Tillotson elevators in Oklahoma

Story by Kristen Cart

The Tillotson Construction Company of Omaha, Neb., built at least two hundred elevators and other building projects during the heyday of elevator construction. To date, we have obtained the specifications for 127 of them, specifically concrete elevator jobs. Of these, 27 projects were completed in Oklahoma according to the documents we have. A few pages of the specifications are missing, so undoubtedly there were more.

It can be seen from the map that many of the projects were clustered in the wheat growing region that served the major terminal facilities in Enid, Okla. The Tillotson company must have made a very good impression, since many of the facilities brought the company back to build their additional storage. The neighborhood around Enid was practically saturated with elevators that were designed and built by Tillotson Construction. It is apparent that the company had a continuous presence in the neighborhood, keeping their equipment and infrastructure on location in and around Enid for a number of years, which probably made them the most practical and economical choice for local cooperatives when they shopped for a builder.

Listed below are the depicted locations:

Goltry, 1939: 60,000 bushels

Newkirk, 1940:  60,000 bushels

Douglas, 1941: 60,000 bushels

Medford, 1941: 212,000 bushels

Thomas, 1941: 212,000 bushels

Burlington, 1945: 213,000 bushels

Cherokee, 1945: 213,000 bushels

Lamont, 1945: 212,500 bushels

Blackwell, 1945: 212,500 bushels

Custer, 1946: 96,000 bushels

Kingfisher, 1946: 240,000 bushels

Thomas, 1947: 240,000 bushels

Pond Creek, 1946: 100,000 bushels

Helena, 1947:  100,000 bushels

Eva, 1947:  99,000 bushels

Manchester, 1948: 145,000 bushels

Helena, 1949: (annex) 100,000 bushels

Pond Creek, 1950:  252,000 bushels

Kildare, 1950:  250,000 bushels

Drummond, 1950:  200,000 bushels

Imo, 1950:  151,600 bushels (not found on map)

Helena, 1953:  (annex)  200,000 bushels

Cherokee, 1953:  309,400 bushels

Meno, 1953:  152,000 bushels

Dacoma, 1954:   251,000 bushels

Orienta, 1954:  (annex) 312,000 bushels

Weatherford, 1954:  (annex) 181,000 bushels

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3 comments on “Tillotson elevators in Oklahoma

  1. Donald McCue says:

    Hi! I believe that you can find Imo, Oklahoma, about 6 miles northeast of Drummond, on the railroad. There isn’t much there now and really hasn’t been, but in 1920 Imo boasted a bank, a couple of stores and a garage.

    • kocart says:

      Thank you for providing the location. I will see if I can update the map, and perhaps spy the elevator on Google. What a wonder these mapping tools are. Have you seen some of the aerial views of these elevators? It looks like most, if not all, of them are still there.

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