John Hassman’s recollections of Tillotson Construction

Back Alley, Paullina, Iowa, by Jim Hamann on January 21, 2010

I worked for [Reginald] (my uncle) from Sept 1948 to Jan 1951. My first job was Paullina, Iowa, where I did the timekeeping and a lot of other odd jobs needed at the time. After that I moved to Montevideo, Minn., doing the same work thru Nov 1949. I had an appendix removed in Nov and went to work in the Omaha office in December 1949. Your Dad paid for flying lessons which I used flying the different construction jobs in Nebraska, Kansas and Okla. I flew the Stinson Voyager and the Station Wagon. My dad Ralph went to work as a salesman in 1947 and sold many of the elevators sold during that [period] until 1952. I also was the pilot that flew for my dad to several of his jobs. While in the office I [was] trained by the office engineer to design buildings and was the major designer with R.O. to build his new home in Florence, Neb. Many mornings he would arrive with new ideas of what he wanted changed in the house, and we would start all over. Starting in Nov. 1950 we began construction on the new house. The foremen were kept busy in the winter doing that work. All using a concrete house with the ideas we used in Elevator Const. That was the coldest, windiest place to work in December. I left to go the the Air Force because I was about to be drafted in the middle of the Korean War. That was the end. The company closed before I returned. It was an exciting learning business that helped me for the rest of my working days as I have always been involved in some form of construction.

John Hassman

April 24, 2009