LAND MARK TORN DOWN
Hawleyville Mill Gives Way to Grow More Corn for
ORIGINALLY A SAW MILL
Beecher McAlpin of this city its historian
The old water power flouring mill for so many years
in the possession of the late A.M. Collier of Hawleyville, and one of the
old land marks of Page County, is being torn down and the lumber carted
away by E.G. Strong, a son-in-law of Mr Collier into whose hands the
possession has fallen.
The old mill has a history, as has everything. If its
walls could talk they might tell volumes concerning the happenings of the
pioneer days of the little village of Hawleyville, at whose gates it is
located; for at Hawleyville was the first settlement in this county made.
Beecher McAlpin of this city, who was among the earliest settlers of the
neighborhood, has kindly given us a few of his early recollections in which
the old mill figures. Thinking they might be of interest to our readers we
are copying them as follows:
“On the twenty-eighth day of May, 1856, I first had
the pleasure of seeing the Nodaway river at this place. I was then a good,
little boy, sixteen years old, with no bad habits. In some respects I was a
type of George Washington. He couldn’t tell a lie, while I could but would
not. I will there fore try to tell you about the old mill at this place.
It was the first mill erected in this part of Page
County. It was a saw mill built by Elisha Thomas in 1849 on the north bank
of the east Nodaway River which at this point gives a head of nine feet. In
1851 Henry McAlpin and A.M. Collier purchased the site and added rude
grinding machinery including a run of burs and a home made bolt which was
run by hand. This usually run on low as gasoline was scarce and high in
We had plenty of gas but it was the kind that would
In 1854, the mill was sold to Dr A.H. and Thos H.
East. A few years later, Truman Curtis and Thos East bought the property
and in 1859 erected a new, up-to-date flouring mill. As soon as the new
mill was completed, the old timer was put out of commission. Say, if that old
mill could have talked, (as Uncle Jeff Bracken says) and told the truth,
its story would sure be one worth reading.
The old mill was patronied [sic] over a radius from
five to forty miles. It was Hopman’s choice, go to Hawleyville mill, grate
your corn in its season, eat hominy or go hungry.
Now I am told that Ed Hakes has purchased the old
land mark, torn it down and also removed the damn, where I have fished many
times along with so many associates who have passed over to the great
In 1856 there was not a bridge on either East or West
Nodaway River and not a foot of railroad in Iowa. Today we are told there
is not a foot of land within her borders where a man cannot stand but he
will be within ten miles of a railroad in some direction.”
Mr Hakes after buying the old mill sold his purchase
to E.G. Strong of this city.
Page County Democrat, Clarinda, Iowa, Oct 26,