By Ronald Ahrens
We’ve laid out the story of Tillotson Construction Company’s concrete elevator at Alta, Iowa.
Now for the completion.
The photo shows the ceremonial first load of grain being dumped after the elevator was wrapped up in 1950. The job had started in early spring.
Bill Russell superintended from start to finish. As his son Dennis has told us, Bill was born in 1900 and built ammunition depots during World War Two before coming to work for Tillotson.
He was father of eight sons. One of them, Jim, a promising law school student, died in a fall on Tillotson’s elevator at Murphy, Neb.
After a long run with Tillotson, Bill started Mid-States Construction, which became known as Mid-States Equipment, with Gordon Erickson.
During the key postwar period of elevator expansion, few men contributed more than Bill Russell, and we are proud to remember and honor him.