Plainfield Grain Company, Will County, Illinois
From: History of Will County, Illinois
By: August Maue
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1928


The Plainfield Grain Company, Plainfield, Ill., was organized and incorporated March, 1911, for the purpose of handling grain, coal, lumber, building material, feed and farm supplies, with a capital stock of $25,000.00 at $50.00 per share. The following board of directors were elected: W. H. Cryder, president; George Drumm, vice president; C. F. Hartong, secretary and treasurer; Bert McCauley, Fred Fiddyment, George Spangler, Wm. Webb, Paul Murphy, and S. S. Van Dyke.

They purchased the Barr Grain Company, elevator (grain), coal pocket and feed sheds at Plainfield, the elevator and lumber yard at Caton Farm and the grain elevator at Frontenac.

J. D. Dwyer was appointed manager and they started in business April 1, 1911. In June, 1912, Mr. Dwyer resigned and in August, 1912, J. A. Henebry, manager of the Farmers Square Deal Grain Company, of Morris, Ill., was hired to succeed Mr. Dwyer.

In June, 1913, they purchased the Truby Grain Company's grain elevator at Caton Farm, November, 1913, the Kersten & Smiley grain elevators at Plainfield, Normantown and Wolf's Crossing were purchased. In 1913 an 80% stock dividend was paid to the stockholders and the capital stock increased to $75,000.00.

In 1914 they took over the Ed. Alder Lumber yard and the same year built a three deck lumber shed 60x150 ft., holding several carloads of lumber.

By noting the photograph on this page you will readily approve of their choice when deciding to erect a new office in 1916. The structure is a constant advertising medium for the Plainfield firm, due to its resemblance to a bungalow. An overhanging roof forms a shelter for the truck scales.

The office is equipped with a concrete vault, steel filing cases, electric posting and adding machines.

The large reinforced concrete elevator you see in the background built in 1920, is the last word in up to dateness. It has 24 bins and a capacity of 100,000 bushels of grain and equipped with modern machinery.

In 1924 a new concrete mill house was added to the elevator, equipped with the latest grinding facilities for custom grinding.

In 1927 a new high line was built for the handling of coal, which has a capacity of 1,000 tons. This is the most modern coal handling devise to be found at any country station. They also have the Barber-Greene conveyors at their various stations for unloading coal.

In 1927 a 12 1/2% cash dividend and a 100% stock dividend was paid and the capital stock was increased from $75,000.00 to $150,000.00. An average of 10% cash dividend has been paid annually to the stockholders since its organization, and there still remains $60,000.00 in undivided profits.

They have just completed an addition to the elevator at Frontenac, which includes a mill house equipped with an electric attrition mill and crusher for custom grinding. A new fire proof steam heated garage is under construction to take care of their trucks. Today you may see the value of modern eye arresting structures, time saving, efficient handling methods and the like, is truly appreciated by this aggressive firm. And to J. A. Henebry, manager since 1912, goes a great deal of the credit, with the cooperation of the board of directors and employees and patrons, for the progress of this organization. By his ability and interest in the business entrusted to him, the company has prospered to a point where it is without doubt one of the most successful, best managed and most prosperous country grain companies of the Middle West. It has prospered because it is fortunate in selecting a board of directors who were endowed with the requisite business sense and judgment to employ a manager versed in this line of endeavor, and allowing him to manage the company without interference after he assumed management. The business has grown through the exercise of fair business methods, and the interest and cooperation of the twenty two employees, some of which have been employed since the organization of this company and others who have been employed for several years.

The present directors are: W. H. Cryder, George Drumm, C. F. Hartong, Bert McCauley, Fred Fiddyment, William Webb, John Book, John Wheeler, Henry Lauterbach, Walter Manning, and Edward Drauden.

The following officers have held the respective offices since the organization: W. H. Cryder, president; George Drumm, vice president; C. F. Hartong, secretary and treasurer; Bert McCauley, Fred Fiddyment and William Webb.

Others who have held the office of directors are: George Gates, Herbert Everton, Homer Grommon, George B. Boardman and Louis Meyer.


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