From Our Past

 (The picture above (circa early-1970's) shows the company's original main office/warehouse and truck scale facility located at 107 South Vine Street in Monroe City. This building served as the company's headquarters until September 2002 and was then demolished in 2004.)

The Farmers Elevator & Exchange Company of Monroe City, Missouri was organized in 1919 by a group of progressive citizens to provide a cooperative medium through which the farmers of the Monroe City territory might market their grain, livestock and produce, and in turn purchased needed supplies at the lowest possible cost.   (reprinted from a 1956 issue of the Monroe City News, a local newspaper.)  Its Certificate of Incorporation was signed in Jefferson City, Missouri by John L. Sullivan, Secretary of State for Missouri on Friday, June 6, 1919.  W.W. Fuqua was named chairman and L.G. Abel was named Secretary of the newly formed organization.

A bit about our first Board President - Quite a trail in Missouri
agriculture was blazed by Mr. W.W. Fuqua, who at the young age of only 28 years, served as the first Board President of the Farmers Elevator & Exchange Company! Warren W. Fuqua was born in Monroe City in 1891, the son of Julia W. and J.G. Fuqua. He was a grandson of H.C. (Henry Clay) Fuqua who was born in West Virginia and who came to Hannibal in 1840 and married Mary Gentry in 1843. H.C.’s mother was a first cousin to Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky. Following graduation from the University of Missouri with a major in Animal Husbandry in June 1914, the Monroe City Democrat newspaper wrote the “Warren W. Fuqua, Agriculture ’14, Monroe City, Mo., President Ag Club ’13, Stock Judging Team ’13, Gamma Sigma Delta, honorary Agricultural fraternity, Manager Annual Horse Show. Warren W. Fuqua was president of the Agriculture Club for the first semester of this year and also a member of the stock judging team which represented this University at the American Royal Stock Show in Kansas City and also in the National Stock Show at Chicago. Fuqua was also actively interested in the Farmers’ Fair and is one of the managers of the first annual Horse Show which is to be given by the Agricultural college during Stunt week which is the first week in June.”

In the fall of 1915, Warren married Margaret Dorsey from Columbia, MO and they resided on a 3 1/2 miles north of Monroe City. While serving as the first president of the Farmers Elevator & Exchange Co. in 1919, Warren Fuqua started a Shipping Association whose office was located in the Farmers Elevator next to the C.B. & Q Railroad stockyards.

The Farmers Elevator & Exchange Company had a sales figure of $675,000 in the first 7 months of its existence from the marketing of grain, livestock, produce, and wool! In 1920, Mr. Fuqua was listed in the Poland China World as a breeder of purebred Poland China hogs and he promoted a sire named ’The Dominator’ that he purchased at a price of $1,100 from Dr. Poage of Shelbina, Missouri. Mr. Fuqua is also listed in the Shorthorn World as a breeder of Shorthorn cattle. Warren Fuqua also served on the Board of Directors of the first Missouri Farmers’ Grain Dealers Association in 1920. In 1922 Fuqua served as President of the Missouri Federation of Cooperative Live Stock Shippers. Under his leadership, Farmers Elevator & Exchange became the 2nd largest cooperative shipper of livestock in the state of Missouri to the National Stock Yards in the mid-1920’s. In his early years, Mr. Fuqua marketed as many as 400 mules from his farming operation known as the Marimo Farm! He later served 20 years as the superintendent of the Mule Show at the Missouri State Fair.

Warren W. Fuqua died in 1971 at the age of 81 in Scottsville, Kentucky. His grandson told us Mr. Fuqua loved to travel into the ‘Old West’ including down into ‘old’ Mexico and that he was involved in cattle feeding for many years. In 1933 Warren and Margaret moved to Columbia, MO where they resided at what is known as The Greenwood, built as a plantation in 1840 and that is now on the Historic Registry.

We believe Warren W. Fuqua was a dynamic, resourceful, well-organized man who
promoted agriculture and cooperative principles throughout his life as a student, as a farmer and later as the director of public relations and legislation for the Missouri Farm Bureau where he worked from 1945-1963.

The first Board of Directors consisted of seven shareholders who were:

W.W. Fuqua, President George Hampton
William Wadsworth Roy G. Melson
Charles Buckman L.G. Abel, Secretary
Ed G. Walker

Some of the names that appear in the list of the first shareholders of Farmers Elevator in
1919 include: Spalding, Yates, Parsons, Hagan, Shortridge, Mudd, Jarman, Proctor, Masterson, Gentry, Adams, Shank, Gottman, Kaden, Olson, Wagner, Elzea, Hays, Burditt, Watts, Ely, Elliott, Henderson, Wilson, See, Moyers, Osbourne, Tuley, Turnbull, Bell, Morthland, Williams, Delashmutt, Dinwiddie, Ryan, Moss, and Rogers. The Monroe City area was blessed with progressive farmer-stockman and businessmen who had a focus on the future and who were dedicated to developing a strong agriculture base. One of those early stockholders who later served on the Board of Directors was Mr. A. Lee Ely, a farmer-stockman from Monroe City, who was serving as the State Representative for Ralls County in 1919.







Because it was located on the railroad, the operation of the Farmers Elevator & Exchange Company  was very diverse in the early years and included the operation of a livestock yards where local farmers could bring their livestock to be transported by rail.

In 1924 a total of 224 carloads of livestock were shipped on the railroad through the Farmers Elevator & Exchange Company which set a new record for the company. There were 17,848 head of hogs, cattle and sheep making up that record number.  

From the Monroe City News,  written the week of April 3-7, 1925, we read that the newly elected Board of Directors of the Farmers Elevator & Exchange met and organized by re-electing all officers.  They included: A. Lee Ely, President; C.L. Elzea, Vice President  and J.D. Robey, Secretary-Treasurer.  The board also made plans for building an addition to the office building (shown in photo below).  The ndew part was to be 20' x 36', located on the west sie of the south front.  It was to be of hollow building blocks, stuccoed and with concrete floor.  A vault was to be built in and the remainder of the space used for a cream room.

In 1956, Monroe City News ads proclaimed Farmers Elevator & Exchange Co. was considered 'the oldest and largest cooperative in Monroe County, MO' and employed 12 people.  In 1956, sales volume of the company that year was $1,545,359 and included sales of grain, fertilizer, coal, seed, feed, eggs and cream.  At the annual stockholders' meeting for the business year of 1956, Reichard E. Redman was elected President, B.W. Freidank, Vice President, and George G. Yates, Secretary.  Other directors included: Baxter Watts, T. Roy Burditt, Lambert Buckman and Cecil Shortridge.  Photo below are the Employees from 1957 who included: Otis G. Hedberg, manager; Virigie Hoar, bookkeeper; Vivian McNally, asst. bookkeeper; Hugh Smith, Frank Homolas, Lyle Bloomer, Milton Sullivan, Loren Kaiser, Fletcher Sharp, Earl Buckner, Lewis B. Talton and Berry Talton. 

On the night of Sunday, March 12, 2006, an F-2 tornado struck the city of Monroe City including the facilities owned and operated by the Farmers Elevator & Exchange Company.  Losses to this storm exceeded $850,000 and included the total destruction of the company's main office and retail warehouse which was then located at 312 West Summer Street.  During the following 27 months, the company ran its business from a mobile office trailer which was rented.  The Company also rented both temporary and permanent warehouse facilities until facilities could be replaced.  On June 1, 2009, the company moved into a new facility at 107 South Chestnut Street in Monroe City.  The new site includes a building that is 140 ft. long and 60 ft. wide with administrative offices, a retail store and a large warehouse for feed and farm supplies.  Also a new 12' X 70' truck scales was constructed at the facility. 


Above is a photo of the employees of the Farmers Elevator & Exchange Company taken in 1957.


Shown here above is a photo of Farmers Elevator employee Harry Fisher beside the company truck, circa 1940's. Photo was submitted to us in March 2007 by Dennis Evans of Monroe City.


Above is a photo of Bob Campbell who served on the Board of Directors from 1958-1969 and granddaughter Dede in 1965 at company fish fry. Bob was Board Chairman of the Farmers Elevator & Exchange Company at thetime of this photo. (photo submitted by Joe Campbell)


Description of fish fry1965- Employee Otto Loutenschlaeger and Farmers Elevator Board chairman Bob Campbell frying fish for company fry in 1965.

Tornado Pics 2006

At just past 10:00 PM on Sunday evening, March 12, 2006 our company's facilities were struck by an F-2 tornado. The photos on this page were taken on March 13 and 16 of our damage.  

This storm destroyed our company's main administrative office/retail warehouse that has since been demolished. Other buildings and equipment on our property were also damaged or destroyed. We thank God that no loss of life or limb occurred. Our income generating business units were spared and we are working from temporary facilities and rented facilities to carry on business.

We are developing a process to rebuild the facilities we lost.  We also want to thank everyone who assisted in our cleanup.  Your efforts were very much appreciated!





From the Community

This matchbook was brought to us by the family of the late Gentry Wilson.

This picture of past employees (circa March 1968) was donated to us by members of the Mudd family.

Left to Right: Walter Lee Mudd (Manager), Phyliss (Snider) Mudd, Jerry Ann Shaver, Hugh Smith