8-4-05 – Wrecking crews are tearing down one of Texoma’s oldest grain elevators, making way for a new industry in town. The demolition is symbolic of the ever-changing skyline and history of this town.
Railroad shipping was the first big industry in Durant. One hundred years ago, the grain elevator hoisted thousands of bushels, fresh from the farms, onto trains to be shipped across the country. The elevator is the last building in Durant left from an era that relied on the railroads.
"In the early 20s and 30s, we used this feed store as fuel to feed our horses as we worked in the farms," recalls Durant resident Steve Kelso, who heads the demolition project.
Using an 8500 lb wrecking ball, crews will take down the landmark grain elevator. Left dangerously abandoned since 1985, it is the last building of this kind in the city. They estimate it will take 3 weeks to clear the site, but from the rubble, progress will rise.
Earth Biofuel and Apollo Resources will build a bio-diesel plant in this corner of downtown. The company from Jackson, Mississippi makes clean-burning fuel. Its arrival in Durant will bring 100 new jobs into the community, as well as revenue.
“When we're fully implemented we will have a payroll in access of $2 million a year, so it will have a nice impact on the community,” says Tommy Johnson, CEO and President of the company.
Earth Biofuel and Apollo Resources hopes to be in production by October. They will begin recruiting employees for a wide scope of jobs in September.