St. Francis, Kansas a look at the past
The Equity Grain Elevator
St. Francis Mercantile Equity Exchange was incorporated in 1913 and built their first concrete elevator in 1946. The quarter-million-bushel elevator was the biggest and most modern in western Kansas at the time. It more than doubled the storage capacity of its lesser neighbors. It was built by J. H. Tillotson, Contractor, of Denver, with the construction supervised by William Osborn.
Soon after the first elevator was built in 1946, the capacity proved to be too little for the 1940's and 1950's boom grain harvests. Chalmers and Borton built the first annex south of the elevator.
An old wooden elevator stands immediately behind the concrete house. It was demolished to make room for the second bank of concrete bins, built in 2000.
Farmers line up their grain trucks on River street.
A three-bin annex was built in 2000, using the same old technique of lifting concrete up to a dump cart that ran on a track around the perimeter of the rising elevator. It was completed just before the onset of a seven-year drought, and it took a few good harvest years to recoup the investment, since the annual wheat yield was too low at first to fill the bins.