LeRoy Pennysaver & News - page 11

GED and SandyBrady stopped
by yesterday with an interesting
piece of paper. It was discovered
in the kitchen wall of their house
onSouthStreet. Theyweren’t too
sure what it was. I believe it is a
label for the top of a flour barrel
from the C.F. Prentice Flour Mill
that was located onMill Street. I
showed them another label that
I recently purchased on eBay for
“Wife’sDelight”flour. And inour
archives we have a paper bag for
The Prentice Mill was located
next to the creek north of the post
office, about where the park is
now. This was the site of the old
Platt and Stoddard Mill that was
built in 1802.When JacobLeRoy
came to town in1822, heenlarged
the oldmill and in 1865 (or 1866
depending onwhich history book
you read).
Charles Prentice purchased the
mill. At that time it was a seven
“burr” mill which indicates that
there were seven sets of “buhr-
stones” thatground theflour.Buhr-
stonewas a special type of stone,
often imported from France, that
wasused togrindflour. Oneof the
old stones lies on the ground just
off theporchbehindLeRoyHouse.
ShortlyafterPrenticebought the
mill, there were a lot of changes
taking place in the flour industry.
The early pioneers grew varieties
of soft wheat. It had very little
gluten, whichwouldbe like using
cakeflour today and it didnot rise
well. But in the 1860s, farmers
werebeginning togrowhardwin-
terwheat introduced fromEurope.
Thiswasabetterwheat formaking
bread flour but it was too hard to
new typeofmillingmachinerywas
introduced. The hard wheat was
milled between porcelain rollers
- - thus roller mills, as written on
C.F. Prentice’s labels.
At first, somemills used the old
buhrstones to crush thewheat and
then itwasprocessed intoflourwith
the porcelain rollers. Flour had to
be“bolted”or sifted to remove the
bran – the outside of the kernel
of wheat. The bran would absorb
moisture and made flour moldy
and full ofmildew.Unboltedflour
was known as whole wheat flour.
Sylvester Graham, a 19th century
health foodproponent,preferred to
useonlywholewheat flour,which
thusGraham crackers.
Today, whole wheat flour is
madebyaddingbranback into the
bolted and bleached flour. In the
19th century, millers would often
throw thebran into thecreek.There
were different qualities of flour.
Themiddlequalitywas often sold
as “midlins” orRedDog.
On the 1897, Sanbourn Insur-
ancemapofLeRoy, showingMill
Street and the Prentice Mill, it
mentions that there were 14 sets
of rollers and two run of stones
so perhaps Prentice was crushing
thewheatwith thebuhrstones and
then milling into flour with the
porcelain rollers. The map also
indicates that themillwasoperated
by water power, unless the water
was too low and then apparently
the steam enginewas used.
In the basement of the four story
mill was a packer, a sheller and
a smutter. The smutter removed
dust and “smut” from the grains
of wheat before it was milled.
On the first floor were 14 sets of
NeedSize, Name, PhoneNumber
ShouldBeAvailable In 3Weeks
CanBeMailedForAdditional Postage
“rolls” or rollers and
2 run of stone and 1
packer. The second
floor containedabran
duster, 3 purifiers, 10
bolts, 1 blower, and
two dust collectors.
ing machines, which
sifted thegroundflour
through a series of
silk screens, separat-
ing out the various
grades of flour. The
third floor had a dust
collector, three bolts,
2 scalpers, 3 purifiers
and 1 smutter. The
scalper was used to
remove foreign ob-
jects such as stones from the grain
whichwoulddamage theburhstones
and the rollers. On the fourth floor
werea1cent reel,oneseparatorand
the tops of the elevators.
of 200 barrels of flour per day
and 200 barrels of animal feed.
On November 23, 1895 one of
the boilers exploded and severe-
ly scalded one of the engineers.
After the death of Mr. Prentice,
themill ceasedoperation in1912.
It had been known as the LeRoy
Power andMilling Company, but
then had been sold to a “foreign
company”, theGeneseeLight and
Power Company” who wanted to
build a power transfer station on
thesitebut becauseofwater rights
issues, they decided to dispose of
the property. The building was
sold to the LeRoy Crushed Stone
and Limestone Company and af-
ter demolition; the huge wooden
beamswere removed tobuild tres-
tles and shoring at the limestone
quarry. The cornerstone from the
mill “Herman LeRoy 1822” was
removed andplaced in thewall of
ErnestWoodward’s garden.
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