Hoosier Dusty Files - December 13, 1840 - Elkhart Milling Company Began - Flour, Woolen and Paper Mills
|A Year of Indiana History - 2016|
Jonathan Wyland and five of his brothers moved into the Elkhart County area and built three mills on 640 acres along the Elkhart River.
Jonathan Wyland, Sr. (January 1, 1797 - May 28, 1864)
The son of Christian Wyland and Anna Catherine Metzger Wyland, Jonathan was native to Bedford County, Pennsylvania. The family migrated to Greene County, Ohio. Wyland learned the cooper's trade that he pursued as well as farming. He married Catherine Plum, with whom he had one child. Catherine passed away and he married Elizabeth Van Ausdel. The couple would have seven children. In 1832, the Wyland family moved to Elkhart County Indiana. In Elkhart, he established an extensive milling operation that included a woolen mill, a gristmill and sawmill. In 1855 Wyland traveled to Shelby County, Missouri to establish a sawmill on 200 acres. He died of a paralytic stroke on May 28, 1864 while in Indiana visiting his daughter. He is interred at Baintertown Cemetery, near New Paris in Elkhart County.
Elkhart Milling Company
The Wylands purchased 640 acres of land along the Elkhart River. They built a millrace, then a sawmill in 1830. In 1835, they built a four-story gristmill followed by a woolen mill in 1840, establishing the Elkhart Milling Company. The mill operated until 1923, when it closed. The Interstate Public Service Company purchased the property and built the Baintertown Hydroelectric plant. Several utility companies operated the facility until 1970 when the Northern Indiana Public Service Company donated the land to the Elkhart County Parks in 1970. The County currently operates the property as the River Preserve County Park. The buildings have not survived time's passage; however, park visitors can still see the mill foundations, canals and spillways. For information, contact:
River Preserve County Park
17477 Co Rd 46,
New Paris, IN 46553
Phone: (574) 831-3191
For more Elkhart County Parks, contact:
Elkhart County Parks and Recreation
211 W. Lincoln Ave.
Goshen, IN 46526-3280
Indiana possesses a rich history that is fun to read and learn. This Hoosier Dusty Files is in an easy to read “this day in history format” and includes articles from the author's A Year in Indiana History series. Visitors may read the articles as they appear or purchase the book:
A Year of Indiana History - 2016