The following two-part memoir was recently written by Frank Nine, who worked for Tillotson Construction Company in 1954 and 1955 and now lives near Sedalia, Missouri:
I first worked for Tillotson in Dayton, Iowa. Jay Wiser was superviser. We finished there and moved to Bancroft, Iowa, and finished late-fall 1954.
Early 1955 we started the Boxholm elevator, where I was from. G.T. Christensen, Jay Wiser, and I became friends and often hung out together when not working. I attended George’s funeral. I was 19 at the time. We went to Dallas Center, Iowa. George’s wife and family [lived] for some time in Boxholm. I later helped her with some minor repair, etc, on their trailerhouse. The children were very young then.
I am now 77 years old.
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I started out on the tractor-loader filling the hopper for the cement mixer. Some as carpenter helper, on-deck pouring cement, and most of time wherever needed. This was in Dayton, Iowa.
Jay Wiser’s brother–Bud is what they called him, I think Harold was his name–was foreman or boss.
Then we moved to Bancroft, Iowa, where Jay was supervisor, his brother Jesse was a foreman, and George T. Christensen was also.
I worked with Bobby Wheeler and his brother Billy. (I think that was his name.) Also with Jerry Gustafson and his dad and a man they called Cowboy. I think Carlson was his last name.
Bobby and I were friends and hung out often. Jerry and I did the same.
We finished job October-November 1954. Early 1955 we started the job in Boxholm, Iowa, where I met Jim Sheets, and we became friends. I worked the master jacks and run jack crew. Later on, finished cement with Jim–among other jobs as needed. This is where George, Jay, and an old welder, Jesse, became friends.
Bobby, Jerry, Jim, George, Jay, Jesse, and others hung out often. We lost George this year.
- ‘Walking the plank’ on the new Pocahontas, Iowa, elevator in 1954 (ourgrandfathersgrainelevators.com)
- Taking it from the top at Tillotson Construction’s annex in Flagler, Colorado (ourgrandfathersgrainelevators.com)