Posted By:Cathy Porter-Maynard
Email:
Subject:Edgar Wesley Sargent (1899 newspaper article: Flour Mill - Plymouth Co., Iowa).
Post Date:April 14, 2007 at 08:26:48
Message URL:http://genforum.genealogy.com/ia/plymouth/messages/59.html
Forum:Plymouth County, IA Genealogy Forum
Forum URL:http://genforum.genealogy.com/ia/plymouth/

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Submitted by: Cathy Porter-Maynard

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Newspaper: “Akron Register Tribune,” [Plymouth County, Iowa]
Volume 8, Number 27
Publication Date: Thursday, March 2, 1899




“THE WHEELS GO ROUND

The New Mill Started – Capacity 125 Barrels Flour and 40 Tons Feed in 24 Hours


FIRST WHEAT GROUND SATURDAY
Finest Mill in Northwest Iowa -- Machinery the Best to Be Had – Total Cost $10,000.00


Early in the morning of Sept. 28, 1898, the people of Akron [Iowa] were startled by the shrill notes of the fire whistle, and in a few minutes were rushing along the street, seeking to discover the location of the fire. It proved to be at the mill. When discovered the fierce flames were entirely uncontrollable and soon the mill, except a portion of the flour house, was a mass of ruins.

*The old mill was built in 1871 by E.W. Sargent [Edgar Wesley Sargent], and was one of the first mills in Northwest Iowa, and supplied a large territory during its existence. It was owned by E.A. Fields, Wm Slaughter and J.W. Millner at the time it burned. It had a capacity of 60 barrels of flour and 20 tons of feed per 24 hours.

The very day the old mill became but a memory, the plucky owners of the new mill began preparations for the erection of the mill, which is not justly claimed to be the finest mill in Northwest Iowa. It seems to have risen like Phoenix of the old from the ashes of the old mill. The new one is three stories high with a cupola and basement and the main part is 36x54 feet with a one-story flour and feed room 36x36 feet on the north and one-story office 10x14 feet on the south, making the entire length 100 feet, and has a capacity of 125 barrels flour and 40 tons feed per 24 hours. Boggess Bros. of Rock Valley, did the carpenter work with entire satisfaction. The mill has a storage capacity of about 7,500 bushels as follows: Two large wheat bins for 4,000 bushels; two smaller bins for cleaned wheat; one bin for corn 2,500 bu.; one bin for oats 1,000 bu. These bins are so arranged that the grain may be drawn to the rolls without any handling. Let us state that the proprietors will make a specialty of changing flour for wheat and generous treatment may be depended upon.
The railroad company had promised to move the side track up close to the mill to afford better shipping facilities.

George W. Griffin, of Minneapolis, was the head millwright in charge of putting in and arranging the machinery.

The cost of the mill and machinery alone is about $10,000. The proprietors are E.A. Fields, Wm. Slaughter and A.H. Fields. Mrs. Slaughter has charge of the mill, while Geo. Powell is head miller, and D.E. Wescott, assistant miller.

To sum it all up Akron can justly boast the best mill in this part of the country, and it is needless to say that the proprietors have a large and abundant supply of vim and push peculiar to most western people. It is an interesting coincidence that the first sack of flour made by the new mill, was sold to Hanse Barr, who has the distinction of being the purchaser of the first sack turned out by the old mill in 1871.

Jas. Pye of Minneapolis, was here this week starting the machinery and stated to a ‘REGISTER’ reporter that we could not praise the mill too highly. Note the following letter from him:

[quote]:


“Messrs. Akron Milling Co.,
Akron, Iowa

Gentlemen:

In regard to the new mill we have recently completed for you, we assure you that it contains all the latest improved and up-to-date machinery; it is put in according to the best known methods using our full line of standard machines. It is the only mill in Iowa now using all the latest improvements, and in our estimation, is the best and most complete mill in the Northwest.

Trusting you will always find it a profitable investment, we are,

Yours very truly,

NORDYKE & MARMON CO.

Jas Pye, Mgr.”

[end quote].


The fine new mill stands on the high east bank of the Big Sioux River from which the power is derived to run it. This power is at first generated by two turbine water wheels, one of which drives the flour mill proper and the other the feed, corn, buckwheat and rye machinery and the elevator. These water wheels, although they scarcely ever sleep, are always in the bed of the river, and to the uninitiated it seems wonderful that such inert soulless looking masses of common iron, should be excited [??] never tiring energy, by the cold and often muddy water of the Sioux, splashing and pushing against it, as it surges through the penstock at the end of the dam, in its mad rush to join the waters of the Missouri.

The turbines having thus been set in motion, the next problem is to transmit the power they develop, to the mill, which stands some 40 feed higher, and 70 feet away. In olden times such a feat required no small amount of engineering, but the inventive genius of Americans have made it comparatively easy. The transmission is performed by a Manila hemp rope 1 ¼ inches in diameter and about 1300 feet long. It is all one single rope, but runs silently and wriggling like a snake four or five times to the mill and back to the wheels at a speed of nearly 4000 feet per minute -- just think of it! … a snake traveling ¾ of a mile a minute -- but it does the work without a murmur, without a sound, without even a hitch in the rope.

Stepping inside of the spacious structure, you hear the low rumbling murmur of the mill, not unlike the music of the old mills of childhood's happy days, but instead of seeing the dusty miller, standing with a peck measure in his hand, taking in his lawful (?) toll from the farmers grain in the hopper, you see a bright looking chap standing by a new-fangled roller machine, with endless leather belts, flashing past and darting round numerous pulleys, with so many different devices, adjustments, feeders and rollers, that there is no wonder that the old dusty miller of yore had to take a back seat for a man with more brains and more energy.

On the first floor in this mill stands five double sets of justly celebrated Nordyke & Marmon Rolls their being four rolls in each set, 9 inches in diameter and 18 inches long, each rolls weighing over 30 pounds; these roll run at various velocities, the fast roll of each pair making 400 revolutions per minute while the rolls engaging these fa[?] rolls run at slower speeds according to the texture or nature of the different parts of the wheat they are grinding. Recent experiments have determined just what these relative speeds should be, so that the new mills are now receiving the benefit of these experiments over the older ones. On this floor too is located a double set of rolls for grinding rye, buckwheat and corn meal and a large 6 roll machine for grinding feed. This machine [??] tons, and is capable of grinding two tons of oats and corn per hour.

On the second floor there art three new style Nordyke & Marmon Purifiers for purifying the middlings from which the best patent flour is made, also some of the wheat cleaning machines, and the bins for all the different grades and kinds of flour, shorts, bran etc.

But when you reach the top floor then you see the newest and most improved machines out; these are for what is known to millers as scalping, grading and flouring; still there was not an Indian or a railroad man in sight, but they say these new machines are wonders and enable the mills to produce better flour, and more out of a bushel of wheat than the old way; they are called swing sifters. They save much power and require little attention.

The Akron Milling Co. have the honor of having the first mill in Iowa using a full line of these new machines. On this floor too are some Nordyke & Marmon dust collectors, an ingenious device for catching the dust from the different machines in the mill. As a result the term “dusty” miller will soon be obsolete, as there is scarcely more dust in a mill than in a parlor. The spouting and elevator legs are all dust proof, and are varnished up as nicely as a piece of furniture. For convenience in handling the products of the mill there is a railroad on one side and a wagon road with dump scales on the other.

Taken altogether there is nothing lacking to produce the best of flour in an economical way and the Akron Milling Co. are to be congratulated on having the most up-to-date and complete milling plant in the State of Iowa. …”


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* E.W. Sargent, born about 1839, Vermont.



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Related information:
IOWA CENSUS DATA:


1880 United States Federal Census

Name: Edgar W. Sargent
Home in 1880: Portlandville, Plymouth, Iowa
Age: 41
Estimated birth year: abt 1839
Birthplace: Vermont
Relation to head-of-household: Self (Head)
Spouse's name: Abbie E.
Father's birthplace: VT
Mother's birthplace: VT
Occupation: Miller
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Gender: Male

Name: Abbie E. Sargent
Home in 1880: Portlandville, Plymouth, Iowa
Age: 31
Estimated birth year: abt 1849
Birthplace: Pennsylvania
Relation to head-of-household: Wife
Spouse's name: Edgar W.
Father's birthplace: PA
Mother's birthplace: PA
Occupation: Keeping House
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Gender: Female

Name: Addison Sargent
Home in 1880: Portlandville, Plymouth, Iowa
Age: 5
Estimated birth year: abt 1875
Birthplace: Iowa
Relation to head-of-household: Son
Father's name: Edgar W.
Father's birthplace: VT
Mother's name: Abbie E.
Mother's birthplace: PA
Marital Status: Single
Race: White
Gender: Male

Name: Frederic Sargent
Home in 1880: Portlandville, Plymouth, Iowa
Age: 4
Estimated birth year: abt 1876
Birthplace: Iowa
Relation to head-of-household: Son
Father's name: Edgar W.
Father's birthplace: VT
Mother's name: Abbie E.
Mother's birthplace: PA
Marital Status: Single
Race: White
Gender: Male


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1885 United States Federal Census
IOWA

SARGENT HOUSEHOLDS:


Name: Edgar W. Sargent
Birth: abt 1839 - VT
Residence: 1885 - Plymouth County, IA


Name: Royal E. Sargent
Birth: abt 1838 - VT
Residence: 1885 - Plymouth, County, IA


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