The J. I. Case Collectors held their first annual summer show in Greenville, Ohio, during the Darke County Steam Threshers Association's show on July 11, 12, 13 and 14, 1985.
The J. I. Case Collectors had only one winter meeting under its belt, before the summer show. It was a cold weather when D. A. 'Buzz' Nealeigh, John W. Davis and Bruce Davis got together and discussed forming an association of interested Case collectors. Letters were sent to as many names as we three could think of that might be interested. A meeting was set for March in Sidney, Ohio. Fifty people from six states showed up and the feeling was to continue with the planning. At this meeting it was announced that the Darke County Steam Threshers Association was planning to feature Case equipment at their summer show. It was felt this would be an opportune time to set the wheels in motion for our first summer show. Again letters were sent, this time the list had grown as people called or wrote to us hoping the organization would continue.
Well, July 11th arrived. The weather was great and our show was underway. Two five foot 'Old Abe' statues stood at the entrance of the Case display, and looked over an impressive showing of equipment. Tractors were lined up according to model and year, making a grand total of 68 from 1914 to the present. We also had plows, a threshing machine and a garden tractor. Shades of gray, green and flambeau red showed off the tractors in their restored beauty. Several people brought photo albums showing their equipment before and after restoration. 7 steam engines, one of these was a steam roller, performed for the crowds as they did years ago. Smoke rose from the stacks and whistles blew on the 110 down to the 9 horsepower engines. 3 model steam engines were also on display.
Many people stopped by our tent with questions on parts, tractors, or on the progress of the Collectors Association. The tent held signs, toys, 'Old Abe' models, plates, literature and also gave people a place to sit and visit.
Friday we were in for a treat as a beautifully restored 1913 Case car arrived from Michigan. Also Mrs. Helen Case Brigham, great granddaughter of J. I. Case, arrived from Maryland. She rode the steam engines and the cars and admired the tractors. Many people asked her questions and she was very gracious with her time.
Saturday brought a brief rain shower to settle the dust. The crowds grew and so did our display. This time a handsome 1912 Case car from Ohio arrived and the two cars drew many comments. Saturday evening a banquet was held and a meeting to discuss future plans. Buzz Nealeigh gave the background on the new Case Collectors. Mrs. Brigham gave a brief talk and encouraged everyone to continue to preserve our agricultural history and pass along our heritage to the younger generations. It was announced that Dave Erb of Vinton, Ohio would become the editor of the Collectors newsletter. Again the feeling of those present was to continue with a winter meeting and a 1986 summer show. Dates and places will be announced later.
Sunday was the final day and we had another big crowd. Case led the parade that closed the Darke County Steam Threshers show.
We wish to extend a big thank you to everyone who helped in any way to make our first attempt at a J. I. Case Collectors summer show a success. THANK YOU and see you at our show next year.
Case collectors interested in joining the newly formed association may wish to contact John W. Davis, Secretary, 20070 State Route up, Maplewood, Ohio 45340.