4777 Upper Valley Pike, Dayton, Ohio 45424
A large group of enthusiastic Case Equipment Collectors from all
over the U.S. and Canada gathered at the Holiday Motel in
Burlington, Iowa, on the weekend of March 5, 1988. The club members
were to be the guests of the Case Company at the backhoe
Some of the collectors, who were eager to see old friends and to
meet new acquaintances, arrived on Wednesday. Warren and Shirley
Kemper and Mark and Melinda Kemper were grateful for any help with
the pre-arrangements. The Kempers, who were taking time away from
their large pig operation, were fine hosts and hostesses.
These engine and machinery collector clubs prefer to have
meetings and get-togethers where most of the members can be
accommodated. Having the meetings in the Midwest where most of the
collectors are seems to be a good idea.
Some collectors drove Thursday to Wapello, Iowa to the home of
Gary Spitznogle. This extensive collection of beautifully restored
Hart-Parr tractors was quite impressive. From here, the group moved
to the home of a neighbor who collected crawler tractors. Then it
was on down the road to Kempers where the visitors went from
building to building looking at the many pieces of Case equipment.
Warren’s hogs will not get their full measure of attention when
he begins the restoration of the Case VO and VI he recently brought
home. After all this looking it was into Shirley Kemper’s
domain for refreshments and later dinner.
The Holiday dining room was full early Friday morning as people
had been arriving all night. The blizzard and ice storm covered a
large area east and south of Peoria, but this didn’t turn
people back-just slowed them down. Bill Sheard and Dave Erb from
southern Ohio told about the problems they had getting there. Eldon
Wilson who came 1200 miles from Glenbain, Canada, didn’t have
any problems. Ed Axhelm was easy o identify in his bright orange
Case shirt and cap. Ed was breakfasting with Ed Evans who came with
him from Ohio.
The Holiday Motel allowed the club to use a large conference
room as a display and hospitality room. With all of the hand
shaking and talking in the hospitality room, it was not long before
it was time to go to the Case backhoe plant. The many cars were
parked near the plant entrance. The necessary safety glasses were
issued to us as we passed through security. In the gathering room
we were welcomed by Mr. Berry Eller, the plant manager, who
introduced John Slocum and other senior staff members who were to
be our guides. Mr. Eller gave a brief history of their operation
stating that Hilton Long was the father of the backhoe developed in
Burlington. Mr. Eller told us that Case was the world’s largest
manufacturer of backhoes, with plants in many countries.
The Company furnished us lunch and then we divided into groups
for the plant tour. It was a wonderful experience to see man and
machine in a coordinated effort working to bring thousands of
pieces together into a highly efficient tool.
After the plant tour, the group had time to relax before a short
trip across the Mississippi River to eat at the Riverview Supper
Club in Dallas City, Illinois. We were impressed with the size of
the place, and felt quite at home in the converted carriage factory
which was decorated with antique farming paraphernalia. We were
told that 900 people could be seated for dinner.
Saturday was another beautiful day, and everyone was in a cheery
mood in anticipation of our bus trip to Mt. Pleasant. Fred Buckert,
the Club’s new vice-president, had arranged for us to have a
private visit to Midwest Old Threshers Museum, though it was not
open to the public. It was time well spent even for those who had
been there many times before.
By Saturday afternoon more displays had been brought into the
hospitality room by late arrivals. The auction began at 3:00, and
many items were auctioned off to the lucky bidders. A nice addition
to the Club’s treasury came when the Case Company donated
The banquet was held Saturday night in the beautiful convention
room with its crystal chandeliers highlighting each person as he
stood, gave his name, and hometown, then told about his hobby. Fred
Buckert conducted the meeting after the banquet. A rousing ovation
was given to the past president, Buz Nealeigh. The VP introduced
the new treasurer, Jerry Sanders, and the new board member, Edwin
Bredemeier. Finally it was time to decide the location for the
National Case Collectors Club summer show in 1989. Prairie Village
at Madison, Wisconsin issued an invitation for 26 and 27 of August
1989. Then Edwin Bredemeier presented an invitation from the
Minden, Nebraska, Pioneer Village for 20-21 August, 1989. Case
Collector Wayne Gamm invited us to his Old Threshing Show near
Montgomery, Missouri, the 16th thru 18th of August, 1989. It was a
difficult decision to make as all three places have so much to
offer, but the decision was made to go to South Dakota.
This summer’s National Case Collector’s Show will be
held near Kalamazoo, Michigan on Labor Day weekend. This show is
well known for the many draft horse teams and equipment, the Farmer
Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Ramada 500 Car Museum.
The Case Collectors from all over North America thank their
hosts at the backhoe plant for a great tour and also for the
crystal bowl and tray given to each family.