Formation of Tillotson Construction Co. pinned down thanks to news clipping

By Ronald Ahrens

We knew Tillotson Construction Co. was formed in 1938 after the death of my great-grandfather, Charles F. Tillotson. Family records show that he died in June of 1938 in New CorpsConcordia, Kan.

Sons Joseph H. Tillotson and Reginald O. Tillotson decided the future lay in reinforced-concrete elevators.

While they may have continued construction and repair of wooden elevators, the company’s construction record shows the first concrete elevator went up at Goltry, Okla., in 1939.

A notice of “New Corporations” in the Sep. 9, 1938 edition of the Lincoln Journal Star announces:

“Tillotson Construction company (sic), Omaha. The construction, erection, repair, reconstruction and rebuilding of grain elevators, storage warehouses and buildings of similar nature and description, $5,000. Joseph H. Tillotson, Reginald O. Tillotson, Rose A. Tillotson.”

Born in the late 1880s as Rose Brennan, Rose A. Tillotson, was the surviving widow of Charles and mother of Reginald and Joe. She died in the 1950s. 

These details help us to construct a timetable while also showing the Tillotson brothers took bold steps to embrace new techniques and processes, moving the family enterprise forward.

Thank you to blog follower Suzassippi for passing along this clipping.

3 comments on “Formation of Tillotson Construction Co. pinned down thanks to news clipping

  1. Charles J. Tillotson says:

    Even though in 1938 Grandma Rose had lost her husband Charles H, and her sons had lost their father, it was still a good year for the Tillotson family and business, and it was certainly filled with optimism for the future. Not only had Dad (Reginald) and Uncle Joe founded a new business and plans for a transformation of grain storage facilities from wood to concrete, they also each bought a house and left the family home on 41st street in Omaha to be occupied by Grandma Rose and her daughter Aunt Mary. Uncle Joe and his wife Sylvia were without children so they purchased a small home on the near North side of Omaha. Dad and my mother, Margaret, on the other hand had three children and another one on the way so they ended up buying a larger 3 bedroom, 2 story home on 8 acres with an existing fruit orchard.

    By 1939 Dad and Uncle Joe were Rockin and Rollin as evidenced by the construction of the Goltry
    project and many other grain elevator contracts signed up. However, for some reason which never became clear to me, my Uncle Joe and Aunt Sylvia packed up and moved from Omaha to Denver in 1940 and started a new business enterprise. Sadly, my Uncle Joe died in a car accident in 1947.

    My Dad carried on the business operating out of Omaha and he brought in his sister, my Aunt Mary to manage the office while he ventured out to sell more contracts…and the rest is history as well documented by your wonderful Blog.

    Uncle Charles J. Tillotson

    • Suzassippi says:

      What a nice part of the story, Mr. Tillotson! I was thinking earlier how courageous to venture out like this during the Great Depression, and yet, it is that entrepreneurial spirit that has made such a difference in many endeavors. I have really enjoyed learning about the Tillotson company.

  2. […] forgot to add in my comments [on company origins] what little I know about Grandpa Charles’s experience with Van Ness Construction. I’m […]

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