By Ronald Ahrens
Thanks to Linda at Plains Partners, in Kingfisher, Okla., we have pages from the special 50-year-history edition of The Co-op Way, published by the Kingfisher Cooperative Elevator Association in 1984.
The history reports what happened only twelve years after the co-op was incorporated. Because of postwar expansion “the need to build a new elevator was obvious,” the history says.
The co-op chose Tillotson Construction, of Omaha, for the job.
First, however, the co-op reincorporated early in 1946 to increase its capital.
Work soon got under way when “the association wrecked the old 34,000 bu. elevator and built a new concrete elevator with a 250,000 bu. capacity,” the history says.
“They also wrecked all the other old buildings except the office and scale house which they had built in 1942. It was remodeled into a concrete cleaning and grinding mill and warehouse.”
The year of 1955 “saw the skyline of Kingfisher change once more. A new skyscraper had been added to the landscape, and the farmers took pride in the contribution they had made to their community’s appearance and prosperity.”
Tillotson company records don’t address the question of who built the second elevator, seen at right in the photo below. Neither does the co-op’s history mention the builder.
- In 1946, Tillotson Construction built a mighty elevator in Kingfisher, Oklahoma (ourgrandfathersgrainelevators.com)
- Discovering the J. H. Tillotson elevator at St. Francis, Kansas as a centennial looms (ourgrandfathersgrainelevators.com)