The Old Stone Quarry Mill Was Destroyed by Fire One-Year Ago.|
Demand For Flour And Cornmeal High.
-They make the kind of flour "Mother" Used in baking - Corn is Scoured before its ground for meal-
One night in late October 1911, a great conflagration destroyed the Stone Quarry mills, situated on Blue River two and one-half miles west of Spiceland.
Many people thought, and some said: "There'll never be another mill erected on this historic spot." The loss was total, no insurance being carried on the buildings, machinery, or grain and flour, and the wiping out of property being worth $15,000 in a night, was enough to make even a young man pause and consider seriously the question of making another investment. The old mill and the locality had become historic and were almost as well known as any town in the county, everyone knows of the Stone Quarry mills. Two generations of farmers had gone there with their grist and the youngsters for miles in every direction had picnicked on the green sward, and have fished in its placid waters from away back "befo' the wah!"
Henry Commack built the original mill that was destroyed by fire in 1865, and one or two men who worked on that building are still living. From that time to the night of the fire it has not passed through very many hands-- Jenkins Kennard, Isaac Trout, William and Lee Hodson. For probably twenty years William Hodson had been sole proprietor, and in that time he had won a reputation among his customers and patrons for miles around that was as "white" as the flour he made.
Although past his three-score-and-ten years, Mr. Hodson could not bear inactivity. No sooner had the ashes cooled than he had begun to plan a new structure, first figuring on a little mill to grind meal and feed. But the little mill grew in his mind to a big one before the foundation was even began, and the structure, which was complete in five months after the fire, was the same length, but not quite as wide as the one burned. Mr. Hodson was the designer and architect. Mr. Hodson recalled the old times, remarking that of the many buildings he has had constructed in his long life, this is the only one that he ever had the satisfaction of "bossing" throughout. His two millers, Bert Reece and George Cluggish, did the carpenter work, and proved themselves master builders. It is a wonder in one particular way, at least; when running there is not a perceptible vibration nor any quiver felt in the floor. It is a frame building, standing on a concrete foundation. The entire frame is of native hardwood, and each upright post in the frame has four sets of braces. The entire building has a corrugated iron roof and siding, and a canopy roof of the same material protects the team track at the loading door.
The mill makes the kind of flour that are mothers used to like best. It is the burr process, instead of roller, and farmers who like this flower the best have driven as many as eighteen miles to the Stone Quarry mills to get their favorite brand.
The reputation of Stone Quarry corn meal has spread to three counties, and some of the town's dealers can sell no other brand. And no wonder! This mill is equipped with a machine that scours the corn before it is ground into meal. The black ends of the kernels, and all other defects, are removed, as well as the outer cuticle of the grain, leaving it clean and pure. It is a sight to see what is rubbed off the apparently clean corn by this process.
Mr. Hodson certainly deserves, and is receiving, a large share of patronage in his new mill, and he is going ahead just as serenely and happily as the fire had never burned so big a hole in his worldly possessions only a year ago.
See also: Spiceland's Stone Quarry Mill.