First Tower Silo - Spring Grove, IL
N 42° 26.478 W 088° 14.207
16T E 398282 N 4699516
Quick Description: The first tower silo in America was erected near this site on the Hatch farm, one half mile east of Spring Grove, Illinois.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 11/8/2007 7:58:40 PM
Waymark Code: WM2HYZ
The first tower silo in America was erected near this site on the Hatch farm, one half mile east of Spring Grove, Illinois.
Fred L. Hatch and his father, Lewis Hatch, erected this silo in October, 1873, after Fred graduated from the Illinois Industrial University, (now the University of Illinois). Textbooks on agriculture were scarce, and professor Willard H Bliss translated French and German pamphlets on silage production wherein the entire corn plant was buried in pits, and this inspired young Hatch. He and his father decided that a tower silo would have many advantages.
The tower silo was built inside of the barn. Fred and his father dug a 10’ x 16’ hole 6’ deep and lined it with rocks and mortar. They extended the walls 16’ above ground with two thicknesses of flooring boards with a layer of tar paper sandwiched between them. The silo was used continuously for 46 years until 1919. The original rock and mortar foundation is still visible. This tower silo was actually erected before any trench silos were made in the USA.
The Hatch silo resulted in several improvements over European practices of the time:
o The depth of the silage and the short cut of the horse powered stationary chopper reduced filling, packing and removal labor.
o Spoilage from rain and ground seepage water was eliminated.
o Daily removal of a 1.8 inch layer prevented spoilage and made possible a 6-month feeding period.
Dedicated by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers
Lyle Thomas Park
Spring Grove, IL
Type of structure/site: Silo
Date of Construction: October 1873
Engineer/Architect/Builder etc.: Fred L. Hatch and his father, Lewis Hatch
Engineering Organization Listing: Other (specify in description)
Primary Web Site: [Web Link]
Secondary Web Site: [Web Link]
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