The following article and pictures are by Ted Knack of St Paul Park, Minnesota, USA and are published on Steam & Engine with his permission.

I finally got my field work done, and now have the rest of the time off 'till next April. I bought my 80 Case at auction in Fairmont Minnesota in September 1993. However I have known the engine since 1960. The first time I saw the engine it looked pretty bad. Water tank was sagging way down and leaked. Coal bunkers were rusted away from water tank. Front smoke box had big holes in the bottom, but she ran well.

 

case_80_ted_knack

The owner at that time was Dan Booth of Ellsworth Wisconsin, a fellow in his 70's. Dan was a steam man but found maintenance difficult. A Lloyd Belder was after the engine but Dan did not want to sell. After 10 years of trying to buy the engine, Dan contacted Lloyd and said he would sell. At that time Belder bought the 80 and a 30, 40, and 65 Case to compliment the 50 Case he already had.

Now Belder had 5 engines and restored them all. I was working for Belder at the time and helped with the restoration on all of the engines.

In 1977 Belder succumbed to Alzhiemers disease. They put the engines up at auction. At that time the engines were peaking in price. The 80 was sold to a Jim Tow for a $19,000 bid. Too high for me to handle. In 1993 Jim Tow experienced some difficulties and auctioned his collection.

 

case_80_ted_knack_2

I went to the sale to run the engine during the auction. I also had a price in mind that we could pay. If it went higher, then we would not own it. Because I was running the engine in the auction shed I had my wife do the bidding. I heard "sold" to my number, we had bought the 80 for $15,000.

Since then the engine has been stored at the Butterfield Steam Threshermens Showgrounds and shown each year.

I've traced the engine back to the 1940's on ownership and it spend more than half it's life in the Ellesworth Wisconsin area. By the way, my wife is from the same area, hence the reason we bought it. The serial number on my 80 Case is 35211 and it was built in 1920.

This final picture shows another of Ted's pastimes, he took this picture on a railfan trip and included it as he likes it.

 

steam_train_ted_knack

[Ed: Thanks very much to Ted for providing the pictures and information to enable me to write this page. It is people like Ted and the other Steam & Engine contributors who keep this site alive.]