Falls to Ground
Aged Structure Collapses Yesterday With Deafening Roar
Limestone Building was Nearly Hundred Years Old
Hard Rain Strikes Mt. Carroll; Lights Out as Tree Breaks Transmission Lines
Contributed by Alice Horner from the July 9, 1938 Freeport Journal Standard
Falling with a deafening roar at 4:15 p.m. Friday, a section of the old mill building, this city’s oldest landmark, caved to the ground, and deterioration by weather and time which has threatened the existence of the building for years got in its first telling blow.
Indications are that the building, constructed of limestone and mortar, will have to be razed. The building is owned by Glenn Johnson. The section which fell is about 20 feet wide and runs from the top of the building to the ground. It was that part of the building which rested over the arch through which ran the mill race bringing water to supply the power to operate the mill. Other parts of the building show large cracks and with the entire structure weakened by the gaping hole in the south side, other parts of the building may also fall. It is believed that the foundation of the arch forming the mill race became undermined by the continual rains this summer, leading to the collapse.
The building is about 40 by 60 feet in size and 40 feet high. Much of the original equipment used in the milling business remains within the structure. Only this past winter, members of the community club considered a project to protect the mill as a mark of a once thriving industry.
Thousands of sacks of flour were turned out at the building and at one time flour was furnished for every trading post within a radius of 50 miles of Mount Carroll. It has been years since the mill was operated.
According to an old Carroll County history printed in 1878 the foundation of the mill was laid in April 1842, and the mill was in operation on November 15 of that year. The mill was constructed by N. Halderman, who came here in the spring of 1841 from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He was the first mayor of Mount Carroll.
The history gives the following data on the mill: “N. Halderman came to Carroll County in 1841 and entered into an arrangement with David Emmert, of Cherry Grove, to build a mill somewhere in the county. Their attention was directed to the Mount Carroll mill site, which was examined and found suitable after which a mill company was formed, the site purchased and operations commenced. “The company was composed of David Emmert, N. Halderman, John Rinewalt and Thomas Robinson of the firm of Irvine and Robinson of Pittsburgh, PA.”
The construction of the mill definitely marks the start of the settlement which became Mount Carroll. Construction of houses followed and in 1843 residents of the county voted to move the county seat from Savanna to Mount Carroll.