Barton Construction Company 1955-1971 submitted by Roy L Redding Barton Construction Company was a highway and airport subcontractor specializing in concrete production, hauling steel forms, curing concrete, sawing joints and sealing joints. In 1955, Reverend Amos Barton, wife Sadie, and children, Bob, Sally, Richard, Jack and Paul moved to Normal, Illinois to be in the Unit 5 School District. The Roy Redding family, wife Margie Jean and sons, Sam, Rodney, and Kent also completed the move from Tonganoxie, Kansas. Gary Mel was born soon after on July 4, 1955. As office manager-controller and Vice President, we were with Mr. Barton for 15 years. The Ray Wager family, wife Ethelyn, sons Don and Dennis and daughter Gail also from Tonganoxie, Ks. settled in Towanda, Illinois. Mr. Barton first purchased the old John Enlow building on Main Street and used it to repair and maintain the equipment used on the highway construction. Mr. Barton later purchased property from Mr. Moey on East Washington Street where Alexander Manufacturing is now located. During the winter months to keep the superintendents and foreman busy, Mr. Barton constructed houses. The first house was sold to Mr. Bill Loftus, who was then the manager of the Towanda Grain Company. This house is now occupied by Mrs. Ethelyn Wager on East Washington Street. Other projects of the years included Walnut Grove subdivision north of Towanda and Amsaba Heights subdivision in Normal, Illinois. In 1956, Mr. Barton built a small 6 lot trailer park to house his employees during the winter months. The property was later donated to the Towanda Fire Protection District located at the corner of Madison and Fremont Streets and houses their fire equipment. An enlargement was constructed to the garage and office building to accommodate the manufacturing of concrete curing and sawing equipment and the Barton Sales and Service Company. Both the construction and sales spread to many central, eastern, and southern states. Work was completed on US 66 in Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Georgia, Arkansas, Texas, and Illinois as well as the Eisenhower Expressway and O'Hara Airport in Chicago. As the Barton boys grew older and after Amos had a heart attack, the business started to take on a new look. Reverend Barton became the President of Judson College in Elgin, Illinois...Richard took over the construction and Bob managed the manufacturing and sales. As time went on, Bob sold the manufacturing and sales business to an Oklahoma company and he moved to Oklahoma. Amos and Richard moved to Colorado and ventured into real estate.
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There are remaining in Towanda remnants of the Barton Construction Company...Roy and Margie Redding, Ethelyn Wager, Dennis and Barbara Wager, Jeannie Wager, James and Evelyn Brown, Richard (Dick) and Winnie Nice, Dennise (Woods) Cissaro. Others you may remember who are either deceased or have moved away are: Richard (Dick) Boyd, Tom McFee, Russ Malone, Jim Blankenship, Swede Hedrick, Stan Boyd, Ronald Scranton, John Greggery, Rita Miller, Geraldine Craddock, Babe Sutter, Ed Wesley, Leon Noble, Don Bragg, Joe Miller, Tom Oaks, and Charles Dabbs. The Barton Construction Company family is still an important part of Towanda.
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Illinois State University, Milner Library, Normal, IL, 61790 - for the Towanda Area Historical Society/Towanda District Library
Towanda Area Historical Society/Towanda District Library
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