|Grinder near the granary|
Isaac Werner went to nearby mills to have his corn ground. He generally went to the Webber Mill a few miles north, and after one visit he complained about how some neighbors failed to clean their corn properly before bringing it to be ground. The result was that the dirt left on the grinding stone made his corn too gritty to feed to his chickens. The foundation of that old mill can still be found by someone who knows where to look. Isaac also took corn to be ground in Saratoga, where the mill was located on the Ninnescah River. (See "Cemetery on the Hill," 2-7-13 in the blog archives.)
|Site where old grinder was used|
I was told that a concrete pad with a metal rod for the pivot located just south of the old family granary was where the grinder was set up for grinding grain periodically. There was a crib in the southeast corner of the barn where I took a coffee can to dip out a measure of ground milo for the chickens every day, but I don't recall having seen my father grind the milo. In the photograph above, taken in the early 1920s, a cone-shaped object can be seen. It is located about where the concrete pad is located. I was also told the metal rod was used to secure an apparatus used while butchering hogs in the early days, although I never saw my father butcher anything when I was growing up.
However, this blog is about mills, not butchering. The mill I know about is the flour mill in Hudson, Ks. It is a very old business, although not quite old enough for Isaac's time, as the business began in 1904 when Otto Sondregger, a German miller, built a small flour mill. In 1913 the mill was expanded to a 300-barrel capacity, and further expansions have continued to this day.
|Bags of Hudson Cream Flour|
Recently I was surprised to see a headline in the newspaper reading "Stafford County Flour Mill going green." It seems that the Hudson Cream flour mill has put up a wind-powered turbine. According to the current mill president, Reuel Foote, the cost of electricity was one of their biggest expenses, so they began investigating a wind turbine in 2013. On November 5, 2014 the rotor hub was lifted into place and the three large blades were attached.
Nearly 200 feet off the ground, the familiar Hudson Cream logo can be seen, installed before the hub was lifted into the air. St. John sign painter Brett Younie was glad his Signtec business was given the job of mounting the huge logos but said he had no desire to do the job that high off the ground!
|Scarecrow from Oz with flour sack head|
Several years ago we were in Montreal, Canada, and as we walked into an upscale bakery we spotted a huge display just inside the entrance, piled high with sacks of Hudson Cream Flour, advertising that they used the "best" flour in their baking. We couldn't believe that the flour from a mill only a few miles from our farm was so highly regarded that it would be used to attract customers to that bakery. The bakery is correct about its superior quality, however. It is great flour and I don't buy anything else.
When I made Wizard of Oz dolls of the four main characters, I carefully read L. Frank Baum's description of the Scarecrow. It said his head was made of an old flour sack. Naturally, I had to use a Hudson Flour sack for my scarecrow. Today, however, the sacks are made of paper, which would not do. When the mill had a small gift shop in the office, I had purchased fabric with the logo imprinted on it, but nothing I had was small enough for my doll's head. So, I drew the logo on some unbleached muslin. I could not imagine a proper Kansas scarecrow with his head made of anything other than a Hudson Cream flour sack!
(To see all of my Wizard of Oz dolls you may visit "Isaac and the Wizard of Oz," 12-15-2011 in the blog archives. Look closely in the first photograph to see not only the Dorothy doll I am holding but also the Lion, Tin Man, and Scarecrow on the floor beside my chair. The Tin Man also appears in the photograph near the end of that blog.)