Story by Ronald Ahrens, photo from the Neil A. Lieb archive
Why would we not be blamed for thinking the sign in the photo was actually about the new elevator that Tillotson Construction Company had just completed in Alta, Iowa? Or do we read too much into it?
Just think what was required to build the elevator in 1950. Men started in the mud and gloom of early spring. All they had were piles of sand and lumber and steel bars, relatively few, simple tools, and an ingenious way of keeping the formwork level. They were about to perform an amazing feat.
By midsummer, the job was done, the lettering affixed to the headhouse, and farmers could more efficiently store and ship their corn.
The men who built the elevator moved on to another job, maybe in Iowa, maybe in Texas.
What they left behind towered over the countryside of Buena Vista County. Some folks had probably never seen a monument this grand.
Shucks, by scrooching up your eyes, you might even have been able to see it all the way from Storm Lake, three miles down Route 7.