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A mechanical contrivance for lifting grain, &c., to an upper floor; also, a building containing one or more elevators. — Webster, 1882

Robinson elevator torn down, was last pioneer. Last of the string of elevators on the railroad right-of-way. Built by Farmers Shipping Association in the late 1880s or early 1890s and taken over by Matthew Robinson when the family came here in 1892. It survived many years longer than the other four that handled grain business in the early years. Two checks found in the wall were dated 1885, both signed by John A. Owen. – De Smet News, October 29, 1937.

In 1883, there was one grain elevator in De Smet, that of the G.W. Van Dusen Grain Company. Louis Sasse was agent. In 1887, De Smet had four grain elevators and warehouses, with a storage capacity of about 40,000 bushels. They were G.W. Van Dusen & Co. (20,000 bushels), C.W. Seefield (5,000 bushels), the Farmers Warehouse (5,000 bushels), and the De Smet Roller Mills. By 1892, two additional elevators had been constructed. The 1885 wheat crop amounted to over a quarter of a million bushels, and of flax, over 80,000 bushels, more than that of any station between Pierre and Tracy. — De Smet Leader, March 19, 1887.



Elevator price. The price paid to a farmer for his wheat crop, per bushel, by the agent, depending on quality and grade of crop. At the beginning of The Long Winter, the first load of wheat from the 1880 crop brought to the elevator in August was purchased for 63 cents per bushel. Prices rose to 78-81 cents by late September, and was up to about $1 per bushel by Christmas. Note that this is more than the price Almanzo Wilder first offers Mr. Anderson (82 cents/bushel, said to be the end of February), but much less than the price Anderson settles at: $1.25/bushel. Once the blockade was raised and wheat was again arriving at the elevator, seed wheat sold for about $1.00/bushel. Some of this wheat had been stored in the shock all during the Hard Winter.

elevator (LTP 11)
     elevator price (TLW 27)