Dedication Year: 1984

Location: Lyle C. Thomas Park & Landing, Spring Grove, IL

Plaque Wording: First Tower Silo Designated A Historic Landmark Of  Agricultural Engineering. The First Tower Silo In America Was Erected Near This Site On The Hatch Farm, One Half-Mile East Of Spring Grove, Illinois. Fred L. Hatch And His Father, Lewis Hatch, Erected This Silo In October 1873, After Fred Graduated From The Illinois Industrial University. (Now The University Of Illinois). Textbooks On Agriculture Were Scarce, And Professor Willard F. Bliss Translated French And German Pamphlets On Silage Production Wherein The Entire Corn Plant Was Buried In Pits, And This Inspired Young Hatch. He And His Father Decided That A Tower Silo Would Have Many Advantages. The Tower Silo Was Built Inside Of The Barn. Fred And His Father Dug A 10' X 16' Hole 8' Deep And Lined It With Rocks And Mortar. They Extended The Walls 16' Above Ground With Two Thicknesses Of Flooring Board, With A Layer Of Tar Paper Sandwiched Between Them. The Silo Was Used Continuously For 46 Years Until 1919. The Original Rock And Mortar Foundation Is Still Usable. This Tower Silo Was Actually Erected Before Any Trench Silos Were Made In The USA. The Hatch Silo Resulted In Several Improvements Over European Practices Of The Time: The Depth Of The Silage And The Short Cut Of The Horse Powered Stationary Chopper Reduced Filling, Packing And Removal Labor. Spoilage From Rain And Ground Seepage Water Was Eliminated. Daily Removal Of A 1.6 Inch Layer Prevented Spoil-Age And Made Possible A 6-Month Feeding Period. Dedicated By The American Society Of Agricultural  Engineers 1984