Grain Elevators

The first elevator built in Cooperstown in 1883 was owned by the Lenham Elevator and Lumber Company.  The building was round in style, resembling a huge granary, 75 feet high and had a capacity of 50,000 bushels.  It was built by the Barnett and Burdett Elevator Company of Minneapolis, and managed by R. C. Brophy.  The site of the elevator was just south of Lenham on the west side of the tracks.  The first wheat sold for 82 per bushel.  By April the elevator was bought and known as the VanDusen, Elliot Company under the management of G. N. Stork.  The elevator was purchased by the Cargill Brothers in August of 1886.  Within a month the elevator was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.  Another elevator was built by the Cargill Brothers later that year.  Other managers were: W. D. Marsh, Louis Christianson and later Nate Baker.

The second elevator was also a round elevator similar to the Lenham only larger.  It was built by the Cooper Brothers in August of 1884.  It burned the fall of 1893.

R. C. Brophy, manager of the first two elevators, decided to build an elevator of his own in 1885.  It was known as the Duluth and Dakota Elevator Company.  Brophy sold the elevator to E. H. Groven in 1888.  Early managers were Mr. Sandburg and W. L. Haupt.

The North Dakota Elevator warehouse was built near the Depot.  They reincorporated as the Monarch Elevator Company in September of 1893.  This elevator burned in 1903 and was rebuilt with a capacity of 25,000 bushels in the main building.  Early workers or managers were: George Bowe, Byron Hazard, S. O. Peterson, J. H. Wilson and H. O. Leibl.

Sawyer and Company built a warehouse in 1886 and converted it into an elevator in 1888.  Capacity 25,000 bushels.

Olson and Cox built an elevator in October of 1893 on Section 25 outside the city limits on the site previously occupied by Cooper's round elevator.  George Stork was the first manager.  This elevator also burned down in 1906 and was rebuilt that same year.  Other managers: Al Bliss, George  Bowe and later Jno.  R. Shirley.

The Great Western Elevator was built in the 1890's.  It burned down in November of 1895 and was rebuilt.  Early managers: John Moran, A. B. Stewart, J. C. Beith, J. W. Perry, S. H. Hanson and later Aug.  Anderson.  The Great Western Elevator was located on the present site of the G.T.A. Elevator.

R.C. Cooper's second elevator was square, with up to date machinery, gasoline engine, equipped with double dumps, double elevators and double shippers.  One part was built for flax and the other for wheat.  The elevator was located on the east side of the tracks on the site formerly occupied by one of Cooper's granaries.  The elevator opened for business in August of 1898.  This elevator was also struck by lightning and burned to the ground.  Cooper immediately set to building his third elevator on that same site in 1899.  W. S. Hyde and Fred Beier bought the elevator and took charge January 1, 1903.  The same elevator was bought by the Farmers Elevator in June of 1904.

Other early elevators were the Peavey and the Hammer-Halvorson-Beier Elevator.  Many warehouses and grain houses were built for buying and storing of grain besides the local elevators.  Early warehouses were owned by George Greenlease, Lawrence Brothers, Maynard Crane, Albert Larson and R. H. Beldon.

In 1903 Cooperstown reported to have had five grain elevators and by 1907 boasted of having as many as nine.  In April of 1910, the big Farmers Elevator burned, destroying 12,000 bushels of grain.  Sparks from that fire ignited the Monarch Elevator, which was also a total loss, and with it went 3,500 bushels of grain.  Monarch did not rebuild.  The North Dakota State Gazetteer of 1914 listed the following elevators in Cooperstown:

Rollin C. Cooper grain elevator

George Hartman, Agent


Farmers Elevator Company

F.D. Williams, President

Herbert Langford, Secretary


Federal Elevator Company, Great Western Elevator Company

Aug.  Anderson, Agent

Hammer-Halvorson-Beier Company

H. P. Hammer, President


J. N. Olsen & Sons

Jno. R. Shirley, Agent


Cargill Elevator Company



Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial Page 189

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