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Development of Mills in Waterloo

Milling in Waterloo

Mills were the first industry in Waterloo. Sawmills cut timber into lumber for Waterloo and Cedar Falls Mill Co. Newspaper articlebuilding homes and businesses. Grain mills ground wheat, corn or oats to make flour. Farmers from miles away depended on the Waterloo mills to purchase their grain and grind it to make flour. The city's four mills attracted business to Waterloo and made the city an important center for business.

Read the article:
“Wheat was hauled from distances up to 150 miles from Waterloo, and sold here for 50 cents a bushel at the flour mills. Wagons lined up waiting to unload the wheat, and very often it was 10 PM before the last teamster had delivered his wheat and started for the livery stable to find accommodations for his team."

Flour Mill 1867

The first flour mill was constructed on the west side of the Cedar River in 1855 and second was built on the east side in 1867. The first grinding stones, called buhrs, were brought from Iowa City. The first waterwheel was transported to Waterloo from Moline, Illinois.

View of Fourth St. Bridge and Mills from Irving Hotel—1898

The entrances to Waterloo’s Fourth Street bridge were dominated by large mills. The largest, Union Mill, was located on the upstream side of East Fourth Street and the last to grind flour.

Waterloo Woolen Mill and Bridge


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