Tillotson Construction’s grain elevators often varied in capacity

The allotment of grain to bins is shown in this chart inside the Satanta, Kansas, elevator.

Story and photos by Gary Rich

Tillotson Construction Company erected grain elevators of different capacities that could meet the unique demands of Midwestern and Plains farmers’ co-ops. Such was the case in southwestern Kansas.

Satanta, Kansas

Satanta and Rolla are towns located along U.S. Route 56. Satanta, named for the Kiowa chief, is in Haskell County and Rolla is in Morton County. The two towns are 42 miles apart.

As noticed in towns in Colorado, Iowa, and Nebraska, the Satanta elevator is of larger capacity. This elevator is now part of United Prairie Ag.

The elevator in Rolla, however, has a much smaller capacity. This was probably due to the Co-op not having the funds to build one larger. Rolla was constructed around 1954, maybe a little earlier, and is now owned by the Elkhart Co-op Equity Exchange.

While it’s a smaller elevator, there was no stinting on style. Tillotson’s signature curved headhouse graces the top of the structure.

Once again, Tillotson met the demands of the local community and the Co-ops.

The annex to Tillotson’s Rolla elevator was built by Hamilton. We don’t know much about this company.

The other elevator at the site was done by Borton Construction around 1964.

The beautifully curved headhouse distinguishes Tillotson’s smaller elevator in Rolla, Kansas. The annex, center, was built by Hamilton, and the newer elevator, right, by Borton Construction in 1964.

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9 comments on “Tillotson Construction’s grain elevators often varied in capacity

  1. kocart says:

    Beautiful photos, Gary!

  2. Mustang.Koji says:

    All this “stuff” is foreign to this city-folk… Are those offices atop those silos??

  3. Gary Rich says:

    Mustang,
    No, these are not offices up on the top of the elevator. This is where the piping is located. The piping goes to the different bins in the elevator proper. Plus, when an annex is added a belt moves from the elevator to the different bins in the annex.

    Kristen has added an article that has some images shown at the top of these elevators. You should check out her photos in this article.

    I was reared in farming county. The first concrete elevator that was built in the small Kansas town that I lived, I was up there several times when I was a kid. I realize that city folk can not see what actually happens inside the elevator.
    Gary

  4. […] of windows. (You can view the window arrangements of other elevator on this blog, such as those in Rolla and Satanta, Kansas, as well as Ensign, […]

  5. […] of windows. (You can view the window arrangements of other elevator on this blog, such as those in Rolla and Satanta, Kansas, as well as Ensign, […]

  6. […] Tillotson Construction’s grain elevators often varied in capacity (ourgrandfathersgrainelevators.com) […]

  7. […] for anything made of slip-formed concrete. Tillotson built another relatively small elevator in Rolla, Kan., that had a 140,000-bushel capacity. Most that Tillotson was building in this time frame were of […]

  8. […] Satanta, Kan. (1947), and Gruver, Tex. (1947) elevators were built with a revised Dike plan, which was renamed the […]

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