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Chicago Tribune July 14, 1895
TO the man who looks casually over the floor of the Board of Trado It appears that the business in grain is absurdly out of proportion to the trade in the actual article. He sees the wheat pit filled to overflowing with a struggling, shouting, and gesticulating crowd, the principal evidences of a cash business are a few at one side of the room. He may know in a way that Chicago is the greatest grain market in the world; he may remember that the receipts and shipments annually are calculated in nine-figure totals, and he doubtless has an indefinite idea that the grain trade has to a gloater possibly than anything else to the importance of Chicago as a metropolis. He has no definite conception of the volume of the trade in cereals or of the vast amount of warehouse room for storing and properly caring for tho number of of grain received at and distributed from Chicago.
THE evolution of the grain trade in Chicago has been as remarkable as that of any other line of business, Fromn the the first shipment of seventy-eight bushels of wheat was made by lake in 1838 from the little trading post at the mouth of the Chicago River the of business has increased until Chicago has become the leading grain mart of the world, and a year’s receipts of corn, wheat, oats, and rye have been over 200,000,000 bushels. The elevator business has developed in direct ratio to the, grain business. The first official record of the capacity of warehouses in Chicago is given in the first annual of the Board of Trade for the year 1858. This was prior to the passage of an act of the Legislature for regular warehouses and all elevators then were private houses, operated by their owners without the interference of the State authorities. The total warehouse capacity of the city was placed at 4,095,000 bushels, or much less than last year’s increase in the grain storage capacity of Chicago. The elevators listed in the report of the board were owned by ten companies, and the largest house on the list had a capacity of only 700,000 bushels, while one house holding only 60,000 was included. Two modern elevators wouid hold all the grain that could have bean loaded into all warehouses in Chicago in 1858 and would still not be crowded. Ten years later the total warehouse capacity of the city was placed at 10,080,000 bushels. Another decade added 50 per cent to this capacity. In 1888 the total capacity was 30,000,000 bushels. The last report of the Board of Trade for 1894 places the total capacity of public warehouses here at 34.000.000 bushels and the private at 12,500,000 bushels, making a total of 4,600,000 bushels, which will be brought well up to the 50,000,000 by the new houses in course of construction or contemplated.
it the long drawn out competition between th VPopriotors of grain elevators in Chicago IA the Board of Trade serves no other pur. to4 to direct the public attention to ,.4 development of the grain
warehousing of this ofit May not havo been entirely in vain. 2Upublic has not interested itself to any great extent 1in the ins and outs of tho fight 1 against tile by rep. t” of local grain receivers, The 041 dates back to the time when the trade assumed such that It to recognize the ware-
as separate and distinct fom * on and shipping. It
almost every point mt ?’ rates to the details of apparatus @ and grain In houses.
d it has been lit a 0 but on various occasions 1tt out with vio-
to tite attention of t”‘
public Otto of these violent 3 has been of wore titan ordinary dura- Is now being rounded out.
Like Most arguments of similar nature tho istar question hla s two well defined sidus, it his bcen accepted its a safe proposition IbM the grain trade of the city thn facilities furnished by tIe ole- Yiter man as in as tno warehousemen ,od the of thei grain trade. ‘Nifitiser of Site could be car- * oe Oa to the best advantage without tlO co- O”, voluntary or involuntary, of the Goter, So capital is now represented IlIa the ISNrehousissg busine3a that the –
miniM ot the elevator proprietors has become @ ll task for il0 Board of Trade to un-
, Uuder such conditions the only ; whieh appears to be in Ptesp.?CT is a compromise, nnd a * Omnpre,6 in some foren is whLt the gon-
api8bl looks for. Every year thW come before the direct-
J of the t of Trade, file bonds, and mako 01li0 to hav licenses to operate DIcII , under the control of
rld renewed. Thlis ::, for licenses to operate houses of an ‘ Il51Qrt capacity of 35,000,000 bushels.
is Mora warch.huso for grain in
Chicago In regular houses than thoro is in nny other city In tilo country regular and irregular are classed to- gether. Beside this storage room regular fromn the fact that it is operated sub. ject both to tho supervision of tilo State authorities and tho Board of Trade, there is a large of supplementary storage room In private warehouses of tho city. TVlo amount of money Invested In buildings would run away up Into the millions as the cost of building a house Is figured at nil tle way fronm nine cents a bushel for ordinary to $1 a bushel for a finely equipped cleaning-.
Thle houses vary In size, but If all tile stor- ago room of the city were distributed in houses of 2,G00,000 bushels capacity, and as little ground occupied by cach as is occupied by one of the North Sido houses, tho elevators of Chicago, without allowance for auxiliary structures, cover a equal to ten down.town city blocks. 1 It Is that the buildings will rival y of tho down-town sky-scrapers In heigh. t it can be easily Imagined that If thoe Chicago crain warehouses were to. gether they would an Imposing show- lig. It Is mafe enough to that the public and privato grain elevators with auxiliary power plants annt similar buildings cover a ground space equal to that bounded by State stroot on the cast, Lako street onl the north, La Saile street on tIle west, and Jack- son street on thoe south. The warehouse room of tile city Is not full at the present time, tIhe quantity of tho four principal cereals In store, with no for seeds and core. als, being figured at 30,000,000 bushels,
On a basis of 700 bushels to a car tho con- tents of a train of grain cars 00 long, or extending from Chicago tn Omahn, could be accommodated In storo at Chicago.
Warehouso room could bo provided in Chi. cage in regular Paeuses for the entire of wheat last year In Illinois, or for of tho biggest crop tho United States over raised, il public and private houses. Over a quarter of last year s bumper corn crop raised in Illinois could to stored away in local grain warehouses and enough vacant room left to the pro. nervous about storage .
There is no effort mado to indivIdu. ality on elevators as thero Is, for example, in the construction of office . Tho groups of houses are on tho South Branch of the river at Twonty-second and Sixteenth streets, at the fork of tile main river; on Gooso Island, at the mouth of the Chicago River; aid at South Chicago on the Calunict Itiver. Thero hin been no display of . lion In selection of names for the different warehouses. Sueh tItles as Rltock Island B” and “Armour EB do not lend any Individutl. Ity to the elevators, and are prosaic in tIh ex- .
A FAIR Idea of tho elevator facilities
of the city may be gained fron an examination of the group of ware- houses on Goose Island by the Armour Elovator company. There are three elevators, toe “Armour A and DI” the “B Annex,” and tho Minnesota. Tho known ans Armour A and 1,” until the erection of the “B Annex” two years sago, had the distinction of being the largest grain elevator under a single root. The “‘D Annex” was the house which was built under the stress of the Cudahy wheat cornor two years ago In a remarkably short of forty-two days. These two houses aro regular public warehouses, while the Min- is by distinction warehouse. It contains all sorts of machinery for the and ? grades of grain and for clipping oats. Indor the laws of tilis State a public can contain none of
this class of machinery and must not bo con- nected directly with theo cleaning house. While the tw o large publi warehouses are and rar operated together the Mlnnosota is a separate and distinct house and grain is moved by car or vessel from 1; to *ae regular houses.
Tihare Is a similarity In the construction of all grain warehouses. FIrst comes the ground floor story with tunnels through which run the railroad tracks on which cars of grain are received. Then there is the main portion of the building running up fifty to seventy- feet, okon by , and tils
id the narrower In which from four to stories are by rows of windows. Tho “Armour A and B house” Is termed the active of the group. It
I on the river front and all
te loading of regular grain from the 1B Annex” as well as from the main house is from It. Although not built so recently as a number of other louses, and possibly scarce- ly so well with modern appliances for fire it is a typical Chicago ele- vator. So far handling of arain ti con- cerned It is a house 6B0 foot long, 116 feet ide, and 160 foot high. For insurance itis really two houses, being divided Ey n wall of brick twenty Inches thick at the base and with openings protected by fire doors and roli ng Iron screens. The first floor 18 twenty feet high, giv-
for ears. Abovo this extend tile bins for fle . Thils part of the building resembles a huge honeycomb. It1s built without framing, planks being laid upon each and spiked together
to form thle waill and bin .
This form of structure gives and to resist lateral . Tho bins run fronm top to ind are from twelve to sixteen feet long and fromt sixteen to twenty wide. Tlhoy open above into the cup oln portion of the elevator and terminate in hoppers above tile first floor. ‘i ore simply square wells formed with plank sides end having no interior equipment except an iron ladder extending up ono cor- ner. Trho valls between bills iro six inches wide, while tho sides of the building ore built of 2W8 spruce plinks. A modern elevator built iln this style with planks InId flat Is an immense pile. TIeO main house, for contains something over 8,000,000 feet of lumber, In thle B Annex” there ure 611ing like 11,000,000 feet. For 3 the houses are with brick or covered with sheet Iron. Tho cupola of the main house contains five floors. Tho ono im- over the Its known as the bin floor. the next the spout floor. tile third the scale floor, while the two top floors are called machinery floors. Tho structure is pieced on , which on account of the Immienso weight sustained hsn to lhe laid oven more carefully than the foundations of the down- sky-sore pers.
Tho margin In handling grain has become so small by that tho is to handle the amount of grain wili the of labor. Tho man with the scoop shovel is Scarcely 1in evidence. Tho greater part of tile groin received here Is by car, there Is still considerable re- ceived by canal. Tho cars oro received and switched directly Into the elevator building. Right fromn tait point the labor-saving iwa- begins to got in its work. Two men with what look much like old- road , by winch go into the ears and drag tho grain out Into iron which nre tile level of tile elevator floor. F rom these hoppers or tanks nir Is taken up through elevators or legs, as they are termed, to the top . Theeeo are largo pipes running up through the building, hi which run wide bells with cups twenty inches long and six inches wide. Theo Armour A and B ” house Is equipped with – of those elevators or , any one of which can handle 7 000 bushels an hour, and a marine leg which Is capable of taking 12 000 bushels an hour out of tile hold of a boat or Inko barge.
Tho grain which Id taken up through the elevators goes directly to tile toll floor. On the next two floors are tile ” re- ” and “-,” os they are . If tIhe grain being run up in ard IS to be at once loaded into vessels it Is into what is called a on the second mia- chinery floor. This is Simply a bili to – tile grain to thle extent of 1,000 bushels or more over a scalo hopper on the next floor below. If tho grain iu to go into ono of the bins of tlhe for It is discharged directly into the scale hopper of Ono of the receivers. The weighing is nil done on ono floor and is ilin. aged exactly the aame whether the grain goes to store or is loaded out Into vessels. The house lies sixteen shipping bins end garners with sixteen shipping seales aid as many loading directly out to the river front. The capacity of tie house Is such that 400 cars of groin can be unloaded 1In ono day and Its reloaded Into vessels. ‘Tho grain goes Into store runs tile scale )lo)- per into a arrangement on tho spout floor by which it can be into any one of thirty- bins. When grain Is loaded out of store the Is exactly tho saIne as it is 1 received directly by rail. The bins open above the first floor amd are emptied Into the iron receiving tanks, taken up to tile tel) of tile building, into the shipping bin and spouted out into the vessel. Tho grain is all weighed ns It comes in and weighed as it goes out. Tho to lend cars is to tile spout used in loading vessels, only that at tile outlet is a bifurcated spout which directs to tile ends of the car aid does with any shoveling. A 700-bushel car can by thid means be loaded in a and a half.
In getting grain to and a house three methods ol are used. It is ele- vated b) cups on belts and takes care of its return to floor. Tho – ods in use In it in tile building are rather more . It tile old. screw conveyer, which Is on Immense endless screw running in an Inclosed space, Is used to transfer grain from one place to another on level
Tho belt conveyer, , does of this work. This is simply a wide belt running over on which time grain is poured. The by which the groin Is placed on the bolt Is called a concentrator. It turns up tile edges of tile belt slightly and deposits the grain on it. Tho belt out, at a rapid rate, and still nothing is thrown olf the edges. A form of force keeps the grain In the center and edges of tlo bolt absolute. ly clean. On a forty-Inch belt tle grain at tUf, may be one foot high while there is not a particle of It for four to six Inches from oach edge. There of belts of this kind on the different working floors of all the Goose Island elevators, but tile largest conveyors are those whieh connect the main with the “B Annex.”
The two houses are operated from the plant by rope transmission of power. Teo annex is not on the river front, and any unloading from it to the river Is done the main house. while any grain loaded into it from the river has to go back over the samo route. There are two bolt conveyers between the houses with belts forty inches wl e. The grain Is p1Aced en these belts by concen. trators and taken off by trippers. Those con. and trippers are movable, and so while the belts are run from end to end of the building, grain can ba loaded on to them or off from them at any point. The belts between the two houses are so that both tile upper and lower portions of each cnn be used at the seine time and have a capacity of 16.000 bushels an hour each way. It Is to Po run ‘them that during a single hour 80,000 bushels of corn can be taken from tho “A and B house” to the annex, while on the lower section of the same belt and at the same time no,000 bushels of wheat are moved back from the annex to the main house. The system of elevators and bolt conveyors is such that grain can be taken up’ through the marine leg at the river front to the top of tho
main house and moved something like a quarter of a mile to a bin in the annex, every bit of the work being done by .
Tho work of the grain by no ends with the depositing of it il bins or avon with the loading of it out Into vessels. It it constantly being turned and , One of the largest concerns in tno city makas tho boast that It hIs nover had a bushel of contract grain, grain grading as high ans No. 2, got out of condition, All win. tor wheat Is so posed to contain a gorm of weevil and if allowed to stand and become at ill develops with great rapidity. Wlith the first zero weather In the winter mou run over all their , spout- ing tile ilas lown Into the hoppers and run.
thu grain back Into other bins. This is done slowly to got out what is tile summer hent mid lower tho temperature of the grain to freezing point. The lce-house construction of the bins is such that tho grain run over will maintain this new temperature aid the weevil will be rendered harmless. This Is done with grain of high received in good condition, but Is not a circumstance to tho work needed In handling ofl grades or grain received slightly out of condition. It IiIs to be turned over aid over, and even then it Is considered Italos- sible to prevent weevil its appearance in some of thoe numerous bls. Cortn In tho germinating season of the spring is , and there Is corn in of the elevators now which Is being turned over on an average onco every three or four days. Oats received In tho fall, before they have gono through thle sweat properly, also make the trouble and keup his foro. man mid Superintendent in hot water.
Tho construction of tile annex does not vary from that of the house. It is more of a storage house, however, and the bills8 are 75 fee; deep. Thio building Is 800x 250 feet in dimensions anid 140 feet high. Tho portion, which Is only four stories high, is 30 fEet wile and extends all along one side of the building, Tho bin construc- tion Is slightly different, the bottoms of tile bics onl a level with the floor instead of at tile colling of thu story. Tho method of unloading cars intO tanks Is , but ,-on the train is transported by two of twelve baIt conveyors, one in tunnels 800 long and * the floor, and tile second set on tho top or bin floor.
TTho most interesting thing in connection with this elevator aire conditions stur. rounded its construction. Two years ago tile Cudahy corner was and Armour & Co, were caught with wheat bought in the Northwest, but which on account of the congested condition of elevators hero could not be delivered. All previous records wero broken for rapid construction when it was decided to build the now house. Ground wIIs broken aid excavation commenced M 283. Theo immense pile foundation wits put In In days aid In the next -ninio days thin house, with a capacity of nearly 3,500,000 bushels, was completed ready for tile of grain aid toe May corner failed to corner.
Tho in tho way of building wore by tio fact tile Vorld s Fair construction in all liles was for labor and . It would have been out of thle question for any con- tractor to have even figured on such n con- tract and tile work taken up end pushed by tie direct. Mr. Armour a good share of his ,during thoe coc- struction of the house, oci Goose Island. Tho work was carried on night aid day with the aId of electric lights and when practicable froni 700 to 000 men wore . Ordinary carpenters under the pro4suro were able in cases to make $14 and $1 ai day. Tbo machinery for loading
rain into tho house was all put In position the forty.two days and the only part not completed was tlie and equip.
for grain tho house. All that was necessary, however, to thoi corner was to have thle grain in store, and the of work wics under much less . Tho of thle house is such that 800,00) bushels a day can be moved to or froin tile main house.
r 13IE first grain warehouse which had
facilities for loading and unloading entitling It to the style of an elevator was that built by Newberry & Dole on ‘ho north of the river at a point just east of the present Rush street bridge. Grain was loaded Into it by block and tackle operated by hand, and the second shipment of Chicago grain was made from It In 1830. Tho next advance was in the use of power. Bags of grain vere drawn up by u rope first, and Iater a treadmill arrange. inen; working an endless chain with buckets was use31 In 1842 the big house of the city was only 40×100 feet in . The first elevator to bo operated by steam was built In 1848 by It. C. Bristol.
In 1866 Sturges Buckmnham, by . mont with the Ilinois Central railroad com. pany, built an 800,000- warehouse, and this was referred to as a mammoth at tbe time. At that time it Is estimated that there was not to exceed 750,000 bushels of storage room In Chicago.
Some idea of the development of the grain business of Chicago may be gained by com- paring the elevator room hero with that of other cities. In other cities the proportion of houses to public Is by no moans so Iargo as hare. Tlhe State law of Illinois makes It Imnpracticable to carry on the elevator busi. ness without a large number of private houses to supplement the regular storage room. In Duluth and Minneapolis, for example, ole. vator proprietors are allowed to clean grain lit regular and to its grade the advance in grade of course giving a profit to the elevator men.
The theory of. a publie warehouse here is that grain must Igo in and come out exactly tha same grade. Every bushel of grain that Is in or out of a publie warehouse Is done under the of the State au- thorities, and issuance of receipts against grain in store Is under the same . Any cleaning, mixing, and grading of grain has to bh done in private mid the grain from thom is loaded into cars and If trans- ferred to a public house passes the same in. as that given grain received directly from the country. The contention of the poo- plo who that the as custodians of grain placed with them for storage not buy and soil grain is that the present system ives the elevator man an opportunity to so cct grain, and, as it Ii termed la the trade, *’kin” grades.
Theoelevator mon , however, that tha present system by which, they are enabled to
go out into the country and force grain which go to other markets to como hero is the only one tint Is at all practicable and In. sit that tile combination of public and pri. warehouses Is necessary and that t he State Inspection gives an outside of grain ill tlie protection possible or necessary. In other citIes the prIvato room Is so small that It may bo all with (he room In public . Against. tho 50,000. 000 bushels capacity hero Dulut has olo. vaters with a capacity of 27,000,000 bushels, Minnioepolls 2U0000,000 bushels, Now York 20,000,000 bushels, Buffalo 15,000.000 bushels, St. Louls 18,000,000 bushels, amid Toledo but 7,000,000 bushel.,
In tile contention of tile elevator mon and grain receivers, which has boen going on for a number of years, and which really arises out of the of control of the receiving business, both aides have grounds for claim. Ing the business. Away back when the business of tho city began to grow the clo- vator muon about time only commission men, or rather perhaps nil the commission- m.n haid elevators. WVit Il dth ( of thoe territory tributary to Chicago and tho building of railroads the golden ngo of tile grain business began. It grew so rap- Idly that it naturally divided into two , the warehousing business and tio commission business. Tho grain trade simply find nowhere olso to go and poured Into Chicago. Tho commission men bad all the they could do and did it at com- mission percentages which would make the commission man of today turn wIth envy. WVith all the grain busl- noes headed to Chicago tile elevator men hald no trouble In keeping their hilled and no occasion to encroach on tile business of tho commission mcn.
The camo gradually or yeare ago, and thero has been re- adjustment of methods over since. Other grain markets became ; Kansas Clty sprang up, better communications be. St.-Louls and tile gulf were provided, and it became a bidder for Chicago’s grain business. The big warehouses li the North- West wore erected, and by a combination with certain railroads n pull was made for tile spring wheat , Newport News was opened as a grain nort and made to It from St. Louis, Kanias City, and Peoria direct. With the building of now railroads and belt thle tendency was to ship grain around (Thicalgo. Outside junction points wore favored. The a) of through billing of grain to Eastorn did us much to change tho methods of handling grain it Chlengo s . Tilo ole- men found the grain was going to oilier 1ol01ls and Iad in keeping their houseS full and 8 storage. the commission mon wore not Inolined to cut or to maku as vigorous a campaign for trade as tile elevator men would have liked. Charles Counsolmnan is credited with having made 11w first move toward the baying of grain in tile country.
lho now methods necessary wore such that many of the old elevator min were Icililced to drop out of the business, and there was a general transfer of elevator property. All of tile present companies buy either di- rectly or indirectly through auxiliary com- panics, At tile time whon American – ties wero readily marketed in England the corporation which has since been reorganized into the Chicago Terminal company with a capital of $2,730,000 was formed. It took over the property operated by P. B. Weare amid his associates, originally owned by Mun- ger, Wheeler &Co. lime was so largo that only one dividend 1as been paid, and that recently. Some of the coin- operating In Chicago own their own , others have leases wIth the railroad companies, which) built and own tile elevators. Thio Cen- tral Elevator company, operated by Carriig- ton, Hannah & Co., has na lease of tile Central houses, which, It is said, Is at a rental sealed to the amount of grain handled through the houses. Tho Chicago and Pacific Elc, vator company, of which WV. JI. Ilnrpor is the manager, owns its houses. George Seaverns owns tile houses operated by hih, ats does Murry Nelson, out of contentions with tile board a groat deal of board legislation grown. Tho Armour Elevator company the North Side houses on Goose Island, located ou tile Northwestern road, while It lenses the South Side houses on the Chicago, Burlington and Qulncy railroad,
M of handling grain are
constantly changing and old time elevator men have worked out of the business. Of the prominent men of today Murry Nelson, George Seavorns, and P. B. Wearo nsn sort of link between system and the now. Thlo Armnour Elevator company practically succeeded Dole & Co. Tho Chicago Elevator company, of which Lloyd Smith 1a manager, controls houses formerly owned by George Dunlap & Co. Carringlon, Ilannith & Co. operate the houses formerly controlled by J. & E. Buck. . Tho business of Flint, Odoll & Co. descended to Charles Counseolmani &Co. and A. C. Davis & Co., thoa Munger & Wheeler houses were absorbed by the English syndIcate and are managed by 1’, B. Wearo.
Elevators have beon rebuIlt tImo amid and only a few of what might be old. time houses are In existence In anything like theIr original form. Tho “Rock Island B” elevator was built In 1802, construction IhIV. lIg been under way for nearly three years, This s ono of the oldest houses fn operation at the present , ann is operated today wIth tea same tho samo bins, and same grain scales that were put in when it was constructed. Tho old Rock Island A house was built In the 60s. but lost Its iden- tity In being rebuilt In 1892.
Down at these houses may be soon one of the old carts which was In unloading
rain froin hbo elevator. Tho old method of was to elevate it into the ware- house by horse-power, and run it out on an Inclined Piano to tile hold of the vessel In carts. Mr. Thomipson of Fllnt, Thomnp. son & Co. was in tho habit of running one of the unloading carts himself, and another of the old.tihe elevator proprietors of – Itg bags of grain from hils out to t eo vessel, Tho first elevators were along the part of the Chieago River, many of them extending out on to South Water street. Thcy were operated without any particular inspection or supervision, and later on, after the formation of the Board of Trade, were under its Inspection. There was no State law regarding the delivery of warehouse receipts. and there was a great deal of Irregularity in the Issuance of receipts.
Theo Miun & Scott frauds, late In the sixties, really what led to the enactment of the present Stato law regarding inspection. They built false bottoms In time bins of theIr warehouse and covered those bottoms wlth a car lond or so of grain. They to the trade what purported to be full bins, which were not over 10 to 15 per full and on the strength of such a showing maae an over issue of receipts. ‘I he Board of Trade went to Springfield and asked for logIs- lation on the matter and possibly got more than it , as the entire Inspection was assumed by State, and the present of State supervision of grain and grain ro- adopted. Before system was adopted the methods of the re. and withdrawal of grain from houses was similar to the mind depositing on a current bank account. The owner of grain was given a book which showed his deposits and withdrawals of goods from the warehouse. Tho procedure is now more as It is in the issuance of certIficates of deposit by a bank. Grain Ie Inspected in by Iecrlots In the elevator and a kept of
its grado tho weight, and car number and In. of time ear in whieh it was received. This Is over at the of tile elevator company and a issued. If the receipt was issued against several carloads received an Indorsemont is made oa the back of these separate . This receipt Is taken to the State Registratlon Ofie and regIstered to
see If tIhe grain shown tallIes with that shown by the record of ilme Reglitrar. In making a the owner of the receipt brings It in, Indorsea it for shipment, and If he has a portion of the grain remaining, he is given a new receipt.
The Insurance of the property represented In warehouses anid theIr contents Is of course an Immense business, and some of the larger houses are never fully covered, as the under- writing of tile city aro exhausted be- fore the house is covered. Thu tendency of
late has been to build lire . to divide largo houses Into small areas and to devise
now means of from fire. So far, as fira protection Is tho cle- vator of the city Is that recently built at South Cldicago by Charles Counseliajn. Besides the ordinary of Bprinklors alnd firo buckets It has around it Niagara )5, whieh ind tho entire of the . Ono of thot is arranged to throw a four stream over the highest point on tho building,
M U URRY NELSON Is the oldest In
thei servico of alt the pro. , lo hns also gained the of being the of th3a . Heo tIs had tussles with the railways and the Board of Trade, nnd has usually como out on top of the heap. During the summer of 18D4 the board made an amendment to tho rules, the elevator all having an to by toe rule whon passed. The National Elevator coin. pary, of which Mr. Nelson Is l res. , signed by Its Secretary, Mr. Nelson be. Ing out of town at the time. Afterwards Mr. Nelson made the claim that tbe Secretary was not authorized to sign the agreement and refused to it. Tho board judged Mr. Nelson guilty of dishonorable conduct and suspended hin indefinitely. Lnst April by a peremptory writ of the Appellate Court he was restored to privileges of the board.
Speaking of his experience In elevator Mr. Nelson said: “Back In 1859 and 1800 1 was engaged in loading vessels In the river, using teams to transport the stuff froin the cars. We had no Inspection. All wheat was known as Chicago in the East. We bad contracts with the railways whereby the were to turn over to par. ticular elevators all receipts. I was buying the wheat being loaded Into the vessels spoken of for Eastern mills, and found it Im. possible to get the high grado of wheat I bought in the country out of the elevators when once It got in. It was alt Chl- cago spring wheat when It got Into the ole. . I offered the elevators 10 cents a bushel to lat my wheat on track or keep it separate In the houses, but I couldn’t got to do it. As a of self-pro- tection I bulit an elevator of my own in 1800 at the foot of Adams street, on tho West Side, where the Union Depot now stands. It was burned up In the lire. It was called the National and a capacity of 250,000 . When my was rendy for business the railways refused to deliver grain to no, as they under contractto deliver all the grain coming In over their respective lines to elevators than minei.
] there tho trouble began. The Board of Trade sympathized withi me, but had no disposition to fight tho railroads. I burden and began suit against the Altoun to get the grain delivered It was con- signed. That enso a case known as tho Vincent case, Mr. Vincent be. mny partner. The Supremo Court decided that the contracts between the railways ind the elevators were void. I liad little on that af ter that, although recently I haid a little with the Illinois Central with a similar victory.
* In the ‘dOs I a drying-house in eon. nection with mly elevator anid used to kiln-dry corn, bringing It up to contract grade by so doing, eo as tosell It for future . The board broke in upon mo by changing Its rules, kilt-dried corn a by , not deliverable on contracts. I insisted that the corn was on contracts be- foro tho passage of the rule, and thie board mado an attempt to suspend me. I enjoined them from mo and the injunction was never disturbed.”
Ono of the prominent pioneers in the ele. vator business is Ebionezer Buckinghaim. IHo became gray and rich in the . Ico, retiring In 1801 to devote his entire timo to the Presidonuy of the Northwestern Na. MAnk.
My brother, J. Bucknghaul, nnd I ob. tained control of the Illmois Central ole- . 1, 1861. and In Thu bust. ness for livo years,” said Mr. Bueking- ham. “Thso elevators were designated IA and I1B,’ and wore built by Sturgis, Buckinghams It Co., ono ili 1855, and the in 1857. The A’ wont down Iln the big lire 1i1inst plum IUll of grain, and the loss was heavy on holders of receipts. The B1I’ house went through tho ordeal practically unscathed under peculiar oir- . The Saturday night pro- ceding the beginning of the fire two firo arrived lin lhe city on the . gan Central from an Eastern manufacturing town destined for Raciae, Wis.. and Pent. water, Mich. \h en the firo reached the I A house Mr. Newell, who was then Prcsident to the Illinois Central road, to us and told us about the engines that were standing on flat cars iln tho Michigan Central yards. ThO ‘Ire had reached the coal sheds of the B I house before tho engines could be brought to the spot. By lint avery one had left the locality but IPredi(denit Nowell, Supt. Mitchell, and Master ‘Mochanic Hlazen of the Illinois Central. The master up the , and Aitchelll and Newell ‘wont for the liro vitl nozzles In hand. For several hours ty battled wil the and saved E- B. 1t proved a for the road. Without that house the road would have been unable to do any grain bust. ness for eight months or a year
‘Thero have been great changes In tho sys. teni of business 1850. Wo used to think that wo wore making up a big cargo when we put 15,000 or 18,000 bushels of grala Inlo n bont. I well whOn the schooner (Ircat WVest first here to load. It was capable of holding a cargo of 82,000 bushels of oats and was considered a veritable famine producer to elevators. Wo used to sond out all grain by vessels and hied no facil. for to cars fromt the . Chicago from the first was a natural market for grain and we heard nothing iln the days of buying grain in the country. The elevators wore full all the time.
“To show how guileless tho primitive days wore it may be said that the propri- wore allowed to issue receipts at . urc, and moro receipts wore put out for a given elevator than there was grain In the house, when there happened to beit rise in the market, the receipts being passed just as If the grain was there and bought back when the . To use the slang of the street, It was a great snap for the elevator people, and business-men be inclined to smile at such lOOse methods nowadays. Senso spirits finally imbued tho Idea that it as a baneful practice, and the Lealslaturor was called upon to laws on tho subject.”