Fredonia Linseed Oil Works

Discussion in 'General' started by nvrr49, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. nvrr49

    nvrr49 Member

    Does anyone know how long the Fredonia Linseed Oil Works was around. I have found information showing they were in business from 1880-1936, possibly 1944. (Going to have to go to UMKC to look up an old article to confirm 1944). When did they shut down, and what kind of traffic did they generate for the Frisco, both in and out cars? They had several ads in the Frisco employee magazine in the 1920's.

    Kent in KC
  2. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    I spent a few minutes searching the 'net and didn't find a conclusive answer but did find this picture postcard.

    Attached Files:

  3. mvtelegrapher

    mvtelegrapher Member


    From the photo that Keith posted did the Linseed Oil plant turn into the ADM Soybean processing plant? The location is about the same for the ADM plant, let me look at some of my information and see what I can come up with.

    John Chambers
  4. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

    FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018) Passed Away April 12, 2018 Supporter

    Are you certain that this industry was on the Frisco? Could it have been either on the MP or the Santa Fe? I need to check further, but I have a track plan from the late 1930's and it is not listed. There is an industry called Aaron & Co. if that is what it was called. I think I might have an earlier map.
  5. nvrr49

    nvrr49 Member

    My only reason for believing that Fredonia Linseed Oil Works was switched by the Frisco, is that they advertised in the Frisco Employee magazine in the 1920's. I don't seem to find any reference to the plant after WWII. I am going to try and get a hold of the Wilson County Historical Society this afternoon and see if they can give me some dates.

    Kieth, I spent several hours searching and did not find that picture. Thanks

    Attached Files:

  6. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

    FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018) Passed Away April 12, 2018 Supporter

    I am beginning to believe that John Chambers may be right on the money (he usually is!) about this possibly being the ADM plant. In looking through my records of the industries along the Frisco in Fredonia from various eras, there is no listing of the linseed oil works. The ADM plant that John refers to actually sat on the Santa Fe and MP lines which were at somewhat of a right angle to the Frisco. By looking at the postcard it looks like that the boxcar on the track on the bottom right may be sitting on the interchange with the Frisco which would have crossed both of these lines just below the picture. John can weigh in his opinion.
  7. nvrr49

    nvrr49 Member

    Bob, first off, yes, John knows what he is talking about. I had a nice lunch with him last week.

    I did talk to the Wilson County Historical Society today, they really had no idea, except that, yes, I have heard of that company. They did, however, offer to let me look through about anything I wanted that they had in order to get an answer. I think I will be making a side trip to Fredonia on my next business trip to SEK.

    All this, and I am not even going to model it. I just thought it was a unique industry and thought maybe I could have some trucks lettered for "Tiger Brand Linseed Oil", and could route some cars to them. At this point, I am going to assume they were out of business by 1949, but I will make a trip to Fredonia to confirm.

    Anything else interesting in Fredonia in the late 1940's?

    Kent in KC
  8. nvrr49

    nvrr49 Member

    Good lead...though the Kansas History site, I found where it was switched by the MoPac. This information is from a book published in the 1950's by the MoPac. Sooo, I guess they may have still been in buisness in 1949?

    Kent in KC
  9. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

    FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018) Passed Away April 12, 2018 Supporter

    Are you referring to Fredonia Linseed Oil or ADM when you say the 1950's?
  10. w3hodoug (Doug Hughes RIP 03/24/2021)

    w3hodoug (Doug Hughes RIP 03/24/2021) 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    That depot that sat next to the diamond. It served both (all three?) railroads. I included an airborne-taken photo of it from the Wilson County historical society folks in FMIG LINES 104. I have plans for it from Ed Heiss downstairs somewhere in my collection. I think the NMRA Bulletin also printed the plans from a submission of Ron Williams'.
  11. nvrr49

    nvrr49 Member

    The real question, for me anyway, is; was the Fredonia Linseed Oil Works still in business in the late 1940's, and when did it go out of business?

    Kent in KC
  12. nvrr49

    nvrr49 Member

    Good to know:), since it looks like I will be traveling to Wilson County to get my answer.

    Kent in KC
  13. mvtelegrapher

    mvtelegrapher Member

    The depot on the diamond served the Santa Fe and the Frisco. The Mop depot was several blocks north of it and is brick and still standing. After looking through Frisco and Santa Fe track plans for Fredonia I have come to the conclusion that the linseed oil plant was located north of the Santa Fe/Frisco depot on the east side of the Santa Fe and the west side of the Mop. This is in the same area as the ADM soybeen meal and oil plant. The ADM plant was closed about six years ago and all of the track has been removed. ADM is not willing to sell the plant to anyone and it is slowly being dismantled. The former ADM brick office building is now the city of Fredonia Police Department headquarters. ADM has been in business in Fredonia since at least the 1960's but I'm not sure when it started.

    John Chambers
  14. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

    FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018) Passed Away April 12, 2018 Supporter

    I pulled some of my track diagrams for the industries that the Frisco served in Fredonia and as already been established, the Linseed Oil Works is not one of them. A track plan from approximately that era shows the following from East to West.

    (1) Fredonia Portland Cement Co.
    (2) Fredonia Brick Co.
    (3) Mo. Pac. Connection
    (4) ATSF Connection
    (5) Hampton Mill & Elevator Co.
    (6) Stock Pens
    (7) Standard Oil Co.
    (8) Fredonia Ice Co.
    (9) Aaron & Co.
    (10) Excelsior Brick Co.

    As one can see by the list, that area of Kansas was very rich in the type of soil and minerals that led to the production of cement and brick including clay and limestone. The cement plant is still in operation today and remnants of both the Ice. Co. and Excelsior Brick Co. remain.
  15. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

    FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018) Passed Away April 12, 2018 Supporter

    While we are on the subject of Fredonia and the industries served by the Frisco, I am going to post yet another list, this one I believe dating around the mid 1960's. You will note that some of the same ones are listed as were in the first one.

    From East to West:

    (1) Hamilton #1
    (2) Hamilton #2
    (3) General Portland Cement (Fredonia Portland Cement in first list)
    (4) Union LP Gas Co.
    (5) National Alfalfa Mill
    (6) Siding
    (7) MP Connection
    (8) ATSF Connection
    (9) Siding
    (10) Standard Oil Co.
    (11) Fredonia Co-Op Assn.
    (12) Standard Oil Co.
    (13) Dock
    (14) Cities Service Oil Co.
    (15) Team Track
    (A) Cox Produce & Grain Co.
    (B) City of Arcadia
    (16) Team Track
    (A) Schoolcraft Lumber Co.
    (B) Home Lumber & Supply Co.
    (C) John Caylor
    (17) General Portland Cement Co.
    (18) Excelsior Brick Co.

    Several points and questions:

    (1) Note that General Portland Cement Co. is listed on both sides of town. Fellow Frisco modeler Tony LaLumia has confirmed that the siding listed on the west side of town was actually a location where the actual cement plant that was located on the east side of town loaded dirt or clay that was used in the making of the cement. Maps of the town actually show troughs or pits that are represented as water with tracks running along side them.
    (2) If anyone is planning on going over there and trying to do research I would like them to post any pertinent information they can about any of the above industries. Of special interest to me is the team track listing as City of Arcadia. There is a small town in southeast Kansas by that same name, but what was this listing for in Fredonia?

    Thanks in advance,
  16. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Regarding the strip pits from which the cement company dug soil; this was a common practice for them to use river bottom land or soils that had a high silicate or clay content. My home town cement company did this into the early 70's but abandoned the "dry" process by the late 70's in favor of the more productive wet process method of preparing materials for the kiln. In the case of Marquette Cement, they would dig along parallel to the tracks for about a 1/4 to 1/2 mile and then move the tracks over and dig parallel once again. The end result was several lakes that later became good fishing holes for company employees.
  17. slsfrr (Jerome Lutzenberger RIP 9/1/2018)

    slsfrr (Jerome Lutzenberger RIP 9/1/2018) Engineer Staff Member Supporter


    When I worked Fredonia in 1966 the clay pits were used by the brick plant. The Fredonia switcher would shove empty gondolas out, pull loads, and spot them at the brick plant. I often wondered how the RR made any money off of the move. I do not remember taking any clay to the cement plant.

  18. nvrr49

    nvrr49 Member

    I have added several pictures to the photo file nvrr49. Briefly, the Fredonia Linseed Oils Works was in business from 1883-1928, when it was sold to ADM (Archer Daniels Midland. It produced Linseed Oil until about 1945. It was used for wheat storage from 1945-1962. In 1962 it was convert to processing a new experimental crop, Soybeans.

    That only Model A is just screeming to be modeled.

    Kent in KC
  19. mvtelegrapher

    mvtelegrapher Member


    Thanks for the clarification on the dates for the ADM plant. It's too bad it's slowly being dismantled. Fredonia just does not look the same without all of that track in town. F.Y.I. the Lafarge Cement plant is not shipping much by rail now so the SKOL is no longer providing a dedicated local to switch Fredonia. The train from Cherryvale to Winfield is now doing all of the work as they pass through town.

    John Chambers

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