Kim David Cooper, a friend of Our Grandfathers’ Grain Elevators, has shared not only his oil paintings depicting Tillotson’s Greenwood, Neb., elevator but also some family history.
As he explains …
Since we’re talking grain elevators … my Great Grandfather, William Leslie Temple, managed them. It was most of his life’s work.
Two different large ones in Omaha. One on 16th street near Carter Lake and one just north of I-80 and west of I-480. 16th one still active, I believe the other one is not.
Here’s the group picture from 1933. Quite a group of characters. Looks to be many different nationalities represented.
William died in 1963 at the age of 85–on his birthday, working in his garden.
We believe the one just north of I-80 and west of I-480 is the Vinton Street elevator built by Tillotson Construction Co. in 1947.
It would be a remarkable coincidence if Cooper’s great-grandfather ran a Tillotson-built elevator.
As we see in this inset photo, the 16th Street elevator was part of Farmers National Grain Corp.
Cargill: Trading the World’s Grain, by Wayne G. Broehl, tells us more:
Farmers National was formed in 1929 as “a new central organization to bring together cooperatively owned elevators, terminals and wheat pools and farmer-directed sales agencies into a single unified marketing organization. In early 1930 centralized units also were formed for cotton and livestock, and later, similar national associations were formed for wool, beans, pecans, sugar beets, fruits and vegetables.”
The 16th Street elevator will require further investigation.
Many thanks to Cooper for sharing this family photo and revealing the probable link between our families.