Blue-line drawings for a main slab and tunnel with breakout details for other sections in Gurley, Neb.

Finally, mercifully, we get to the last of the drawings from Tillotson Construction Co. records, and instead of dark, hard-to-read copies of blueprints, we offer these scanned copies of a “blue line.” They’re for a main slab and tunnel at Gurley, Neb.–which we assume has something to do with an annex–and were completed by Ted Morris on April 18, 1958. The scale is indicated as one-quarter-inch to one foot.

These are among the most detailed drawings in our possession, with abundant dimensional markings and figures for steel reinforcing bars. There are also many notations, some comprehensible and others begging for clarifying comments. In the upper right, the note, “Knock out Exist. Endwall in Tunnel” seems to suggest a conveyor that would connect the annex to the elevator.

Above that, an 11.0-foot gap is indicated between slabs with the note, “Wall to Wall (to Clr. Car Puller). Hmm!

Another one, between the Number Six and Number Four tanks, says, “Truss Bars next to Tank Opg’s. Str. Bars next to Inner Opgs.”

And in Number One we read, “Main Slab Steel to be 2″ Clear from Face of Slab Shown. Main Wall Steel to be 3/4″ clear from Face of Wall Shown.”

Others are far trickier. For example, “Print Walls for Roof” is written in Number Eight, and that’s pretty obscure.

Gurley is located in the Nebraska panhandle a few miles north of Sidney and Interstate 80. A satellite view reveals the annex and main elevator quite clearly amid Crossroad Coop’s complex at 501 Lincoln St. and ought to satisfy reader Suzassippi’s desire to match the two-dimensional drawing with a photographic view.

Readers may please feel free to contribute their own interpretations via the comments feature.

Drawings for a 100,000- to 129,000-bushel grain elevator with detailed plans for all amenities

Among the most detailed drawings in our possession is this print, from the records of Tillotson Construction Co., of Omaha, for a 100,000- to 129,000-bushel, single-leg reinforced-concrete grain elevator.

We assume that Ted Morris executed the drawings for the company. We do not see notations for the scale of these drawings in inches to feet, as in others previously posted. Otherwise, the drawings are meticulously rendered.

To the left above is the cross-section of the structure. The main house has four tanks (silos) with internal diameter of 14 feet six inches and, with 100-foot drawform walls, a 102,500-bushel capacity is achieved. At 120 feet, the capacity increases to 128,900 bushels.

The cupola is marked as 22.0 feet high and 34.0 feet wide. Special markings indicate the dimensions of segments within and atop the cupola. A notation at the roof indicates the centerline of the driveway far below. We also see inscriptions for the head pulley, top of manlift travel, an interior ladder nearby, and to the far left, a 10-inch-diameter, 14-gauge spout.

In the main house, bins are numbered. From left to right, we see internal Bins 5, 11, 12, and 15.

Above the driveway and work floor, a space that extends 17.0 feet accommodates the 12.0-foot steel overhead-curtain-type door and electric truck-lift rails. The grate is 9.0-feet wide. The pit goes 12.0 feet below the main slab. A note indicates “Typ. Base Sash Elev.,” the meaning of which is open to interpretation although it obviously refers to a window. An entry in the Standard Machinery list includes, “Industrial steel windows & Doors @ Cupola & Work Floor.”

Below the cross-section is a Boot Pit Plan showing two pits and a ladder up, with dimensions given.

The Bin and Foundation plans give the various specifications and dimensions, including a 44.0 x 44.0 slab and 9 foot 9-inch radius from center of a tank to the outside perimeter.

The Bin Roof & Cupola Floor Plan includes such juicy details as the dimensions of wall openings under the roof and louvres under eaves and indicates three “B24141 cpd” windows. A key to symbols explains markings for “C.I. 24-inch manhole [with] ladder below,” “C.I. 20-inch roof scuttle,” “S.M. 20-inch removable grate and cover,” and 10-inch 14-gauge spouts. The scale is rated for 10 bushels.

The Work Floor and Driveway Floor Plan shows the driveway curtain door is 11.0 feet wide and opens to an area with 13.0 feet of clearance. The two dump grates are indicated. No. 1 is 9.0 x 3.5 feet )or it could be 5.5 feet), and No. 2 is 9 x 15 feet. Doors are 3070 doors.

The Distributor Floor Plan depicts 18 funnels at 16-inch centers, and a radius of 4 feet 7 inches from center. There are four of the B24141 C.P.O. windows.

The Scale Floor Plan shows the scale, a ladder up, and the load-out spout, as well as various dimensions.

The list of Standard Machinery includes the following:

  • Head & Boot Pulley 60 x 14-inch C.I.
  • Belt 14-inch, six-ply
  • Cups 12 x 6-inch Calumet at 9-inch centers
  • Leg capacity 5,000 bushels/hour
  • Head drive 25 or 30 H.P.
  • Truck Lift 7 1/2 H.P. Elec.
  • Manlift 2 H.P. Elec.
  • Dust col. System 3 H.P. Fan @ Head, Disch[arge] to Bin
  • Leading Out Scale 10 Bu. Richardson
  • Leading Out Spout 8 1/4-inch well casing
  • Cupola Spouting 10-inch-diameter, 14-gauge steel
  • Car Unloading Facilities By Gravity, Direct to Boot
  • Distributor 12-inch Radial-Operate from Wk. Floor
  • Dr’way Doors Overhead Custom-Hand Open

Drawings for an elevator of 100,000- to 125,000-bushel capacity with plans for driveway floor and bins and single- or twin-leg configurations

These drawings reproduced from the records of Tillotson Construction Co., of Omaha, show the general-plan details of a 100,000- to 125,000-bushel, single- or twin-leg, reinforced-concrete elevator. 

To the left above, seen at the scale of one-eighth inch to one foot, is the cross-section of the structure. The main house has four tanks (silos) with internal diameter of 14 feet six inches and, at 100 feet in height, a 100,000-bushel capacity is achieved. At 120 feet, the capacity would increase to 130,000 bushels.

The cupola is marked as 22.0 feet high with a single leg and 30 feet 6 inches with two legs. Notations inscribed in the cupola space label the dust fan, distributor floor, automated scale, and cupola floor. The diameter of the leg’s head pulley is 60 inches.

In the main house, bins are numbered. From left to right, we see Bin 5, Bin 11, Bin 12, and Bin 15.

Above the driveway and work floor, a space that extends 17.0 feet accommodates the steel overhead-curtain-type door and electric truck-lift rails. The main slab is indicated below.

At the very bottom, we see a 13 foot 6 inch depth for the pit with a single leg or 15 foot 9 inch depth for a twin-leg setup.  

The driveway floor plan (center) is rendered at the scale of one-quarter inch to one foot. To the far left, we see a dock. The measure of 13.0 feet is given between the two tanks (Numbers 1 and 4). The driveway is 47.0 feet long–three feet longer than the main slab. It is 30.0 feet from the initial edge of the second dump grate to the driveway exit. The width is 13.0 feet. On the right are the electrical room, an electrically operated manlift, and a manhole.

The variation drawing, “Dvwy Floor Plan 2 Legs,” at the same quarter-inch scale, includes details for a twin-leg elevator. The note at bottom says, “Remainder of Plan same as with 1-leg.”

The Bin Plan at the right shows a 44.0-foot width. (So the main slab is apparently 44.0 x 44.0 feet.) At top we see a dust bin noted as well as bin draw-offs in the interior bins. A number of those bins are marked as 10 feet 4.5 inches across. Number 12 is 7 feet 11 inches wide. Number 16 is 12 feet 10 inches.

At lower right, the twin-leg variation drawing shows the distribution-control cable well–not indicated in other drawings we’ve posted–and the manlift and ladder well and manlift weight box.

The large tanks Numbers 1 to 4 are shown in counter-clockwise order from the upper right. At 100,000-bushels overall elevator capacity, Numbers 1 and 4 hold 11,996 bushels. Numbers 2 and 3 hold 12,066 bushels. At 125,000-bushel capacity, Numbers 1 and 4 hold 14,770 bushels. Numbers 2 and 3 hold 14,840 bushels.

The internal bins are at 100,000/125,000-bushel ratings as follows for single and twin-leg configurations: 

  • Bins 5 & 6: 4,555/5,7770 bushels
  • Bins 7: 2,207/2,400 bushels
  • Bin 8, 13, 14: 4,217/5,400 bushels
  • Bin 9 & 11: 6,030/7,730 bushels
  • Bin 10: 4,790/6,140 bushels
  • Bin 12 (scale): 4,452-4,014 (1-2 leg)/5,800-5,460 (1-2 leg) bushels
  • Bin 15: 4,858 (1-2 leg)/6,150 (1-2 leg) bushels
  • Bin 16: 4,790-4,465 (1-2 leg)/6,070-5,655 (1-2 leg) bushels 
  • Total: 103,042-102,279 (1-2 leg)/128,160-126,405 (1-2 leg) bushels

General Notes:

  1. If cleaner is installed in Bins #7-8-9 & 10 above the dv’y, add 2′ to D.F. [drawform] ht. to maintain capacity.
  2. Bin 5-6-8-13 or 14 can be used in conjunction with drier by placing hopper bottom half way up in bin.

The initials “TWM” in “DR BY:” box at bottom right indicate that Tillotson’s Ted Morris executed the drawings.

Drawings for an elevator of 150,000-bushel capacity with plans for work floor and bins

These drawings reproduced from the records of Tillotson Construction Co., of Omaha, show the general-plan details of a 150,000-bushel, single-leg, reinforced-concrete elevator.

To the left above, seen at the scale of one-quarter inch to one foot, is the cross-section of the structure. The main house has five tanks (silos) with internal diameter of 16.0 feet and achieves a height of 120 feet. No dimensions are shown for the cupola; the only notation in the plan says “automatic scale.”

In the main house are notes saying, “Up Leg” and “Down Leg. Other say, “Elect. Truck Lift” and “Dump Grate.” The driveway door is 13.0 feet high.

A precisely rendered rail car provides a fanciful touch on the far right, where it’s positioned at the load-out spout to receive a cargo.

At the very bottom, we see a 21.0-foot depth below the main slab.

The work floor plan (center) is rendered at the scale of three-sixteenths inch to one foot. We see that the whole structure sits on the slab measuring 50.0 x 47.0 feet. Internal diameter of the tanks is 16.0 feet. Notes show the locations of the electrical room, two manholes, dump grates, and at far right the dock.

The bin plan, also three-sixteenths to one foot, shows the five large tanks with Number 1 in the lower-right and the progression going counter-clockwise to Number 5 on the lower-left.

Sandwiched inside are Bins 6 through 16. We see that Bins 6, 8, 10 and 12-16 are marked as being 10.0 feet wide. Bin 9 is 7 feet 6 inches across. Bin 14, on the far right, is 13 feet 9 inches across. Bin 16 is labeled “Dust Bin.”

The large tanks Numbers 1 to 5 have capacities of 17,650 bushels. The internal bins are as follows:

  • Bins 6-7: 5,300 bushels
  • Bins 8 & 10: 6,790 bushels
  • Bin 9: 6,000 bushels
  • Bin 11: 6,540 bushels
  • Bin 12: 2,640 bushels
  • Bin 13: 5,300 bushels
  • Bin 14: 8,220 bushels
  • Bin 15: 7,980 bushels
  • Bin 16 (Dust Bin): 930 bushels

Unlike any of the other plans we have, this one is dated. One entry in the lower-right says, “Rec’d 3-3-58.” There are two other illegible dates, but at very bottom another date shows 3/31/58.

The initials “TM” would seem to indicate that Tillotson’s Ted Morris executed the drawings.

Rain delays and balky formwork hindered Grain Storage Construction Co. at Ceresco, Neb.

Lincoln Journal Star, Friday, Sep. 18, 1959

Grain Storage Construction Co. benefited from the expertise of Ted Morris, who had been employed by Tillotson Construction Co. As Tillotson’s activities declined in the late-1950s, the GSCC, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, stepped in to undertake construction of new grain elevators.

Here is news from the Fremont (Neb.) Tribune on July 24, 1959 as the company’s crew built an elevator of reinforced concrete next to a traditional wooden elevator at Ceresco, a village just 20 miles north of the Nebraska Capitol building in downtown Lincoln.

Weather, Difficulties Delay Bin Construction at Ceresco

CERESCO–The Farmers Cooperative Association’s new, 250,000-bushel capacity grain elevator being constructed here by Grain Storage Const. Co. of Council Bluffs, Iowa, is expected to be completed by Sept. 1, according to project foreman Doyle Elliott.

The elevator will have 120-foot high storage tanks, topped by a 42 1/2-foot scale house. Tank construction is one third complete.

* * *

Construction of the new elevator started April 1, but work progress was hampered by a lengthy rain spell during the initial weeks. Difficulty with the hydraulic hoists, which raise the movable wood form after concrete has been poured, caused a brief shutdown of pouring operations.

The wood frame held too tightly in some places and left a few unfilled pockets in the concrete shell of the storage tank walls. Construction workers are patching up the pockets and new concrete pouring should begin sometime next week.

Once the pouring begins the tank walls can be built up at the rate of 16 feet every 24 hours. “Most people judge progress in elevator construction by the outside appearance,” said Elliott. “They do not realize how much inside work has to be accomplished before you can proceed safely with the exterior work,” he added.

“We hope the elevator will be ready by Sept. 1,” said Farmers Co-op Assn. manager Leonard Palm. “We would like to get this year’s corn crop in. I think we will make it as there have been no serious construction flaws or delays so far,” he added. 

Editor’s note: Based on the Sep. 18, 1959 date of the Lincoln Journal Star’s photo and caption (top), GSCC did not manage to complete the elevator by the date the Co-op had hoped for.

We thank our friend Susan Allen for unearthing the clippings.

Tillotson Construction Co. alumnus Ted Morris leads new elevator job at Beatrice, Neb. in 1958

Beatrice (Neb.) Daily Sun, Oct. 28, 1958

The contract to build the 100,000 bushel elevator on the old Wiebe Lumber Co. property has already been let, August Grell said last night. He stated that the contractor is Ted Morris, Grain Storage Construction Co., Council Bluffs, Ia. They have materials on order and are ready to go to work, he stated. The Beatrice Concrete Co. has a sub-contract for furnishing the concrete for the structure, which is to be built at an estimated cost of $250,000.

Editor’s note: There is a discrepancy in capacity of the elevator as recorded in the two articles. We believe the 340,000-bushel figure is more likely correct.

The Lincoln Star, Dec. 27, 1958

Beatrice, Neb. — Construction has begun here on a new 340,000 bushel capacity grain elevator by the Farmer’s Co-Op. Being built by the Grain Storage Construction Co. of Council Bluffs, Ia., the elevator will consist of 8 concrete bins, 120 feet high with a 40-foot high headhouse on top to house lifting machinery.

We thank our friend Susan Allen for unearthing this and other clippings.


Beatrice Daily Sun, Dec. 26, 1958