After thinking in a quiet place in my mind. I finally saw the words "around the nut" in Mr. Scotts post. On some models in some years, including 41-46 and 55-59, there are two springs up in there. One to hold the upper mast bearing in place and another
under the horn button and fits "over/around" the steering wheel nut. It's a "return" spring for the button.
Should make scott happy. I would still like to know year/make/model.
Seems like this compression spring went away in favor of the disc/Belleville spring after 1946 and was only used on big bolts. (GMC).
Did not study further. It is also possible that the design changed from up and down button to rocking button, to make contact.
47-60's and up used the disc at the button for light truck.
Most of those years seem to use the mast bearing retention spring.