"8-ball city": Odd water tower cues up Tipton's history

8 months 4 weeks 2 days ago Tuesday, March 13 2018 Mar 13, 2018 Tuesday, March 13, 2018 7:30:00 AM CDT March 13, 2018 in News
By: Danielle Katz, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

TIPTON - An 8-ball water tower along Highway 50 memorializes a piece of history in Tipton, Missouri. 

The town used to be home to Fischer Manufacturing. Ewald Fischer, a Tipton native, started the business in 1949 in his basement. The company moved or expanded 17 times from there.

Fischer Manufacturing was at one time the largest maker of pool tables. The company sold more tables than Brunswick Billiards in 1964.

At its 75,000 square-foot facility in the mid-1960s, a table was built every 10 minutes, and finished tables traveled across the globe to clients in places including Japan, Australia, Italy and Thailand.

In 1968, the company built a tower to protect a new factory from fire, and painted it like an 8-ball. The tower stands at about 158 feet tall and can hold 110,000 gallons of water.

It became well-known among semi-truck drivers communicating through their radios, who said they were driving through “8-ball city.”

Fischer Manufacturing went through changes in ownership and the plant closed in 1977. Fasco Manufacturing bought the building four years later and painted over the tower to add its logo.

Long-time resident Becky Holloway said the town felt different after that because the tower was more than a landmark.

"It’s not that we lost identity but it just didn’t feel the same not seeing that over the horizon," she said. "It’s just who we are."

That Fasco plant closed in 1989, and the company gave the tower back to the city. Ten years later, the tower needed a fresh coat of paint, so the town’s residents fought to get back a unique part of their history back. In December 1999, they got their wish, and the tower has been an 8-ball again since.

Some publications have recognized the tower as the world’s largest 8-ball. For Tipton’s current residents, the tower also serves as a symbol of home. Holloway said she has felt this most with road trips she took as a child visiting her grandmother.

She said, “We knew after making those long trips from Indiana, from North Carolina, from Kentucky, we were home when we saw the 8-ball."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A second-degree domestec assault charge against Missouri Football defensive end will not be filed, according to the... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 8:24:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri recently joined the ranks of many colleges across the country by starting up an... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 8:08:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - An investigation into a First Student bus concern has lead to an increased police presence in one... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:29:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - After almost three years, Jefferson City now has new and improved fire trucks. Jefferson City Fire... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:03:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Neighbors on Lasso Circle in Columbia's Old Hawthorne neighborhood feel safe, but are more vigilant exactly a year... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 6:07:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
FULTON - Fulton Soup Kitchen is working to open its new location in Fulton, but a $1,700 utilities down payment... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:18:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
OZARK, Mo. (AP) — The southwest Missouri city of Ozark that had said it was removing a Christian cross from... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:17:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Police Department is investigating a death downtown. CPD announced the investigation on Twitter just after 4... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 4:44:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — An eastern Missouri doctor has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for prescribing... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:48:09 PM CST December 11, 2018 in Continuous News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City man who told officers he was planning to kill someone and was "kinda... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:42:49 PM CST December 11, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - As Missouri's Secretary of State waits for a response from the State Auditor, a political expert weighed... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:41:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department has been dispatched to Ballenger Lane in North Columbia 11 times so far this... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:21:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Walgreens is giving Missouri a new tool in the fight against opioid abuse, and it's a simple... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:02:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
TAOS - A school bus holding 38 students ranging from K-12 was hit head-on Tuesday morning while stopped on Dove... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 12:19:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Both U.S. senators from Missouri are demanding answers about the death of a veteran after an... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 10:58:05 AM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Gunfire in the neighborhood around Blue Ridge Elementary School led to a modified lockdown Tuesday afternoon, and police... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 10:39:00 AM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public Schools has named the first football head coach for the new Capital City High... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 9:55:00 AM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The agreement between the Jefferson City School District and the city will reimburse the school district up... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:30:00 AM CST December 11, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 47°
12am 44°
1am 43°
2am 42°
3am 40°