The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa on June 4, 1946 · Page 8
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The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa · Page 8

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Tuesday, June 4, 1946
Page 8
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'.', it'-'flf-' ••*.-». CELEBRATING IOWA'S IOO^^WCENTEHNIAL YEAR WITH STORIES OF KOSSUTH INDUSTRY,BUSINESS,AGRICULTURE '. ", , - --' • ',-')''.- ,. - •. • Rated as One of America's Finest W e take you back to the year 1898. J. T. Chrischillcs was mayor of Algona. Jesse Bonar was city attorney. These pioneering city fathers, together with others, could see the coming importance of electric power. In their vision, they discussed and re-discussed ways and means of building for Algona a real, honest-to-goodness power plant. The small but growing town did not have funds to build a plant, unpretentious as it would need to be. So these far-seeing city fathers put up their own money, built the original plant in 1898, leased it to the city and accepted the earnings of the plant in payment. The venture was successful from the start. The town consumed electric current in ever-increasing quantity. Algona was growing, it was fast becoming a major farm trade center in north Iowa, and it put to use all the current the original plant could generate. The years passed, in 1907 two oil engines were purchased and these gave valiant service until 1917 when it was decided to purchase modern diesel oil engines. The original diesel was a Fulton engine of some 200 horse power capacity (compare that with the present diesel-electric engines of 1500 horse power each). But still it was not enough, and in 1919 another of larger size was added; another in 1921; anothe'r in 1928; and in 1931 electric power consumption forced installing of the first 1000 horse power engine. Soon the Algona plant was to get just too big for its clothes. It was outgrowing its building by leaps and bounds. In 1938, one of the 200 HP diesels had to be removed to admit another new 1000 HP engine. Whereupon the city negotiated a deal with a sugar mill in Cuba for sale of the old, used 200 HP engine, and today that old engine, bought by Al- gbna in 1917, is turning out power to make Cuban sugar. Again, when the plant moved to its new location, two used diesel units were sold to the Army, were shipped to the Hawaiian islands, where they generated 'juice' to help lick Japan. In 1940, just six years ago, it was necessary for the city to face the fact that growth of the community and the resultant increase in electric power consumption called for a drastic revision in the set-up. A study was made—it was found after careful analysis that it would be cheaper from a long term point of view simply to move the plant lock, stock and barrel to a new location, where it could be adequately housed. Needless to say, this thorough-going way of doing things brought one of America's outstanding firms of industrial engineers into the picture, Burns & McDonnell, and together with C. U. Pollard, Algona's present superintendent of public works, these engineers worked out the pro* grain for the present plant. A word of praise is due the men who "sparked" the Algona electric plant to such success over a period of almost 50 years. C. C. Dudley was superintendent, from the start in 1898^ to 1912 and he carefully nurtured the first tiny plant as it grew. In 1912, J. W. Kelly, a former linesman, took over the reins as superintendent, and during 28 eventful years, Mr. Kelly gave himself devotedly to the job of watching over and tending the city's supply of electric power. Our present superintendent, C. U. Pollard, came to the helm in 1938, was a major factor in the creation of the present plant, and is carrying on in expert fashion the ideals and good business sense of those early city fathers who envisioned the power of electricity. If You Want to Spend An Interesting Hour, Visit this Outstanding Power Plant Many of us—yet perhaps not all—are familiar with the modern building on north Hall -Street in Algona, which Is the light and power plant. A visit to this installation yields a full measure of interest, and of course visitors arc always welcome. Some of America's greatest firms—designers, engineers, suppliers, maintenance firms—have had a hand in the creation Of this plant. BURNS & McOONNELL, Consulting Engineers, of Kansas City, designed the plant in its entirety, and together with Mr. Pollard, achieved an electric power installation that is both unique and efficient, The FULTON IRON WORKS CO. of St. Louis furnished and installed the four giant Diesel-electric generating engines in the plant which you see in the picture at left. Even a casual visitor to the plant'thrills to these engines working*. The elaborate switchboard installation was supplied by WSS?* INGHOUSE (Westinghouse Electric Supply Co. of Pes Motoes). Lubricating? oil for the plant has been furnished by VACUUM for more than 85 years. Algeria Power & Light Plant is Today One of the Most Modern and Efficient in the Entire Nation No bond issue. No outstanding obligations. T\vo rate reductions during the war ycats just past. A substantial investment in government bonds achieved entirely through plant operation. And present rates among the lowest in Iowa, if not in fact the entire tnifl'.west.' ' " 'Those lines make mighty pleasant reading, 'especially to citizens living in a community that has a light and power plant with such a record back of it. That is the record behind the Algona light and power plant. Electrical engineers, municipal engineers, and city officials from widely separated points in America have visited the Algona plant since its completion in 1942. They have come not only to inspect the ultra-modern .housing of the plant and its equipment, but to inquire into its past "record of low rates for users of electricity, and its highly efficient record of earnings for the city. * The Algona plant represents an investment of more than $750,000, all of which was paid for from plant earnings. No bond issues were needed, in short no "charge account" Was opened to raise this modern plant. Add to th'at two rate reductions given out during the past few years and you have a modern, municipal enterprise which has been set up as a model for such plants in other American cities. And there is still more to report. Another 1500 horse power diesel engine Was .recently purchased by the city, for installation alongside the four now operating. This new engine is so equipped that by the addition of a super-charger it may be converted to 2200 horse power. Thus, today's city officials are thinking ahead in terms of new horizons for the community. And funds are in hand for payment in full when the new engine is installed sometime this summer. This moflero tlectrte nlant structure w»s by the firm of II ,J, COWAN, Oww«l Ateooa, who received (.he genef&l contract <bn the building. ' A* |*>*We« fc> skefcji *Wv«, i' floor slabs w«ch mftke « possible to rWtooVe *fe*el unit an4 w founlaUoB f&j- # ^placement * 1ftr«re> engine, yHkmrt tinj* t»»* t'

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