Mills & Mill Stones



Mill near Metamora - circa 1915

Grinding stone at Firehouse

Grinding stones at Metamora Courthouse


Remembering the Old Mills


Location in Section 29 Partridge Township

Date of moving mill was about 1875 : Distillery, first one at Big Spring about 1866. 2nd distillery near mill blew up about 1870; two fellows killed were John Schertz and Sam Statler. Mill was about 35 x 40 and two stories high. Engine for mill was shipped here from New York. Run by Lafe Mason for a year in Roanoke.

Big sycamore stump 7 or 8 feet through stood N.E. of Partridge school where poker was played. Poker players were Green DeFord, Ike DeFord, George Hayner and others. Sam Mullins jockey, Lunkhead was best horse. Ike Snyders best race horse was Old Lunkhead.

 Speaking of mills, well I remember 70 years ago when I was a boy 13 yrs old, carrying the U.S. mail from Spring Bay to Peoria twice a week over what is now Route 116. There was at that time between East Peoria and the Isaac Snyder mill on Partridge Creek eight flour or grist mills as they were called. In active operation, six of these were driven by water power, a steam mill on the N.E. corner of the four corners of East Peoria, owned and operated by Mr. Schertz. A water mill as they was called owned and operated by a Mr. Adams and later owned by Joseph Camp, brothers of the late Chris Camp in Metamora. Located were the fish pond is on Route 116 (Dixon Fishery). Another owned and operated by an old German by the name of Fillager, the old frame house still stands just below Route 116 opposite the artesian well. It also was driven by water power. Then there was another water power mill one mile west of the junction of route 116 and the Spring Bay road on Ten Mile creek owned and operated by Thomas Andrews.

 Then came the Roland Crocker mill just a mile north of the Andrews Mill just over the line in Woodford County. It was one of the first, if not the first mill built in Woodford County. It was also a water powered mill and one of the last to cease operations. Then the Hoshor mill 2 miles north of the Crockers mill owned and operated by William and Perry Hoshor, a water powered mill and if memory serves me right the last to quit grinding custom work.

 Then comes the Spring Bay steam mill owned and operated first by George Hefflebauer and the later by H. Freaduck who done a good business in the hayday of Spring Bay, but it has long quit operations.

 Then comes the Isaac Snyder mill on Partridge Creek on half mile west of the Partridge school house. It operated until about the year 1875 when it was torn down and removed to Roanoke Il and operated as a steam flour and feed mill, but now long closed a victim of big business. The Snyder mill was not the first mill on Partridge Creek. As a boy I remember the frame of an old saw and grist mill just across the creek from the Partridge school house on the property of the late Saul Winkler. It was erected and owned by Mr. Johnson, father of the late Lewis J. Johnson.

 So much for the history of the old water mills and there wonderful over-shot wheels. Happy was the miller the lived on the mill as the wheel went around with a free good will. As the wheel went around with its gentle roll, the miller managed always to get his Toll.

 Written by Garrett H. Mason, Jan 27, 1937.

Mill Stones

In the early 1980ís Art Schierer donated to the Village of Metamora a grinding stone used to grind grain at the mill that was located on or near the present site of the Metamora Fire Station. It can be seen today on the west side of the Fire Station. Two other mill stones are located at the Metamora Courthouse.


History and photo submitted by Shirley A. Adams.  

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Send any old photos and related stories concerning the Metamora Village Park to Metamora Association for Historic Preservation, PO Box 264, Metamora, IL 61548.

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