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May 25, 2020

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A flour mill on West Montford?

Yes, built in 1874; destroyed by fire in 1915

This article is one of several pieces on the village’s history and written by members of The Ada Historical Society.

By Paul Logsdon
Images below are from the ONU Archives or courtesy of the online newspapers from the Ada Public Library.

Ada City Mills, 1874 - 1915
The residents of West Montford Ave. might be surprised to know that one of Ada’s early major businesses was located on their street. 

The Ada City Mills (flour), built in 1874 by Joseph Ream & Son, was located on the corner of West Montford and Heistand St.

An article from the 1890’s described the structure as being 140 x 160 feet and having three floors plus a basement. The equipment was powered from an adjoining brick engine house which contained a 60 horsepower steam engine. The mill’s capacity was given at 150 barrels daily.

In Conclusion….
While the mill was doubtless an important part of Ada’s commercial life, later newspaper advertisements for imported “out-of-town” flour were run near those for the Ada Mills and hinted at growing competition.

Economics, however, was not given a chance to decide the mill’s fate. The University Herald of May 24, 1915, reported its destruction by fire.

Made of dry wood and coated with flour dust, the structure was speedily reduced to ashes. A residence now occupies its site.