Quaker Mill Wienie Roast, Sept. 1914. The mill was the site of many picnics and parties. The Senior Class of 1911 attended an evening hayride and a moonlight “luncheon” at the mill. – Photo contributed by Anne Gilliam.

Old News

From the 3rd floor
of the Webb City Public Library

Now as then, Quaker Mill was a place to chill out

A real photo postcard showing the Old Quaker Mill near Purcell. The mill was not rebuilt after the 1921 fire.

The Quaker Mill, located 7 miles northeast of Webb City, was destroyed by fire in May 1921.

The fire was believed to have been caused by an overheated bearing in the separator on the third floor. The separator had been left running after mill workers had left for the evening. The Webb City Fire Department was called to the scene but was delayed by engine trouble.

According the an article in the Joplin Globe, the original Quaker Mill was constructed in 1838. “The 1883 History of Jasper County” reported that Wilber Fisk Haughawout, who arrived in 1867, was interested in purchasing the Roller Mills located on the site of the old Quaker Mills. At this time, the mill was producing 150 barrels of flour per day.

The cost of the mill was $50,000, and the running expenses were $1,000 per month.

The mill shown in the accompanying photograph was built in 1882 by John M. Slaight. It was a four-story frame structure, painted white, with a flag pole on top, which flew the American flag. The construction of the mill cost $30,000 and was entirely new, with nothing from the old mill being used in its construction. The new mill was connected by telephone to Webb City. Two different grades of flour, Camelia and Snow-Drop were offered for sale.

As well as serving the community as a mill, Quaker Mill was the site of community picnics and fishing trips, with reports of large catfish being caught and duck hunting excursions to the Quaker Mill pond.

Until recent years, there was the Quaker Mill convenience store near the site of the old mill. Quaker Mill Park, across the road, served as a community park, with camping, swimming, fishing and picnicking, just as it was in days gone by. But it is now closed, too.

Sentinel bound volumes are now in the Genealogy Room

The WCAGS has accepted ownership of the complete collection of bound volumes of the Webb City Sentinel, from 1983 (after the fire) until the final issue on Dec. 30, 2020.

Those issues can also be viewed on microfilm, along with much older issues.

Webb City Area Genealogical Society

WCAGS members staff the Genealogy Room on the third floor of the Webb City Public Library. Current hours are noon to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Meetings are held at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month in the Genealogy Room.

Everything you want to know about Jasper County Missouri Schools is available at a site compiled by Webb City Area Genealogical Society member Kathy Sidenstricker.