One more view, approaching driveway, of Tillotson’s Dallas Center elevator


Photo by Kristen Osborn Cart

Approaching Tillotson Construction’s Dallas Center, Iowa, elevator from a different angle yields a view of the driveway used by co-op members when unloading grain.

This original elevator built in 1955 boasted capacity of 250,000 bushels and rose 166 feet in height.

Dallas Center Farmers Cooperative had contracted Tillotson to do the job for $151,000.

Handsome headhouse adds distinction to Tillotson’s Dallas Center elevator

Story by Ronald Ahrens

Photo by Kristen Osborn Cart

In a phone conversation today with my Uncle Tim Tillotson, who lives in Virginia, he initially had no recollection of Tillotson Construction Company’s elevator in Dallas Center, Iowa.

He put this down to his hitch in the Army from 1955 to 1957.

After a while, though, the name Dallas Center started to come back to him a little. Uncle Tim reckoned it was indeed among the dozens and dozens of Tillotson Elevators.

This was the first he had heard about Our Grandfathers’ Grain Elevators. (We played phone tag in January and now finally got in touch.) He said he would look at it at one of his neighbors’. He doesn’t have a computer.

We’re hoping he can come up with some pictures and maybe a few documents, and that his memory is sparked.

One question to me was whether we’re aware of the distinctive architectural styles of individual construction companies. I could answer that indeed we are, thanks in large part to Gary Rich’s expositions through words and pictures.

A Tillotson characteristic is the rounded headhouse, also called a cupola, which Kristen has so graphically captured in this image.

It’s good to see the window panes have been replaced as they’ve broken: I presume that explains the checkerboard pattern.

But then after all, in Dallas Center, as Kristen points out, the Tillotson elevator is at the center of the community, so naturally it’s kept up.

After 57 years, springtime blossoms enhance Tillotson’s Dallas Center elevator

Story and photos by Kristen Osborn Cart

On the way home from spring break in Nebraska, we went through Dallas Center, Iowa, on a perfectly beautiful day.

The kids got ice cream cones while I took out my camera.

A worker at the complex let me wander around and take pictures. He pointed out the older elevator with the rounded headhouse.

This elevator (seen far right in the photo above), built by Tillotson Construction Company in 1955, is connected by a run to the annex, which adjoins a T. E. Ibberson elevator (far left), built in 1967.

A grain dryer stands between them.

No railway is in evidence, other than the re-purposed station.

Everything appears to be in good working order with a fresh coat of paint.

The elevators dominate Dallas Center as a true prairie landmark, rising at the end of the main street and extending more than a block, with a library and ice cream shop next door.

A blooming redbud tree brightens the scene.

Standing before the annex: a veterans memorial.

The whole property exists in harmony with the town, unlike the many derelict elevators in Midwestern towns where progress has moved past, and only the wrecking ball awaits.

This elevator complex is worth a visit. It’s a beauty.

One of Tillotson’s biggest elevators under way in Dallas Center

Photo by Don McLaughlin on April 11, 2010. Click on the photo to visit his photostream.

DALLAS CENTER–Work has started on a 250,000-bushel concrete elevator for Dallas Center Farmers Cooperative Company. It will be 166 feet tall and is being built by Tillotson Construction Company at a cost of $151,000.

Located west of the firm’s south elevator, it is 56×70 in base dimensions.

Aeration equipment will be included in each of the ten 23,000-bushel bins, Manager Don Brown reports.

Farmers’ Elevator Guide, circa September 1955

Dallas Center

Photo by Pete Zarria, April 1, 2011. Click the image to visit his photostream.

See another recent images from Dallas Center: 

January 7, 2012

This map shows the incorporated and unincorpor...