The Legendary 150 HP Case Steam Engine
(Page 3 of 4)
Engine #14666 sold for $3,600 in 1904 to Sater Mining Company with one-half down in cash and the rest on credit. It was never known at Racine if the engine was fully paid for, since the mortgage was not dated or cancelled.
The price was raised to $4,000 for the next engines. My research on this legendary American Heritage J. I. Case 40 x 150 HP Steam Road Locomotive has included review of the records of E. C. 'Big Mac' McMillan, Hoisington, Kan.; Arthur J. Frazee, Reeseville, Wis.; Roy Wolf, the keeper of the steam engine records at the Case Threshing Machine Company, (builder of the 'Big Case') at Racine; and other verified records.
'Big Mac,' well known as a Case expert, went to the mine site years ago to find out about the fate of the old #14666 and found a small piece of the flue sheet lying on the ground there. He assumed that was all that was left of the big 150 and took it with him. He passed away not knowing that the boiler still remained intact, but had its flue sheets, thru stays (large rods inside the boiler that ran alongside the flues and tied the front and rear flue sheets together), and flues cut out. The boiler was sitting upright not too far from the abandoned mine site as a storage tank to water cattle. It was a reserve tank adjacent to a windmill, where it held water for use when the wind didn't blow. The smokestack was removed and, for some reason, a large section next to the firebox door was cut away.
Mr. Carl Logan, a large Case dealer at Leoti, Kan., heard that the boiler of old #14666 might be near the mine. He heard about the large old boiler used by the windmill to water cattle; and Carl and a friend drove to the copper mine site near Folsom to try to find the boiler. A few miles from the site, the fan belt on his car broke and he drove in short spurts in search of water. Fate led him down a road where he spotted a windmill, and there sat the boiler with the brass plate #14666 still in place. A rancher helped him get a new fan belt and told Carl and his friend where to find the owner of the property. A lady answered the door and became very indignant because her husband had recently passed away and she thought the men were there to take advantage of her. Carl Logan and his friend returned home without the boiler.
Mr. Logan took his truck to Racine, Wis., to the Case factory to pick up a load of machinery for his dealership. While waiting to load, he found a set of large wheels and gears in an old building. He inquired about these pieces and was told they were from one of the old road Locomotives that had bad gears and was disassembled and sold for a skid engine. No record was found to show which 150 HP engine this was. Mr. Logan talked to dock people at the Case factory to make arrangements to purchase these wheels on his next trip to Racine to pick up machinery.