The 1945 Case Model SC Tractor in Nicollet County, Minnesota
Brian Wayne Wells
This article remains under construction. Periodically, new blocks of text will appear in the article and/or current blocks of text will be corrected.
The J. I. Case Company introduced their first tricycle-style tractor—the Model CC tractor in 1929. The CC weighed 4,240 lbs. (pounds) and produced 27.37 hp. (horsepower) to the belt pulley and 17.33 hp. to the drawbar. The CC was advertised as a tractor that could pull a two-bottom plow with 14 inch bottoms. So the Model CC could perform all the heavy tillage work in the fields of the average farm, just like the “four-wheel” or “standard” tractors that Case had offered the farming public before 1929. These four-wheel tractors could do all the field work on the farms of North America except one field task–the cultivation of row-crops. Thus, even with a standard type tractor, the North America farmer could get rid of a large number of horses on the farm that were required for heavy tillage and seed-bed preparation in the Spring of each year. However, until the introduction of the “row crop” or “tricycle-style” tractors, the North American farmer was required to retain sufficient horses on the farm to be able to cultivate his row crops.
Only with the purchase one of these new row crop tractors, like the Case Model CC could the farmer be able to get rid of all the horses on his farm and farm in a fully mechanized way. Thus, the Model CC could be used to provide all the power on the farm to perform all the field work over the whole growing season.
The most unique feature about all the Case Model CC was the steering rod than located outside the hood of the tractor on the left side of the tractor. This rod extended along the left side of the tractor to the front wheels the tractor. Because this looked like a convenient place for the chickens, on the farm, to roost during the night, this rod became popularly known as “chicken’s roost.” Over the entire production from 1929 until 1939, 29,824 Model CC tractors were made.
In 1939, the CC was “styled,” modernized and the engine was upgraded in horsepower to a full 32.92 hp. at the belt pulley or the and 24.39 hp. at the drawbar. The tractor was re-designated as the new Case Model DC-3 tricycle style tractor. Like the old Model CC, the new Model DC-3 was a tricycle style tractor in order to allow the tractor to be fitted with a mounted cultivator for the easy offered to the farming public in a number of different front-end configurations. The DC was intended as a tractor which could perform all the field work on the average farm of the Midwestern part of North America, including the cultivation of row crops. Because of the wide variety of row crops grown in North America, a number of variants of the Model DC were offered to the farming public. The Case Model DC-3 was available as a narrow front tractor or as a tractor with an adjustable wide front end. There were also a single wheel front end and a dual wheel narrow front end available to the public. The J. I. Case Company planned to have the appropriate tractor configured for any farming operation in North America.
Instead of being painted gray like the Model CC, the Model DC-3 was painted a reddish-orange color that the J. I. Case Company called “Flambeau Red.” The DC-3 had a new Case-built engine with a 3-7/8 inch bore and a 5 ½ inch stroke, was commonly fitted with 11.25 by 38 inch rubber tires and weighed 7,010 lbs. Case advertised the DC tractor as a “full three-plow tractor.” This meant that the DC-3 could pull a three–bottom plow even with 16 inch bottoms in most plowing conditions. By 1944, the suggested retail price of the DC was $1,270 as mounted on rubber tires. During the entire production run of the Model DC-3 from 1939 until 1955, 54,925 DC-3 tractors were manufactured by the J.I. Case Company, or about 3,433 Model DC-3’s for each year of the production rum of the Model DC.
With the introduction of the DC and the phasing out of the Model CC tractor there was a vacancy in the smaller “two-plow” class of tractors within the J. I. Case Company tractor line. Accordingly, in 1940, one year after the introduction of the DC-3, the J.I. Case Company introduced the Model SC tractor. The Model SC weighed 4,200 lbs., was fitted with a 2.7 liter four-cylinder engine with a 3 ½ inch bore and a 4 inch stroke which delivered 21.62. hp to the belt pulley and 16.18 hp. to the drawbar. The Model SC was painted Flambeau Red to match the Model DC-3 and retained the hand clutch. However, while the hand clutch lever control on the Model DC-3 was located on the left side of the operator’s platform, the new Model SC had the hand clutch moved to the right side of the operator’s platform.
Case’s trademark, the “chicken’s roost” style steering rod of the Model CC and the Model DC-3 was also retained in the Model SC. The 11.25 by 38 inch rear rubber tires of the Model DC-3 were also made available for the Model SC. Like the Model However, the Model SC could be purchased for a much lower price than the DC-3. Many farmers took advantage of this price difference to purchase the Model SC tractor and the Model SC tractor became the best-selling tractor of the Case Flambeau Red line of tractors. Over its shorter production run (from 1940 until 1955), a total of 58,991 Model SC tractors (or about 3,933 Model SC’s per year) were produced and sold by the company—this represents a total of 4,066 more SC’s produced by the Case Company than the total number of DC-3 tractors produced by thebover the longer production run of the DC-3. In other words from 1940 until 1955. there were about 500 more SC tractors produced each year than there were Model DC-3 tractors produced each year during the same period of time.
Of course not every year of the production run from 1940 until 1955 was like the next. History intervened, during this period of time, in the form of the Second World War, history from 1939 until 1955. Involvement of the United States in the Second World War dated from the surprise bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 by the Japanese Imperial forces. Following the Pearl Harbor attack, most heavy industrial companies, like the J. I. Case Company were required by the United States government to join the war effort, as the country fought a desperate war in two separate theaters of operations (Europe and the Pacific). Production of civilian goods gave way to production for the war effort. However, it took some time for the various companies to be assigned their government military contracts and to start producing wartime materials. For the Case Company production of farm tractors at their factory located in Racine, Wisconsin tapered off somewhat gradually in favor of war materials for the war effort.
The factory at Racine, was called the “Main Works.” The Main Works in Racine, Wisconsin was where the new Model DC and the new Model SC were produced. However, in addition to introducing the two-plow Model SC, in 1940, the J.I. Case Company also introduced the the new one-plow tractor of the V-series. However, rather that manufacturing the V-series tractor at the Main Works, Case opened a new factory in Rock Island, Illinois. During the Second World War, the “Main Works” became involved in the production of bombs and artillery shells, doors for the Sherman tank and parts for the B-26 bomber.
The limited amount of tractors that were produced during the war, rolled off the assembly line at the J. I. Case Company Main Works (and the new Rock Island Works), were assigned a serial numbers in sequence regardless of the model. There are no separate serial numbers for the S-series, the D-series or the V-series tractors. Until 1954, the first two numbers of any Case tractor serial number gave a clue as to the year in which the tractor was assembled at the Main Works. However, even this seemingly direct approach to the year in which the tractor was clouded by some obscurity. For example, if the first two numbers of a particular serial number were “44,” this did not mean the tractor was produced in 1944. Four years must be subtracted from the first two numbers of every serial number to arrive at the actual year that the tractor was built. Thus, if the the first digits of a given serial number are “44,” then the tractor was actually produced in 1940—not 1944.
Accordingly, in the fifth year of the Model SC production run , a particular Model SC rolled aff the assembly line at the Main Works bearing the Serial Number 4911952. The first two digits of this particular serial number indicated that this tractor was manufactured at the Main Works in 1945. Since production in the year 1945 began with the serial number 4900001. Production of the Model SC with the Serial No. 4911952 must have been produced rather late in the year, 1945. Indeed, a good guess might be that the tractor was produced in December of 1945.
The war years from 1941 until 1945 also brought many changes to Case dealerships around the nation. One such Case dealership was located at 202 North Front Street in Mankato, Minnesota. Since 1910, this dealership had been owned by the J.I. Case Company itself. In 1922, a young man by the name of Harry Julius William Cutkosky was working as a clerk at the John Peter Canellos billiards room at the Saulpaugh Hotel at the corner of Main and Front Streets in downtown Mankato.
As such the Case Company dealership was only two blocks north of the Saulpaugh Hotel along Front Street. Hearing of an job offering and being an ambitious young man with a mechanical bent to his nature, Harry Cutkosky, walked the two blocks north on Front Street to seek better employment at the Case dealership. Harry did well at the dealership and by 1936 when the J.I. Case Company decided to franchise the dealership into private hands,it was Harry Cutosky that leaped at the chance to buy the franchise/dealership.
Shortly after Harry Cutosky purchased the franchise/dealership in Mankato, ne made another decision that was to prove extremely advantageous for the dealership. He decided to hire a manager to help him run the dealership on a day by day basis. For the position of manager of the dealership he turned to Earnest Allen Jones.
Since at least 1930, Earnest Jones had been employed as a shipping clerk at the J.I. Company Case Company Main Factory Works in Racine, Wisconsin. As the shipping clerk at the Racine factory, Earnest had become familiar with the J.I. Case Company network of dealerships and was perfectly aware of the pre-war sales success of the Cutkowsky dealership in Mankato, Minnesota. Thus, when Harry Cutkowsky offered to employ Earnest as the manager of his new proprietorship, Earnest anxiously grabbed the chance to manage the successful dealership. Earnest and and Vivian Maude (Baldwin) Jones and their family of an twelve year-old daughter, Elizabeth Ellyn;, a son, Allen, who was eleven and twin daughters Charlene and Charmaine who were both four years-old, moved to Mankato, Minnesota in 1936 shortly after Harry Cutkowsky had purchased the J.I. Case dealership in Mankato.
In the years following 1936 until the entry of the United States into the Second World War, the Cutkosky dealership operated under the successful teamwork of Harry Cutosky and his manager Earnest Jones. Soon the dealership made a great reputation for itself all across southern Minnesota and northern Iowa selling Case tractors and farm equipment.
In 1941, the United States was suddenly thrust into involvement n the war, by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The war, however, imposed a whole new set of problems on the dealership. Harry Cutkosky and his manager Earnest Jones realized that this was a new world. To be sure there was a great demand among area farmers for new farm implements and tractors. However, this large demand could not be satisfied because the entire economy of the United States was being directed toward production for the war effort and there were precious little resources left over for the production of farm machinery and tractors for the civilian market. This meant that farm tractor dealerships around the nation all suffered from having access to far too little product to sell to the farming public. During the war, the dealership had to struggle just to obtain enough tractors and farm machinery from the Racine Main Works and/or the Rock Island factory Works just to stay in business. It can not be doubted that the presence of Earnest Jones, with the personal contacts he maintained from his former employment at the Main Works in Racine, Wisconsin aided the Cutosky dealership in obtaining enough tractors and farm machinery and parts to keep their core customers somewhat satified during the war. .
By 1944, the third year of the war, it was beginning to look as though the war might actually end some time in the near future. Harry Cutosky and Earnest Jones became encouraged that with the end of the war, peace-time productin would resume and they both felt that the dealership was well-positioned to finally meet their customers full demands for new farm machinery. To really work efficiently and meet the new economic situation that he expected with the end of the war, Harry Cutosky needed more capital in his dealership. Accordingly, he offered to sell part of the company to Earnest Jones and make him a full partner. Thus, in 1945, the dealership or the first time in the Mankato Directory as the “Cutosky and Jones” dealership.
The Second World War ended in the European theater on May 7, 1945, “Victory in Europe Day” or “V-E Day.” However the war continued in the Pacific theater until “Victory over Japan” or “V-J Day” September 2, 1945.
Finally, government wartime restrictions were rescinded and full industrial production for civilian use returned. For the J.I. Case Company, this meant full production of the D-series and S-series tractors at the Racine Wisconsin Main Works and full production of the V-series tractors at the Rock Island, Illinois, factory Works. However, this period of full-production was short-lived. of d
No. 4911952 arrived at the J.I. Case dealership around New Years Day of 1946, Earnest had become a full partner and the dealership was known as the “Cutkowsky and Jones” dealership.
As consistent readers of this blog will remember, in December of 1945, another partnership had been formed to start a J.I. Case dealership in another small Minnesota town. This was the parnership of Duane Wetter and Merle Krinke who were forming a dealership in LeRoy, Minnesota. During December of 1945, Merle Krinke and Duane Wetter were busy buying property in the small town of LeRoy, Minnesota to establish what would become the local Case dealership called the “LeRoy Equipment Company.” (See the two part series of articles called “The Rise and Decline of the LeRoy Equipment Dealership.” contained at this website.) The new dealership of LeRoy Equipment Company was due to open on Tuesday January 29, 1946 and was in drastic need of an inventory of new Case farm tractors and Case farm machinery. Accordingly, the Model SC tractor bearing the serial number 4911952 could have been sent to this new dealership in LeRoy, Minnesota, to help the new dealership get off the ground.
If 4911852 had been sent to the LeRoy Equipment Company dealership, the tractor might have ended up on the Walter and Clarence Hanson farm three miles east of the village of LeRoy. As it was Walter and Clarence Hanson had to wait until sometime after March 10, 1947 for a subsequent Model SC to arrive at the LeRoy Equipment Company to purchase their Model SC tractor.
The Case Main Tractor Works in Racine, Wisconsin was still trying to struggle with the retooling process to convert to production of civilian farm equipment products The Case Corporation was hardpressed for funds. Thus, the decision was made to sent No. 4911952 to the veteran dealership with a big reputation for sales (Cutkowski and Jones dealership in Mankato, Minnesota) rather than to a new startup dealership (the LeRoy Equipment Company in LeRoy, Minnesota) with no reputation at all–yet. Accordingly, No. 4911952 was sent to the Cutkowski and Jones partnership dealership” located at 202 No. Main Street in Mankato, Minnesota.
Then the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor in December of 1941. Like nearly all other manufacturing concerns the Case Company was greatly curtailed in its production of civilian materials including tractors and farm machinery by the government. For the duration of the war all manufacturing was to be directed toward the war effort in Europe and the Pacific.
With the return of peace in September of 1945, production of the tractors had just begun again. J. I. Case Company was still struggling to retool for full time civilian production. On December 26, 1945, shortly after No. 4911952 rolled off the assembly line in Racine, Wisconsin, the Case Tractor Works at Racine, Wisconsin was hit by a labor strike by the United Auto Workers. This labor strike continued for fifteen more months until March 10, 1947.
During the whole period of the strike, the Case Tractor Works was totally closed down and did not produce a single farm tractor. Finally on March 10, 1947 the United Auto Workers and the Case Company signed a new labor collective bargaining agreement and the labor strike ended. Finally, production of farm tractors was begun again at the Case Tractor Works in Racine Wisconsin.
When No. 4911952 arrived at the Cutkowsky dealership just after New Years Days of 1946, the dealership had already been approached by a potential buyer for the little Model SC tractor. This potential buyer was a farmer of a 160-acre farm in Belgrade Township in Ncollet County, Minnesota. This was our Belgrade Township farmer.
Our Belgrade Township farmer’s mother had inherited the 160 acre farm upon the sudden death of her husband (our Belgrade Township farmer’s father) in 1939. Immediately, the total responsibility for the farm fell to our Belgrade Township farmer. Even before the death of his father, our Belgrade Township farmer had already been actively operating a great deal of the work on the farm: planting the crops, spending endless hours cultivating the corn crop and finally harvesting the corn and other crops on the farm, i.e. hay and oats.
The farm was a diversified operation with a Holstein cow dairy operation requiring milking every morning and evening. They sold the whole milk obtained from their “twice-daily” milking of their Holstein dairy herd to the cooperative dairy located just across the Belgrade township boundary line to the north in Oshawa Township.
Our Belgrade Township farmer’s father also had raised pigs for market. The herd of pigs on the farm had consisted of a number of sows of different breeds and largely “cross breeds.” There was usually one boar on the farm at any one time which would be purchased for the job of siring the litters of little pigs that would be born each year. Over the years that our Belgrade Township farmer had grown up on the farm, prior to the recent war, he remembered a succession of different boars on the farm–one after another over the years.
Most sows could be counted on to produce litters of baby pigs for only about three (3) or four (4) years out of their life. Older sows would begin having less pigs per litter until they began to fail getting pregnant at all. Accordingly, our Belgrade Township farmer’s father would have to plan ahead and save out some of the best looking gilts of the various litters over the years to replace some of sows that he was phasing out of the herd because of age.
This meant that the young gilts that were to become the new sows on the farm would be the actual daughters of the present boar. Thus, the reason for changing boars every three years or so was to avoid any problems with reduced disease immune resistance and low growth rates that might result from this “in-breeding,” both our Belgrade Township farmer and his father would simply start searching for a new boar. Among the succession of boars on the farm one boar that stood out the most in the memory of our Belgrade Township farmer was a particular red -colored boar. This red boar struck him as a child and stuck in his memory merely because of his red color. This red color stood out in contrast to all the white, black and spotted “black and white” sows on the farm.
During the years that the red boar was on the farm our Belgrade Township farmer use to love the way the boar left his finger prints on all the litters of baby pigs born during those years. All the litters of baby pigs born during those years, usually contained one or two little red pigs. This made the red pigs standout even more in the mind of our Belgrade Township farmer.
As an early teenager, our Belgrade Township farmer had joined the local 4-H club–the “Belgrade Boosters”–and when he chose a 4-H project to show at the Nicollet County Fair–he chose one of the newborn gilts out of one of the litters born that particular year. that had been born that year. Needless to say, the gilt was one of the little red pigs that had captured his imagination at this early date. He also learned about the characteristics of the Duroc breed. He learned that the Duroc pork meat tended to be “redder” in color that the pork meat of other breeds of pig. Additionally, the Duroc meat was regarded as having ” well marbled” fat. The importance of this feature of well marbled fat in Duroc meat will be explained below.
In the years to come during the post-war era the breeder of pigs tended look for pigs that would be thinner in structure than the hugely fat pigs which were commonly produced during the war. These huge pigs were intentionally grown for their fat which could be rendered into lard for baking during the pre-war era. During the Second World War the lard from pork was used for making munitions for the war effort, Thus, fat pigs were desired by the pork buyers in the market. Breeders of pigs responded to this desired feature and raised overly fat hogs for the market.
However, in the post-war market the buyers began to respond to the consumers who now wanted less cholesterol, grease and fat in their food. Now the pork buyers began to look for thinner market hogs that would have less fat. Thus, in the post-war years the breeders of pigs had to make a 180 degree turn in their thinking. Now they tended look for pigs that would be thinner in structure than the hugely fat pigs which were commonly produced during the war.
(Still later in 1987, in the face of a huge decrease in beef [or red meat] consumption in the United States from 69.5 lbs. per person in 1987 to 62 lbs per person in 2003, pork producers spent 7 million dollars to advertise pork as the “other white meat,” seeking a closer association of pork with chicken meat in the mind of the consumer rather than an association with beef–the red meat. In response to this advertising campaign, pork consumption in the United States rose from 45.6 lbs. per person in 1987, to a peak of 49.3 lbs in 1999 before leveling off and dropping to an average of 48.5 lbs. per person in 2003. What was the cause if this fall off jn popularity in pork as a replacement for beef? One answer can’t be the only reason. However, it may be speculated that as pork became leaner, the meat lost its flavor. (This would be consistent with all the complaints which have been frequently heard since 1987 that pork chops simply do not taste the same as they used to.)
Not take long after he joined the Belgrade Boosters 4-H club, for our Belgrade Township farmer to learn that the most popular of all the red-colored pig breeds in the United States was the Duroc breed. This was the correct name for the breed of pigs that, until now, he had merely been calling “red pigs.” He learned that these pigs had simply been called “Red Hogs” when the breed was developed and introduced into New Jersey in 1812. Breeding and development of the pigs in New Jersey led to a breed that was called “Jersey Reds,” These Jersey Reds pigs were noted for “farrowing” (giving birth to) large litters of baby pigs. Additionally, the Jersey Reds were known for their rapid ability to gain weight.
In 1823, Isaac Frink bought one red boar out of a litter of 10 pigs owned by Frank Kelsey. The parents of the litter of 10 pigs probably came from England. Frink brought the boar back to his home in Milton in Saratoga County, New York and began a breeding program on his farm. Frank Kelsey had been known locally as the owner of a champion race named “Duroc.” Accordingly, Isaac Frink named the red boar that he had purchased from Frank Kelsey after this horse–Duroc . This is how the whole breed that descended from the combination of Jersey Reds and the descendants of Isaac Frink’s New York herd came to be the breed of pigs called the Duroc breed.
The American Duroc-Jersey Association was established in 1883 for the registration and improvement of the Duroc Breed. The first showing of pigs dedicated to the Duroc breed was held at the 1893 World’s Fair held in Chicago, Illinois. This first show featuring Duroc pigs created a great deal of notoriety at the Chicago World’s Fair. Due to the rapid growth of the Duroc breed following the 1893 Worlds Fair, many more organizations promoting and advertising the Duroc breed sprang up across the nation. Eventually, all these organizations were merged into the United Duroc
Prior to his father’s sudden death, our Belgrade Township farmer had been anticipating obtaining a farm of his own and starting farming on his own. Indeed, he had been dating a young girl. Together they had talked of getting married and getting a house of their own . However, at the time of the death of his father, our Belgrade Township farmer and this girl friend had drifted apart. At the time, he suspected that this distance that grew up between he and this girl was brought about by her recognition that our Belgrade Township farmer would be forced into handling the farm of his father and moving into his mother’s house. He did not feel that he could do anything else. So the relationship sort of faded and eventually they each went their own way.
His current wife and he had met and started dating after he had settle into his situation on the farm living in house with his mother and his two bothers. They had re gotten together h, indeed, had moved into the house of his mother, because neither of his two younger brothers was prepared to . However, both of his younger brothers were almost ten years younger than our Belgrade Township farmer and were, at time of their father’s death, much too young to operate the whole farm by themselves. handle the they
Production of the Model SC Case continued until 1954. Over the full production run of the Model SC tractor, from 1940 until 1954, a total of 58991 individual SC tractors were made. This made the Case Model SC, the most popular of all Case tractors. More intermediate two-plow Model S-series tractors were manufactured and sold by the J. I. Case Company than either the larger Model D-series three -plow tractor or the smaller one-plow Model V-series tractors.
The particular Model SC tractor bearing the Serial Number 4911952 was shipped to the Cutkowski and Jones Case equipment dealership in Mankato, Minnesota. Eventually, No. 4911952 was sold by Cutkowshi and Jones to a particular farmer operating a farm in western Belgrade Township about 3 or 4 miles to the north of North Mankato on County Road #8 in Nicollet County Minneota. This was the farm of our Belgrade Township farmer. Sold into bankruptcy and No. 4911952 was sold to an auction house in Mankato kept No. 4911952 inside a storage shed or garage until an auction was held a couple months later. At the auction, Ken Weilage purchased No. 4911925 and a couple of other tractors and took the tractors to his 5-acre hobby farm located on the east side of the Hwy. #169 between Mankato and St. Peter, Minnesota.
This hobby farm had originally been a working farm but in the 1960s the arable land of the farm was surveyed and separated from the building site of the farm. The arable land was then sold to a neighboring farmer and the building site was sold to man who worked as a financial services manager named Ken Wielage (Tel:  625-4810), who also had a hobby of collecting and restoring old farm tractors. At this stage, No. 4911952 went through its first repainting and restoration. Once the restoration was complete, the tractor was driven by Ken Weilage in a number of parades. In about 1990 the tractor was sold to group of about ten (10) neighbors, who all lived along Washington Boulevard on the shore of Lake Washington, near the village of Madison Lake, Minnesota. This group of neighbors was led by John Pfau, the owner of a number of Taco John restaurant franchised in Mankato, St. Peter and New Ulm. John Pfau was the person who actually found the tractor was for sale by Ken Wielage, the late Ernie Weber, Gordon Strusz (at 4524 Washington Blvd. Madison Lake, Minnesota and Tel.  243-3380); Ray Dumbrowski; and John D. Jacoby who became the person who was most involved with the operation storage and repair of the tractor for the last 20 years. At first, Washington Boulevard was a gravel rode. The neighbors used No. 4911952 to pull an old steel-wheeled grader up and down Washington Boulevard to grade and maintain the road and the tractor was used twice a year to put the neighbors docks in Lake Washington in the spring and pulling the docks out of the waster in the autumn.
In 2013 through 2015 No. 4911952 was displayed on the Mike McCabe farm as a tractor for sale and there was seen by the current author in April of 2015 was and purchased for the Wells Family Farms collection of restored tractors. No. 4911952 is currently undergoing its second restoration.