Hutchinson Foundry, where manhole covers were cast, closed in 1972


Hutchinson Foundry, photo courtesy of Linda Laird

The “foundry” in Hutchinson Foundry & Steel Inc., D and Washington, will be a misnomer after Oct. 1.

Blaming federal safety requirements, the firm has announced it will shut down its gray iron foundry on that date.

Ken Green, general manager, said last week that the measure is being taken because of requirements for environmental air dust handling handed down by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Green said that the step is not being taken because of new state air quality requirements.

OSHA has not inspected the Hutchinson foundry. But Green says it would take construction of a new facility to meet the standards which are designed to prevent employees from breathing pollutants.

Hutchinson Foundry, photo courtesy of Linda Laird

Hutchinson Foundry, photo courtesy of Linda Laird

As for the state regulations, Green remains confident that the foundry could meet those regulations. In fact, the state had given preliminary approval for the preliminary design of a scrubber.

The company, which will get a new name, will continue manufacturing structural steel, fabrication and building specialties.

Closing the foundry will mean the loss of 13 employees. But Green expects some of this loss—all of it in the long run—will be offset by the manufacture of a small hydraulic iron worker.

The iron worker was designed and engineered by Harry Oswalt, Garden City, president of the Hutchinson firm. Oswalt hand-built the prototype model which is now in operation at the plant.

Manufacture of the iron worker is expected to begin within six months.

Hutchinson Foundry, photo courtesy of Linda Laird

Hutchinson Foundry, photo courtesy of Linda Laird

The foundry has been working on an arrangement with Wyatt Manufacturing Co., Inc., Salina, whereby the firms patterns and customers will be transferred to Wyatt’s foundry operation.

Hutchinson (Kan.) News, August 13, 1972 

Elkhart farmers ‘raise sights,’ hire Tillotson Construction on new elevator

Photo taken March 19, 2011, by Kate Flint.

Stockholders of the Cooperative Equity Exchange here have raised their sights. Instead of the 100,000 bushel elevator first planned, the stockholders have voted in favor of erecting a modern elevator of 225,000 bushels capacity.

The contract has been let to the Tillotson Construction Co. of Omaha. It will be built on a “cost plus” basis, but Gale Cochran, manager of the Equity said it was estimated it would cost around $85,000.

There will be eight overhead bins, six interstice bins and eight grain tanks. The elevator head will stand 120 feet high. The plant will be built at the site of the old Elkhart mill, purchased from J.E. Heintz. The present elevator buildings will be sold.

Construction will be started in about two weeks, and the new plant is to be completed before harvest next summer.

Hutchinson (Kan.) News-Herald, November 20, 1945

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Note: Here’s the link to the BNSF railroad’s grain elevator index page on Elkhart.

Additional note: University of Southern California professor Kate Flint chased grain elevators in March 2011 and even stayed in one overnight.