In 1871 Ben Lamb built the Echo Flour Mill one mile east of Echo, Utah for William Turpin at the cost of $8000. Used by local farmers, the mill produced flour, bran, shorts, and germade. Owners of the mill used wheat purchased from the Wellsville, Utah Co-op to produce flour for merchants in Echo, Coalville, Grass Creek Mines, and Devil's Slide. Due to its location near the Union Pacific Railroad, farmers and merchants as far away as Fort Bridger, Millburne, and Burnt Fork, Wyoming traveled to use the mill.
For the first twenty years of the mill's existence two 500 pound stone burrs imported from France were used to ground the wheat. In 1893 steel rollers and silk reels replaced the stone burrs. Remodeled again in 1906, sifters replaced the silk reels. Wooden spouts were added to the sifters in another remodeling during 1920, and remained in use until the mill closed in 1942.
A dam across Echo Creek provided the power source for the mill by means of a steel 12-inch water wheel located below the mill's ground level. Originally an overshot water wheel generated the water, but the lower wheel provided more power. The mill's lower level housed grain bins and roller machinery; the second level contained the sifters, choppers, and rollers; and the third floor held the elevator heads and bran bins. With this machinery the mill could produce up to nineteen barrels of flour a day. Each 60 pounds of wheat produced approximately 30-32 pounds of flour, 14 pounds of bran and shorts, and 5 pounds of germade.
Several owners managed the mill. William Turpin directed operations until 1897, Heber Bennion supervised it until 1899. Marlow and John Jones purchased the mill in 1899 and ran it until 1914. Marlow Jones then operated the mill until it closed after buying it from his brother John. Marlow donated the building to the Man & His Bread Museum located in Logan, Utah in 1964 when a proposed highway construction threatened the mill. While the original intent of the donation was to salvage all machinery, elevators, windows, and doors the Man & His Bread Museum (now the American West Heritage Center) received only the machines that housed the roller mills.
Source: Wright, Margaret J. "Echos from the Past: The Story of the Echo Flour Mill." Utah Historical Quarterly 34 (1966): 161-168.
The six-box collection contains the papers of the Echo Roller Mill Company. The materials in this collection provide a detailed glimpse into the operation of a grist mill in rural Echo, Utah around the turn of the twentieth-century.
Boxes 1--5 contain twenty-fire ledgers concerning the mill's operation from 1897--1846. Boxes 1 and 2 contain a comprehensive look at the mill's overall finances, and Boxes 3--5 contain a record of the mill's gristing. The grist (grinding) records are recorded longhand in pencil, as are other records kept by the mill's owners. Some ledgers in this collection sustained rodent damage prior to donation, while other items that have been spotted with mud. Preservation efforts have been made to clean, preserve, and prevent any further damage to the materials. Box 6 contains mill papers in the form of correspondence, legal documents, account information, mill workings, and other papers. Folders 13 and 14 of Box 6 contain various papers and a ledger concerning the Echo Water System Company. The Echo Water System Company was part-owned and managed by the owners of the Echo Roller Mill, in large part because the mill was powered by water.
Researcher Note: Researchers interested in viewing photos of the Echo Roller Mill should see USU Special Collections & Archives PO131: Daryl Chase.
Restrictions on Access : Restrictions
Open to public research.Restrictions on Use : Copyright
It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Utah State University Libraries, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.
Permission to publish material from the Echo Roller Mill papers must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.Preferred Citation :
Echo Roller Mill papers, 1885-1946. (COLL MSS 127). Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives Department.
Acquisition Information :
The Echo Roller Mill papers were donated to USU Special Collections & Archives in two batches by the Jones family. The first batch was donated in 1964 by A. Marlow Jones, the last owner of the Echo Flour Mill. The second batch was donated in 1976 by Margaret Wright, the daughter of A. Marlow Jones.
Detailed Description of the Collection