A Brief History of Wheeler Brothers Grain Company
Wheeler Brothers Grain Company was founded in 1917 by brothers Frank and William “Bill” Wheeler. In the early 1940s, Frank’s son, Gene, bought out both Bill’s and Frank’s interest. In 1945, Gene built his first concrete elevator in Watonga, just south of the original wooden structure. In 1962, Gene built a dry bulk fertilizer blending plant in Watonga, believed to be the second oldest in the state.
In 1968, Wheeler Brothers built a 2,000 head feedyard 4 miles east of Watonga. Throughout the years, added capacity brought it to 27,000 head. In October of 2014, Wheeler Brothers sold its feedyard.
In 1985, Wheeler Brothers established the AT&L Railroad through acquisition of 46 miles of former Rock Island track from Watonga to El Reno. The track ties in with the UP Railroad in El Reno to which Wheeler Brothers ships 110-car unit trains. The loaded railcars then move to market, the most prominent destination being the U.S. Gulf export market.
Today, Wheeler Brothers has 18 grain elevator locations, 5 of which are seasonal. Total storage capacity is 20+ million bushels. Facility locations are in northern, central and western Oklahoma.
Other than grain storage, Wheeler Brothers is involved in feed sales, seed production, and fertilizer / chemical sales and application.