By Ronald Ahrens
In 1946, Tillotson Construction Company, of Omaha, built a grain elevator in Kingfisher, Oklahoma.
Kingfisher, a town of 4500 people, lies about forty-five miles northwest of Oklahoma City.
Company plans list the reinforced concrete elevator’s capacity at 240,000 bushels.
The elevator, seen on the left in the photo in a view from the northeast, was built on an expanded version of Tillotson’s standard Medford plan, with one leg. Two driveways pass through the center of the house.
Storage was calculated at 2400 bushels of grain for each foot of height.
A call to the elevator was answered by Linda in the office. She dug out a 50-year history of the co-op, published in 1984.
It says that in 1946 the co-op “wrecked” its old 34,000-bushel elevator, preserving the office and sale house, and erected a new 250,000-bushel elevator. (No telling how to account for the 10,000-bushel difference between the company’s records and the co-op’s history.)
The published history includes a 1955 “skyline view” photo that may be the same picture as above. Note the stained, north-facing, outer walls of the Tillotson elevator, indicating it had been in use for some time, while the elevator to the right is obviously brand new.
The Tillotson elevator is presently known as the south elevator. The wooden buildings no longer exist at the site. In recent times, the Kingfisher Co-op Elevator first merged into a regional organization and is now part of a conglomerate.
- Is it a Tillotson elevator in the Idaho Potato Commission’s TV ad? (ourgrandfathersgrainelevators.com)
- ‘Walking the plank’ on the new Pocahontas, Iowa, elevator in 1954 (ourgrandfathersgrainelevators.com)