Bowen Elevator History 05/20/11 1:33:43 PM
HISTORY OF BOWEN DIVISION
The Bowen Division of Ursa Farmers Cooperative was previously owned and operated by Hancock Grain Company of Warsaw. In addition to buying Hancock Grain offered a compete line of FS brand feed, a ground feed service, and bulk feed delivery. FS brand seed products were also sold and seed cleaning service was available to customers. Prior to 1950 and until 1966 Ted Duffy managed the elevator. In 1966 Lester Jingst became manager and did so until 1973. Until 1978 much of the grain was loaded on railcars and shipped by the Wabash Railroad to processors in Decatur, Quincy, and Keokuk.
In the early 1970's, three grain storage bins were added to the facility. Soon after, a 60' X 140' flat grain storage and warehouse, which included the office, was erected. This brought the total grain storage capacity to approximately 270,000 bushel. Ralph Kirbach managed the Bowen Elevator for a while and later Kent Buchert assumed the responsibilities of manager for Hancock Grain Company. The elevator was closed in 1984.
In 1985, Ursa Farmers Cooperative entered into a lease agreement with Hancock Grain Company to reopen the Bowen Elevator. Kent Buckert was employed as manager. In addition to grain marketing services, a complete line of Wayne feed products was offered to customers. In 1989, Ursa Farmers purchased the Bowen Elevator from Hancock Grain Company. In 1992, Kent Buckert moved to the Ursa Office as Feed Manager, and Mike McCully was employed at Bowen as Division Manager.
In 1983, several improvements were made at Bowen; a new 70 foot, 120,000 pound truck scale was installed, a new overhead storage bin was built, the old elevator/headhouse was demolished and a new building, housing two new dump pits was erected. Grain receiving capacity was increased was increased 6800 bushel per hour to 8500 bushel per hour.
In March of 1994, Ray Tournear assumed the duties of Division Manager. In June of 1996 a new 60 ft X 70 ft Butler Bin was built just east of the bump building adding approximately 180,000 bu of storage. Ray retired August 31, 2017. Don Savage assumed the duties of locational supervisor, he started with UFC July 7, 2008 as the maintenance supervisor. Ken Gray is the locational manager.