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The early pioneers of Bowling Green and Cold Spring townships encountered much hardship in providing flour and meal for their families. The nearest mill was located at Belleville, Illinois in St. Clair County.

Mr. Simeon Wakefield, who came to Cold Spring in 1818, erected a horse mill in 1821. This was the first mill in Shelby County. Titus Gragg built a water mill on Beck's Creek in Section 31, about five miles northwest of Herrick, in 1834. Later it was changed to a steam mill, afterwards a carding machine was added. This mill burned and was rebuilt by Woolard and Blackwell, as a grist and saw mill. It had two burrs.

Hamilton Miller Mill It was later bought and operated by Ham Miller. Mr. Miller was running this mill at the time of Herrick's birth. He made some changes to economize, changing from steam power to water power. This was done by building in the hillside and water was furnished by a dam making a reservoir fed by a spring. His business became less as other mills sprang up in that part of the county. He then decided to move his business to Herrick. The mill was located at the east edge of Herrick, south of the Nickel Plate railroad tracks, on the east side of the street, which is East Street. The site where the pond stood can be seen today. Ham Miller built the new mill about 1890 and ran it until his death, then his son; Allie ran it for several years. Ham Miler took one fifth as a toll for grinding fee.

This mill was powered by a steam engine. There was a large pond just east of the mill that furnished the water power. This pond (even though not intended for same) was the summer swimming hole and the winter skating rink, as many have told they were accomplices to these activities.

It is not known exactly how long Ham Miller operated the mill, but we have records to prove it was in operation in 1912 by J. Fred Bieber. It is also known that it was purchased from Bieber by Joe "Dover" Burrus in 1920. Joe "Dover", as he was called by all, ground flour meal, feed and made shorts (a type of hog feed). His son, Lane Burrus, would walk to the mill and help unload grain and load the products the customers had come to purchase.

The mill was also an excellent place for grandchildren to play "hide and seek" when visiting on Sunday.

It is not known when Joe D. ceased to operate the mill as his records and only known picture were destroyed when their house, next to the mill, burned down.

After the mill was no longer in operation, Perry Bryant bought and sold poultry, eggs, hides and rabbits from that location. Johnnie Beck followed Perry later in the same profession.

There was another building near to the mill where Justin Hughes stored ice from the pond to accommodate the folks in the summer time. Edgar Coe was the last occupant of that building where he had a blacksmith shop in the early 1940's.

After standing empty and deteriorating for several years, the history of the Old Mill came to a "grinding" halt. During the 1960's the Nickel Plate Railroad Co., whose property adjoined that of the mill, demolished the building and filled in the pond.

Mr. Paul Beck, of Bowling Green township who came to that area about 1820, established the first grist mill in that township on Big Spring branch about 1825. Guy Beck followed with another grist mill on Beck's Creek and connected with it was a saw mill, which was the first in Bowling Green Township. Horse mills had been in use before those water mills.

Mr. Asa McDonald later had a mill on Beck's Creek. George H. Henderson went to Shelby County in 1861 and worked with saw milling for seventeen years. In 1874 he bought the McDonald mill with Nathan Nodine and John DePew. They paid $200 for the property. George was foreman and in charge of the mill. He secured the contract for furnishing bridge timber for the Cloverleaf Railroad and did a large business for five to six years.

There have been several mills in the Herrick area. There was a sorghum mill run by John Frailey about three miles straight west of Herrick. It ran all day and night during sorghum season. It was a great place for young people to enjoy a taste of molasses.

In the thirties Dan Frailey and son, Hiram, ran a grist mill in Herrick. It was located south and west of the Village Hall. They ground grain of all sorts, including coffee for Hayes grocery store.

Many other mills have been run by local people. Others located in the general are including one in the southwest part of town, south of the railroad tracks, one out east of town was run by E. J. "Dib" Corley, D. G. Conway and Clayton Faulkner.

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