Utah History to Go
Flour Mills
Change and Creativity
Struggle for Statehood
Struggle for Statehood Chronology
In 1895 Utahns Wondered When Statehood Would Come
A State is Born
Party Politics and Utah Statehood
The Constitutional Convention is Called
Constitution Was Framed in City and County Building
African American Community and Politics, 1890-1910
The Broad Ax and the Plain Dealer Kept Utah's African Americans Informed
Clarence E. Allen Was Utah's First Congressman
How Utah Lost One of Its U.S. Senate Seats in 1899
Salt Lake Native Was Interred in the Kremlin Wall
The Shooting of Arthur Brown, Ex-Senator From Utah
Convict Labor Helped to Build Utah's Road
Strawberry Valley, 1st Federal Reclamation Project
Women's Suffrage in Utah
Woman Suffrage Dominated Politics in Utah
Kanab Residents Chose Women to Run Their Town, 1912
Ruth May Fox, Forgotten Suffragist
Soren Hanson's "House That Eggs Built"
Utah Arts Council
Utah State Historical Society
The Beginning of Public Support For Libraries
The Pasta King of the Mountain West
Celebrating the New Year in Salt Lake's Chinatown
Electrifying Utah-Engineer Lucien L. Nunn
A Brewer-Sportsman's Prairie Style Home in Ogden
Saltair Village Was a Unique Place to Live
Boxing Fans Take the Plunge at Saltair
Castilla Hot Springs Attracted Many Visitors
Minstrel Shows
Utah State Capitol
Utah in the Spanish American War
Captain Richard W. Young and Spanish-American War
A Soldier's Life at Fort Douglas in the Early 1900's
Methodist Women Missionaries Worked Hard in Utah
Flour Mills
Guano Sifters on Gunnison Island
The Lehi Beet Sugar Factory
The Salt Industry Was One of the First Enterprises
From Free Salt to a Major Industry
Hospitals and Health Crazes in the Late 1800's
The Myths and Legends of Butch Cassidy
Butch Cassidy
Would the New State of Utah Go Metric?
A Look at Working Women in the Early 20th Century
Jobs in 1900
Explosion of Pleasant Valley Coal Company
The Lucin Cutoff
Southern Utah's First High School
Life Was Precarious in Turn-of-the-Century Utah
Salt Lake City Had Its Typhoid Mary
Vaccinations in Wasatch County
Promoting Physical Fitness
Woman's Home Association Tried to Help the "Fallen"
Juvenile Delinquency Posed Problems For Utahns
Traveling Gypsies Brought an Exotic Lifestyle to Utah
The First Large Factory in Utah
The Rise and Fall of Ogden's Packing Industry
Newsboys Claimed Their Street Corners in Downtown
The Bamberger Electric Railway
The First Cars in Two Small Towns
A Bicyclist Challenges the Great Salt Lake Desert
Daredevils of the Sky-Early Aeronauts in Utah
Ogden Defeats Salt Lake City in a War of the Wheels
Utah's Immigrants at the Turn of the Century
Boys' Potato Growing Clubs
Joe Hill and the I.W.W.
Socialist Women and Joe Hill
A Bit of Polynesia Remains
Justice Zane and Antipolygamy
The Salt Lake Valley Smelter War

Logan Flour Mills, One of the oldest mills in Utah to run by hydroelectric power.

Glen Leonard
History of Davis County

The transition in flour milling was not unlike that of other mechanized aspects of the new agriculture. New forms of power and mechanical improvements of machinery impacted the millers as well as the farmers of Davis County. To keep abreast of improvements meant replacing water power in the mills with steam or electricity and substituting metal rollers for milling stones. Owners of the county's pioneer mills had few economic incentives to upgrade their old equipment. Thus, they were caught short when entrepreneurs built new commercial flour mills to produce flour for export. In 1886, eighty-seven Utah mills were listed by Cawker's Biennial Flour Mill Directory. Most of these first-generation mills, including the half-dozen in Davis County, would soon be gone.

Kaysville miller John Weinel was one of the nineteenth-century mill operators who tried to improve his equipment as new machinery became available. He replaced his wooden waterwheel with a steel one shipped from the east in 1869. He then discarded his native grinding stones for two superior stones brought west by the railroad from St. Louis. Weinel did not make the change from water power to steam or electricity, nor did he install metal rollers to increase productivity; after Weinel's death in 1889, those who ran the mill could not compete with new, modern plants. They limited their output to chopping animal feed. The mill closed after strong winds in 1906 caved in the west wall and made the building unsafe.

The demise of other pioneer mills in the county followed a similar pattern. Unable to compete due to their antiquated equipment, all of the old mills closed in the decades surrounding the turn of the century when new technology made traditional methods inefficient. Around 1890 William D. Major found other uses for the Kimball Mill building in Bountiful. He opened a confectionery inside the mill and maintained the millpond for swimming and ice skating. In Centerville, James Miller simply abandoned the old Anson Call mill. A few years later, Henry Steed and Charles Bourne closed their North Cottonwood gristmill in Farmington. Fred Coombs and Jonathan D. Wood kept the nearby Rock Flouring Mill going into the early 1900s. For a time, the sturdy rock walls housed an electric power generating plant and then served as an ice house before becoming a private residence then a restaurant, then, once again, a home.

Replacing the old area mills were two up-to-date facilities designed for commercial production using steam rollers. Investors strategically built these new mills adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in northern Davis County. The builders were a younger generation, most of them successful commercial farmers or livestock growers. Ephraim P. Ellison, H. Gibsons, and others organized the first of these new-generation plants in 1890. Their business was known as the Layton Roller Mills. It was located just south of the Farmer's Union on Layton's Main Street. By 1903 the mill was the most productive in the state; in a twenty-four-hour day, it could turn out 440 sacks of flour.

Sources: Inez Barker, comp., John Weinel, Miller: Early Pioneer Builder and Operator of the First Flour Mill in Kaysville, Utah (Kaysville: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1983), 38. Ibid., 27, 41-45. Foy, City Bountiful, 87; Utah Gazetteer, 1888, 36, 44; Utah Gazetteer, 1892-1893, 51, 69; Utah State Gazetteer, 1900, 98; Hess, My Farmington, 341. Oma E. Wilcox and E. Harris Adams, "Layton Businesses," in Carlsruh and Carlsruh, Layton, Utah, 291-92.


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