By Kristen Cart
We have very limited information about the activities of Tillotson Construction of Omaha during World War Two. The other two elevator builders we profile, J. H. Tillotson, Contractor, and Mayer-Osborn, of Denver, Colo., began their operations after the war, but individuals working for both companies gained their experience during wartime, either at Tillotson Construction, or elsewhere.
Eugene Mayer, a partner in Mayer-Osborn Construction, previously worked in a partnership, Holmen and Mayer, based in Denver. Orrie Holmen was a University of Chicago-trained architect. Eugene’s sister Sheila was the wife of Joe Tlllotson. At some point after 1938, Joe left his brother Reginald in charge of the parent company, Tillotson Construction, of Omaha, and moved to Denver to start his own elevator business, accompanied by old Tillotson hands William Osborn and Bill Morris.
It would be fascinating to trace the wartime activities of each of these principal builders, if they can be learned.
In the Tillotson company records, we found concrete elevator specifications beginning a few years before the War and resuming immediately afterward, but conspicuously absent were records of elevator construction during the War.
However, we know Tillotson Construction was active between 1942 and 1945. We found one snippet in an old newspaper, which we transcribed on the blog: https://ourgrandfathersgrainelevators.com/2012/05/08/nebraska-firms-get-government-contracts/.
When we learn more about the activities of the company during that time, we will certainly write about it here. It is an open line of inquiry, and we are eagerly seeking more information.
- Despite ADM’s ‘No Admittance,’ the mystery of Moscow is solved (ourgrandfathersgrainelevators.com)
- A photography outing reveals beauty at the Mayer-Osborn elevator in Byers, Colorado (ourgrandfathersgrainelevators.com)