Hamel Co-op History
Hamel Co-op is located at 121 North Old US Route 66 in Hamel, IL We are off the northwest corner of Route 140 and Route 157 or Old US Route 66.
Hamel Coop was established March 24, 1920 by a group of area farmers. They purchased the elevator, which was built in 1911, from Geo Cassen. Over the past 90+ years it has grown and expanded to what it is today. Hamel Coop is still owned by stockholders and ran by a board of directors. Both the stockholder and board of directors are our day to day patrons and customers.
Unlike other cooperatives we are open to the public and anyone can do business with Hamel Coop. Stop by and see us soon.
Current Employees and Board Members of Hamel Co-op.
Full Time Employees - Amy Rogier, Mike Henke, Tim Lewis, Andrea Probst, & Michael Wiese
Part Time Employees - Charlotte Weber, Mackenzie Landmann, & Logan Gusewelle
Current Board of Directors
President - Brent Pfeiffer
Vice President - Brandon Beckert
Secretary - Dennis Hemann
Treasurer - Derren Siglock
Director - Raymond J Svoboda
Director - Lendell Phelps
Director - Dan Steinmann
The History of Hamel Co-op Grain Co.
In 1911 W. L. Wolf built the elevator that stands on the Northwest corner of Route 140 and Old US Route 66, at that time it was adjacent to the railroad. At some point W.L. Wolf sold the elevator to Geo Cassens.
On March 24, 1920 Aug Bettmann, chairman, and J.B. Haberkorn, secretary, along with other area farmers discussed for the first time the forming of a cooperative. 142 shares of stock was issued. They purchased the elevator building, feed store, office, and scale from Geo Cassen on April 23, 1920 for $10,000. Wm. Ohm was hired as the first manager along with Miss Eva McDonald, as a bookkeeper.
May 1, 1920 was the first official day of business. The coop struggled for the first few years and several managers came and left. By the third year the coop started to see a profit.
During the 1920's Hamel Coop sold coal, Blue Seal Feeds, lime, sand, cement, gravel, and Autumn Leaf brand flour. In July of 1925 a fire was put out by Mr. Schroeder that could have burnt down the elevator. In November of 1929 they added 40 feet on to the feed store and in December they added a Hammermill to the feed shed.
In the 1930's the board was reduced to 7 members and in April 1930 they purchased an electric wagon and truck hoist for the feed shed. In April 1931 they purchased a Studebaker truck fully equipped from Geo Cassen. During the 1940's Hamel Coop discontinued Blue Seal Feeds and started selling Wayne and Eclipse Feeds. In 1944 Hamel Coop became a Purina Feed Dealer, we are among some of the oldest Purina Feed Dealers in Illinois.
In 1944 the board discussed selling the coop to Madison Service Company upon approval of the stockholders. At a special meeting in October 1944 the stockholders overwhelmingly voted against the sale. In 1947 a new tile office was built at the corner of Route 140 and Old Route 66.
On March 25, 1950 Hamel Coop purchased the Carpenter Elevator from Anna Stahlhut and Eliz Backs. The Carpenter location was closed on March 1, 2003 and dismantled in early 2005.
In 1957 Hamel Coop built a 28' x 100' shed, this is currently our fertilizer shed. In May 1956 Hamel Coop purchased the Mont Station Elevator, which was later sold in 1971.
In 1965 Hamel Coop started leasing Klueter's Elevator, which was later terminated in 1970. During the 1970's Hamel Coop started to blend bulk fertilizers. In 1975 the rail service thru Hamel was terminated, later in 1994, Hamel Coop purchased the land from the railroad that runs along the east side of the property.
In 1970 Olin Hesi was hired as manager, was and instrumental in putting Hamel Coop back on its feet and operating in the black. Manager Hesi was responsible for the construction of 5 grain bins at Hamel Coop and 1 grain bin at the Carpenter location. In 1970 a bulk fertilizer blender was installed next to the shed. Harry Renken served as our Purina District Sales Representative for the Hamel area in the early 1970's. In 1977 the new store and office building with scale was started, it was completed in February 1978.
In April 1990 Dave Geiger was hired as manager and was responsible for purchasing the following equipment within his first 2 years: a welder, torch, air compressor, new moisture meter, new grain tester and weigh scale, and a computer system. Manager Geiger has been responsible for the construction of 2 storage sheds, the 110' tall grain leg and 3 grain bins that hold 65,000 bushels each. He also had made improvements and additions to all the existing buildings, along with various feed tanks, trucks, etc.
Most recently we have remodeled the store and office during late 2010 and early 2011. In October of 2014 the Board of Directors appointed the first female General Manager, Amy Rogier, in the history of the Co-op. In the Fall of 2015 we added a Terragator to our fleet and fertilizer application to our list of services.
Stop by and check out our new updates.
Past Presidents of Hamel Co-op
Aug L Bettmann 1920-1928
John F Renken 1929-1939
Wm. Krejci 1940
Wm. Vieth 1941-1945
Gust Bekemyer 1946-1950
Leonard Hosto 1951-1955
Ralph Helmkamp 1956-1961
Oliver Spitze 1962-1966
Maurice Hull 1967-1970
Wilmar Klenke 1971-1972
Willard Blase 1973-1975
Carl Steinmann 1976
Gerald F Stahlhut 1977-1979
Duane Meyer 1980-1989
Steve Haarmann 1990-1993
Dennis Reising 1994-1999
Rodney Klenke 2000-2008
Gene Klenke 2009
Ryan Henke 2010-2017
Brent Pfeiffer 2017 - present
Past Managers of Hamel Co-op
Wm. Ohm hired April 24, 1920
Albert Bayer hired July 13, 1920
L.F. Steinmann hired May 23, 1921
W.E. Leichsenring hired March 23, 1923
Fred Wiehe hired June 1940
Pearl Ketchum hired February 15, 1941
Henry Saathoff hired February 14, 1942
Oscar Wheeler hired July 2, 1943
Elmer Moritz hired August 21, 1943
Olin Hesi hired October 30, 1970
Dave Geiger hired July 1, 1990
Amy Rogier hired as Manager October 1, 2014 - present
We are a full service grain elevator. We take grain in Hamel and work with river terminal for direct deliveries.
Each spring we sell baby chicks in the store. Order yours now for best selection.
We are a full service fertilizer dealer. We have a terragator for custom application and VRT application.