1916 Case


| December/January 1987



Case 10-20 Crossmotor

Clair C. Fisher

Route 5 Box 9, Idaho Falls, ID 83402

The first part of this story was submitted to me by Marie and Herman Lenz of Idaho Falls.

In 1916 Arnold Kuhnroth of Ash ton, Idaho, a small town not too far from the border of Yellowstone Park, decided he wanted a tractor to replace some of the work done on the farm by horses. There were no dealers in Ash ton or the Snake River Valley at that time, and a salesman came through the area from Salt Lake. Arnold had a talk with him and purchased the 1916 Case through a catalog order. It was shipped by rail in 1917 to Ashton.

Arnold and his brother, Albert, used the tractor until 1920. They only used it for plowing because it was so slow. Arnold often remarked he could walk faster than the tractor would go.

They only used the crossmotor Case on their farm fourteen miles east of Ashton and also on a rented farm. Arnold and Albert did all other farm work with horses and in 1920 went back to only using horses, just leaving the tractor set. After farming for several more years the brothers rented their farm out. In 1967 prior to Arnold's death he gave the Case tractor to Lawrence Lenz of Idaho Falls.

I heard about the old three-wheeler from my brother about fifteen years ago. It was parked in a grove of pine trees near Arnold's farm and was all complete at that time. About four years later I decided to talk to Lawrence Lenz about a purchase and went up to Ashton to take a look and see what shape it was in. The excitement I had walking up to her soon changed to anger and despair. Somebody did not like old iron so they put a chain around the copper radiator and literally tore it off. Then they got their trusty little hack saw out and cut off the steering arrow. They dug a little deeper and found a wrench to take off the fuel tanks and also the seat and bracket. Then they finally decided to quit dissecting the poor old tractor. Luckily all the engine, wheels and sheet metal were intact.