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 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.
- How Tillotson Construction made a good first impression with the Ensign Co-op (ourgrandfathersgrainelevators.com)
- Photo tour reveals the Goodland, Kan., elevator’s symmetries and history (ourgrandfathersgrainelevators.com)