J. I. Case Collectors Winter Convention Report

Corner view

Corner view of Ed Axthelm's Tractor Retirement Village.

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131 Manor Drive Middleville, Michigan 49333

The J. I. Case Collector's Association, Inc., had another exciting annual winter convention at Sidney, Ohio on March 23rd and 24th. The Case get-together started with visits to four local Case Collectors. Ed Axthelm's Tractor Retirement Village, west of Cardington, occupied JICCA members for quite a while. There are more than just Case tractors at Ed's farm. Tractors and equipment of many colors are retired here.

At the 'Eagle's Rest,' Buzz Nealeigh's farm near Greenville, flambeau red, grey and early orange and green equipment were on display, along with a Case threshing machine. Some collectors did not realize that much Case equipment was green like their balers and cultivators. At the Nealeigh farm also was a fine display of one-half scale Case tractors handmade by Milt Deets of Dayton-a 12-20 cross motor Case, a threshing machine and a later model 1200 four-wheel drive Case Traction master.

Bruce Davis, just a few miles north of Sidney, had a display of grey and flambeau tractors from the Thirties. A Case thresher, combine, grain binder and silo blower were all attractive, as these galvanized pieces have not been restored, but still show off their original decals and good looks. Bruce also had a fine display of many Case plows.

At the farm of John Davis, near Maplewood, Ohio, the main attraction was the collection of Case cross motor models, Case Company's entry into the tractor market in the late teens and early Twenties. Members also enjoyed the red and grey tractors of Thirties vintage from John's collection and the later flambeau models. Each farm was interesting to visit, with attractive barns and workshops for collectors to stick their noses into. Hosting wives all provided cookies and refreshments for those on tour.

Saturday saw the annual Case auction, with everything from literature to engine parts, toys, paint, etc., an event everyone enjoys. These auctions also generate some laughter. Following the auction, the ladies displayed crafts of painting, needlepoint, crocheting, doll and teddy bear making.

In the evening the banquet was held, followed by the winter business meeting. A report was given by Maryland Case collectors about the upcoming summer convention in the Tidewater state this August 18 and 19. This will be the first ever all-Case show. Rather than having an established show concern host our organization, this event will be generated and coordinated by local Case collectors at the Maryland State Historical Farm Museum at Westminster. All Case equipment is welcome for display at this Case Collectors' reunion, and the public is invited.

After plans were finalized for next winter's convention at South Bend, Indiana and the 1991 summer convention at Le Seuer, Minnesota, each person present was introduced and told a little about themselves and their collections. We enjoyed the fine meeting with people from as far north as Saskatchewan, Canada and as far west as Nebraska and Montana.

Within all these events at the convention there was a lot of teaching and learning and stories to be told. I am twenty-one years of age, and enjoy hearing the older generation tell of their parents using Case equipment when tractors first replaced horses on the farm. One man told of having the only combine in the area, and of doing all the work for the community. I also enjoy sharing with them my experience and unusual pieces of Case equipment that I have seen. Everyone was friendly and helpful in explaining how a piece of equipment operates.

For information on the Association, please write to: J. I. Case Collector's Association, Inc., 4004 Coal Valley Road, Vinton, Ohio 45686.