Did You Know? The first tower silo was built in IllinoisIn 1873, a man named Fred Hatch did something entirely new. Hatch was a member of the second graduating class of the University of Illinois, then called the Illinois Industrial University at Champaign.

He built a silo. Hatch’s silo wasn’t a pit-style silo like those used in Europe. Instead of a pit, it was a tower.

That first silo, located in Spring Grove, Illinois, was only 16 feet tall (and 8 feet deep). Today, silos are the skyscrapers of the rural countryside. They can be built of wood, like Hatch’s, or made from materials like steel, concrete or tile. They are so common you may not notice them when you’re cruising down the highway.

Next time you’re crossing the countryside, slow down for a second look; remember our rural skyline (like actual skyscrapers) started in Illinois.

Learn more:
Want to know more about Fred Hatch’s silo? Read this article in Farm Collector.
Curious about the silo’s Illinois roots? Here’s an article from the Chicago Tribune.
Not sure why farmers need silos? Here’s an explanation.