Upcoming Events

  • No upcoming events available


Mark your

October 5: Wednesday; William Yake, Ellsworth Mill Family descendant, Olympia, Washington, visits area.

October 8: Saturday; MCHA Monthly meeting; 9:30 a.m.; Historic First Baptist Church;140 Mill Street

October 27: Thursday; Minnesota City Community Readers; 6:30 p.m.; Minnesota City City Hall; Selection: Detours to the Good Stuff, McGillis.

December 10: Saturday; Community Caroling; 6:00 p.m.; Historic First Baptist Church; 140 Mill Street

“Go Green!”
If you receive this letter in paper “hardcopy” and would prefer to receive it electronically, please call
Minnesota City History Recalled With Visit of Ellsworth Mill Descendents
When Amos Dolbier Ellsworth dedicated
the completed mill in Minnesota City, in
October 1867, how satisfying it would
have been to know that almost 150 years
later his great grandson, Bill Yake, would
stand at the site of this significant
contribution to Minnesota City history.

Bill Yake has connected intermittently
with MCHA since 2007 and has provided us with information on the Ellsworth Mill, current site of Bunke’s Canton Mills, which the Association is in the process of marking as one of the locations for the walking/driving tour of the Minnesota City area. He has sent photos, research material, and now, Bill Yake and Jeannette Barreca are coming to visit on October 5-7. MCHA members will attempt to connect during their time here.
Don Evanson’s research on the Ellsworth Mill includes these findings:
• 1863: Henry Bancroft acquires upstream flowage right for a mill pond of a ten foot dam, from the Pikes, Jones, et al.
• 1866: Bancroft deeds the mill site, site power, and rights of overflow to Henry Miller via mortgage.
• 1866/67: Work begins on mill dam and mill foundation, by the co-partnership of Henry Miller, A.D. Ellsworth, and H. Rowell (Amos Ellsworth came to this area in 1862, after being involved with the grain trade at Waupun, Wisconsin. Rowell had been the millwright instrumental to the construction of Minnesota City's other mill, the Troost Mill. This Miller & Ellsworth Mill is the tenth mill that he has built.) Building is designed by renowned architect C. G. Maybury (also the architect for the 1912 Minnesota City School).
• 1867: The dedication of the completed mill. Three “runs of stone”, meaning grinding stone sets, with a total capacity of 200 barrels of flour per day. A barrel is 196 pounds, so about 20 tons per day. The machinery had been made by the Phoenix Iron Works of Winona, W. M. Hurlbert, owner.
• 1879: Miller and Ellsworth dissolve their partnership.
• 1880: Miller sells to Ellsworth. Two mortgages Kellogg to Millers and Ellsworths, with one satisfied three days later.
• 1887: Ellsworth has mill at 225 barrel capacity, employing 13 men. Owns three warehouses westward on the Winona and St. Peter railroad. Mill production and seed and grain business here reported to be $500,000 for the year in round numbers. CONTINUED (See Ellsworth page 2)

Ellsworth (continued from page 1)

1890: Ellsworth dies at Winona. His obituary reports, “Of late years he has been doing business alone, confining his business chiefly to the management of his flouring business at Minnesota City and a large wheat farm at Wahpeton, S. D. (sic)”

Names that follow in the history include M.N. Reed, Wm. Calbick, Frank Calbick, H.J. Willis, A. R. Klavetter and J.S. Sutcliff.

Amos married Elizabeth (Lizzie) C. Schmidt. “…an attractive, intelligent girl, Lizzie Schmidt who I was always told by
my father was of Pennsylvania Dutch extraction. She was a kindergarten teacher in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She married my
grandfather around the age of twenty-five and spent the years until her death at thirty-five bearing children and watching them die.” - remembrances: Barbara Ruth Ellsworth/ Yake ( Family Notes).

Ellsworths are buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Utica and Woodlawn Cemetery, Winona.

Photo contributions: Bill Yake