the 7140
Case-IH tractor in the antique pull to see what she would do, and
the modern giant pulled everything (including several vintage
tractors) the fellows could pile onto the drag and never slowed
down! Ag-West Supply, Inc., of Woodburn and other Oregon locations,
gathered the new equipment and hauled it to Antique Power-land for
the Expo.

This photo, taken at the Minnesota State Fair in 1903, was
obtained from the Minnesota Historical Society and submitted by
Michael A. Meyer, 29331 Co. Rd. 2, St. Joseph, MN 56374.

The Host Committee Award was received by Larry Leek, president
of Antique Power land, on behalf of the officers and committee
members who worked so hard before, during and even after the Great
Oregon Steam up/Case Expo to produce a successful 1990 event. The
committee, which certainly was one of the most cooperative and
enthusiastic groups the Foundation has ever encountered, included
Jerry Ducart, Harvey Hilands, Louann Goffin, Dale Powell, Leonard
and June Miller, Jack Versteeg, Wes Tarr, Don Hendrickson, Tom
Stuart and Harold Pruett (who did such a great job of wiring the
building used as the Case Heritage Exhibit Center). Credit for
success is also due in good measure to the Foundation’s
director from the Pacific Northwest, Neil Heesacker, for his
coordinative activities.

Last year after Expo #3 in Austin, Manitoba, as had been the
case in prior years after Expo #1 at Pawnee and #2 at Kinzers, the
word was: ‘This Case Expo will be hard to match in the
future.’ Expo #4, for reasons of its own, was just as wonderful
and successful as numbers 1,2, and 3. The Foundation went
‘Westward Ho the Wagons’ and it was a very good stop. The
memories will live a long, long time. Next destination? Case
Heritage Expo #5 in conjunction with the 1991 Midwest Old Threshers
Reunion, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, five-day Labor Day Weekend, August 29
through September 2. See you there!

For information and an informational packet about Case Expo #5
at Mt. Pleasant, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope (25 cents
U.S.) to Case Heritage Foundation Secretary Helen Case Brigham,
P.O. Box 5128, Bella Vista, Arkansas 72714-0128, phone
501-855-0312.

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