Heritage: Pennsylvania Railroad
CT 1000, 1945: Eastern Region, Eastern Pennsylvania Division, Middle Division, Main Line
Middle Division ETT, 1954: Eastern Region, Middle Division, Main Line
1925 Sanborn Maps
Distance from Harrisburg...
27.1 H. R. Wentzel & Sons
According to millpictures.com, the business at this location began in 1878 when W. H. F. Garber constructed a three story frame warehouse for the storage of grain and the sale of feed. In 1890 the business was sold to Theophilus Butturf, who operated a bottling works next door to the mill. It is unsure what type of business Butturf operated in the mill.
In 1925, Maurice Miles took over the building after the death of Butturf. Miles' main business was selling coal. He also sold cement, sand, and some feed. On Sept. 29, 1930 the property was purchased by Henry R. Wentzel & sons, George and Miles. They immediately added bucket elevators and 6 grain bins.
At this time the Wentzels already operated a successful feed business in Bridgeport, Perry Co. They decided to manufacture feed, do custom grinding, and handle grain and feed ingredients. Their first hammer mill was a 40 horsepower Jaybee belt-driven mill. They installed a Puritan Blender; since, molasses was becoming an important ingredient in feed.
The reason the Wentzels purchased a mill at this site was because of the availability to buy grain by rail. The business was so good that additional machinery had to be installed. Dairy, poultry, and hog feed were all manufactured here. Later on an Anglo-American pellet mill was purchased. In less than two years a second mill was added. At this time both of the Wentzel mills had a manufacturing capacity of one to one and one-half tons/hour.
H.R. Wentzel's Hardware & Farm Supplies retail outlet. Features of which include coal, bulk & bag; mushroom soil & mulch; animal feeds; and the usual variety of farm tools, stock medicines, etc.
A large part of the mill was destroyed by a fire on May 1, 1957. Rebuilding started right after clean up. This time metal bins were purchased. The new plant was put into operation on May 1, 1958. A new farm supply and hardware store was built in early 1978 across the street from the mill. Since 1930, the operation has grown from two men to between 24-28 men by 1978. The mill is still operating today which marks about 129 years of continually producing grain and feed.
27.1 A. C. Schill
27.3 F. M. Snyder & Co.
Accoring to millpictures.com, Gibson Fickes started the milling business in this mill c. 1886. Local grain was brought to the warehouse where it would be shipped out from either by canal or rail.
G. Fickes died in 1902, whereupon B. F. Horting and F. M. Snyder took the helm successively. Later, Gibson's son, Stanley Fickes, joined forces with Lawrence Wolf. Together, they operated the mill until Stanley died in 1942.
The mill sold in 1945 to Gard Smith, the owner of another mill in Blain. Smith died suddenly in 1950, and Frank & Robert Smith, sons, operated both mills, utilizing electricity to power elevators, mixers and a hammer mill.
The Smiths also handled coal, cement, and building materials through 1976 and possibly beyond. Today, the structures are used for storage by D & D Garage Doors. GPS: Longitude 77' 08.08W, Latitude 40' 28.79N
27.6 Freight Station
27.7 Atlantic Refining Co. No. 1 and J. F. Fickes
|Joe Henry Kline photo.|