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The first pioneer of permanence and of stability to settle in Benton township was Joseph Northgraves, who in 1854 located a piece of land on section 29. After erecting thereon a house 16x20 feet, made from boards cut with a whip-saw out of native timber, he returned to Hamilton county, Ohio, where his family was awaiting him. In the fall of 1855 Mr. Northgraves removed his family and household effects to their new home, where for many years he engaged in farming and milling--the latter being the occupation to which he devoted most of his life. In 1870 he erected a flour mill on Troublesome creek, at a cost of about $3,000, which was well known throughout that section of the township as Northgraves' mill. In 1877 he disposed of this property to Henry Howell, who also combined milling with farming, and removed to Eureka, Adams county, this State, where he continued the industry in which he was so proficient.
THE FIRST FLOUR MILL.
The old Northgraves Mill was the first of its kind to be erected in Benton township. It had two run of stone, a good water power on Troublesome creek, and a capacity of about 1,200 bushels of grain in twelve hours. The machinery consisted of the Garden City Purifier, Eureka Smutter and Scourer, and a corn-sheller operated by water. The mill did good work, both under the old and the new management, and was patronized by the farmers for miles around.
From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pp. 143-144.
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