“When we didn’t have any dairy business, we had to scrounge around for other stuff,” McDonald said. “What kept us going for the last 20 years was the emerging horse business in Norman.
“I think we lost our last dairy customer in 2004 or 2005,” he said. “That was the end of dairy, but the horse business started up out in the 10-mile flat.”
In addition to professional ranchers, equestrian enthusiasts who raised pleasure horses bought feed.
“It was an interesting journey,” McDonald said. “We had a lot of good customers. That’s the part I miss about not being at the elevator anymore. Our customers became friends.
“There are several families I remember. The Heitz family, they go back quite a ways. I know four generations of them. That was kind of neat that you had the continuity.
“Being a small business, that’s a part you don’t get (dealing with chain stores),” McDonald said. “The personal end of it is gone.”
The demolition of Rhodes granary will make way for other uses of the property, likely a new public library proposed for the site, though nothing is officially scheduled at this time. City leaders voted to move forward with the $100,000 demolition project primarily because of public safety concerns.
The property at 602 N. Santa Fe Ave. (now James Garner Avenue) was purchased by the city from the Cecil Rhodes family on Feb. 25, 2009, for $350,000, according to Cleveland County Assessor’s property records and Transcript news accounts.