Down Texas Way

By Staff
1 / 2
Helen Case Brigham beside Ray Ellison's 20-40 Case.
2 / 2
Robert and Bill Hensarling's 270 HP Fairbanks-Morse.

420 Lori Lynn Schertz, Texas 78154

The Fredericksburg, Texas Antique Tractor & Gas Engine club hosted its seventh annual show in very nice weather on June 27 and 28, 1992, this year featuring Case tractors in honor of their 150th anniversary. The Case lineup sported many fine examples, starting with some of the oldest: a sharp looking 40 HP Case steamer belonging to Bill Scripps, and a nicely restored 20-40 Case by Ray Ellinson of Kerrville, and ending with a new 7120 Magnum shown by the Fredericksburg Equipment Company.

We were very proud to have in attendance Helen Case Brigham, the great-grandaughter of the company’s founder, J. I. Case. This grand lady seemed to really enjoy herself as she did not hesitate to jump aboard some of those huge, old behemoths and wheel them down the parade route. Helen was promoting the Case Heritage Foundation, of which we have an area representative, Harry Seidensticker.

I must mention all the other makes and their attending enthusiasts, close to 80 or so tractors, all ranging from shiny, new polish to retired working clothes.

To go along with the antique tractor pulls, we tried something new this year a kiddie pedal-power pull-sled event. It brought many smiles to old and young alike. You just wouldn’t believe those straining little faces determined to get those ribbons.

Steam powered wheat threshing was demonstrated by the Albert Meier/Bill Scripps crew. This was followed by horse-drawn baling by James Ottmers of Fredericksburg.

New this year to the permanent show grounds is a 1,000 square foot blacksmith shop looking 100 years old on its first showing. The weathered old barn lumber did the trick. Master Blacksmith James Honig, of Hondo, did his hammering and forging demonstrations for the curious spectators. James was amused about using an old, tall, handmade trip hammer constructed many years ago and still working. Model ‘T’ rod, hit and miss crankshaft and railroad pieces, etc., were used for construction by some blacksmith engineer of long ago.

Many very nice antique engine and machinery displays were to be seen. Exhibitors from every corner of Texas and beyond came out to play. I do believe we saw the most ever of a rare type of engine to be shown at one time. As I recall, there were seven San Antonio-built Krueger-Atlas engines. These aren’t even shown in Wendel’s ‘bible.’

Other not so commonly seen engines included an 1890 10 HP Otto owned by Jim Pace of Austin, and an 1889 Robinson hot air engine and an 1899 York gas engine owned by Ray Ellison, just to mention a few.

The show’s exhibitors were just too many to give deserved credit to everyone’s fine showing. The largest engine to be demonstrated was a 270 HP four cylinder Fairbanks-Morse shown by Robert and Bill Hensarling of Uvalde. Talk about a heavy thumper when that giant was fired up! The low-boy semi-tractor rig it was mounted on did quite a dance when Robert shot the throttle a little!

A permanent-bronze plaque/podium was dedicated to the Albert Meier family a show of appreciation by the club members for the 33 acre show site.

If you’re ever down Texas Hill Country way in the spring, come by the show and visit we’re always looking for new friends.

The show site is located halfway between Fredericksburg and Johnson City, on Highway 290 across from the LBJ State Park.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines