The following text is provided by Barth Weistart who did some research on the history of the old water tower.
The Minonk park water tower was completed in the spring of 1899 in much
controversy. The June 8, 1899 Minonk News led off with a column headed "TANK
IS DEFECTIVE". "The tank and tower have been declared defective, and all but
$1300 of the $8000 cost has been paid". Mayor Horneman's opinion was that
the cheapest thing to do would be to tear the tank down and build a new one.
The weight of the tank and water was so unevenly distributed that the
supports on one side had settled four inches more than the other and were
still going down at the rate of one-eighth inch per day.
Alderman Leffers suggested that the specifications of the contract with
contractor Cody of Peoria be read so that the Council would know what had
not been done. It seems the former Council had made many deviations from the
There were no steel plates on the eye beams inside of the tower for the tank
to rest upon;the brick arches and the filling of Portland cement under the
tank were not made according to plan; the contractor never put the necessary
number of bolts in the eyebeams; the ornamental cresting had been forgotten;
there was no flange on the stand-pipe; the distribution pipe was not
complete; and the tank was to have two coats of paint and one of oil on the
inside. It had been oiled, but not painted.
The specifications required that the steel plates of the tank overlap four
inches. Cody deemed two and a half inches sufficient and the former Council
had approved. There were leaks at the second and third seams from the top.
The original construction contract for the steel tank was $2447. Ten feet
were added at a cost of $225. The steal tank top cost $325. Other extras
raised the cost of the tank to $3407.
These photos were provided by David Gutherz. The picture above shows the second water tower in
Minonk. This photo is looking north at the north east corner of the city park. Fifth street is
in the background.
Below is a picture of the city park with the second water tower shown at the left
and the first water tower at the right. This view is looking northeast from Fifth Street.
An editorial of the time says:"Whenever city government is mentioned there
rises before the vision of Minonkites a certain decrepit water tank, perched
on a crumbling tower of soft brick, which cost them its weight in coin of
the realm, and the wonder is, how by any honest means did the council then
in power succeed in spending nearly $8000 in the worse than useless
You could easily guess from all the doom-sayers that the water tower would
never last. And it didn't! Within seventy years it was gone. The "useless
structure" was torn down in August of 1972.
The old water was replaced by a new steel tower at a cost of $40,000.