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Source: North Manchester Journal, May 25, 1905
GRINDING OUT GOLD DUST
Sixty-six Years of Continuous Milling Business
A mill that grinds out gold dust at the rate of
three barrels an hour would make a mining town swell up
like a balloon and put on more airs than a hired girl
who has married her rich employer. Yet there is such a
mill in North Manchester, and every day it is busy
grinding out this dust. It is the "Gold Dust" flour,
that ranks away up with the very best, and that affords
more enjoyment to the hungry man than would the real
This mill is probably the oldest business
enterprise in this section of the country. It has been in
continuous operation since in 1839, when Joseph Harter
looked upon the water of Eel river and conceived the idea
that it would be well to harness it to a mill to grind
the grists of the few settlers who had cast their lots in
this locality. The first dam was built a little below
the present one, and piling from this old dam still mark
the spot. About 1843 a new and larger mill was built
there, this building being four stories in height and
40x45 feet in size, Asa Jacobs being the millwright. In
addition to the grist grinding this mill was also a
woolen and carding mill. As this it ran until shortly
before the war, when the carding and woolen features
were discarded, much of the woolen machinery being sold
to Peru parties. Joseph Harter died in 1861 and after
his death the mill was sold several times, first passing
to Henry King, who in turn sold it to Thompson &
Marshal. They sold it to Jacob Tilman who with his sons
managed the mill for some time. Upon the death of Mr.
Tilman the mill was again sold, and finally passed into
the hands of Daniel Strauss and Henry Arnold
thirty-three years ago. Mr. Arnold then sold out, and
the mill passed into the ownership of Mr. Strauss,
father of J.W. Strauss, a member of the present milling
In the meantime the old dam had been replaced by a brush
dam, and this gave place to the present one. In 1876 the
present mill was erected, and the old one was torn down.
In 1885 the old mill stones were discarded, and the
roller process put into use. It was while this change
was being made that J.W. Strauss made his debut as a
miller, he having charge of the grinding by the old
process while the new was being installed.
The mills today is owned by the North Manchester Milling
company, and is making a superior brand of flour that is
meeting with ready sale on the market. This flour was
given the "Gold Dust" name when the roller process was
first installed, and the name has been a guarantee of
good quality every since. Last year there was
comparatively little good wheat raised in this country,
and the wheat that is now being turned into flour has
been shipped here. The indications now point to a good
crop of home wheat this season and if these indications
are fulfilled home wheat will again be used. Smith
Miller, a miller by trade and a Miller by name, is in
charge of the mechanical part of the mill and his work
in that capacity is giving good satisfaction to the
patrons of the mill.
Source: NMHS Newsletter, May 2002
Joseph Harter built the water
powered flouring mill southwest of town in 1839
shortly after he and his family, including a
married son, Eli, came to town . They built a
dam made of stone, brush and earth across the
Eel River and started in the milling business.
They rebuilt it in better working order in l843
so it was capable of grinding good grade of
flour and business went well In 1852 Joseph sold
out to his sons, Jacob and Joseph B. They sold
to Peter King in 1852. The Daniel Strauss family
came into the business in 1879, along with Henry
Arnold. Strauss sold his interest in 1886 to his
sons, J. W. and Erwin. Erwin sold his interest
to J. W. in 1893.
During part of this time the
firm operated an uptown feed store but about
1906 J. W. Strauss disposed of his interest in
the mill and opened a new feed store and feed
mill uptown. This competition eventually caused
the milling firm to close its uptown store.
Others acquired an interest. Isaac Shock secured
a part interest about 1872 and sold his interest
to Samuel Hamilton in 1884, who sold, in turn,
to Jesse Tyler in 1886. Others who secured
interest during the next few years were David
Hamilton, A. D. and I. E. Gingerick and John
Isenbarger. Noah Garber came in about 1906 and
Paul Isenbarger became active in management.
In 1920 the business was
incorporated, with capital at $57,000.
Stockholders were Bland and Paul Isenbarger, A.
B. Palmer, W. S. Humke, Daniel Sheller, Henry
Reiff, William Jennings, George L. Allen, G. L.
Shoemaker, J. K. Lautzenhizer & Co. F. P.
Kircher, Frank, Cora and Ed Reelhorn, W. C.
West, J. H. Miller, H. E. Lautzenhizer, A. L.
Bollinger. E. W. Gresso and Hugh L. Kennedy.
Ditto Flour was for a time the leading product
under corporation management.
Cade King bought the mill
June 2, 1922. November l3, 1923 the Mill burned.
Reiff, Dohner and Paul Isenbarger asked a
receiver to apply $17,000 insurance to the debt
of King and the action was settled out of court.
King rebuilt, taking into the company Hugh
Miller and Samuel F. Bowser. But they were
unable to meet their obligations and it passed
into the control of the State Bank of Warsaw in
1927 and to Indiana Power Company in 1929. This
company sold the machinery
and razed the building. The
Power company bought it to prevent the site from
being used to generate electricity.
Thus ended the life of a
ninety year old industry . After holding the
land for several years, the Power company sold
the land and dam to the Town of North Manchester
with the condition it could never be used as a
site to general electricity , Part of the site
was later leased by the Heinold Hog Market.
Manchester Journal, January 14, 1897, Ad:
Strauss & Gingerick will pay a premium over
market price for good old or good new wheat. Call at their
Source: North Manchester Journal,
December 29, 1910
Jacob Strauss, formerly
owner of the flouring mill at Laketon, but for several years a
resident of North Dakota, has been visiting relatives and old
time friends in Wabash county for a week or more.