Easton Roller Mill, a landmark industrial site, is located at Easton, near Morgantown. Maryland entrepreneur Henry Koontz bought a 600-acre farm there in 1859. Construction of the mill began in 1864, during the Civil War, and the mill was in operation by 1867. Koontz milled flour and meal from wheat, corn, and other grains, and also ground feed for farm animals.
When Koontz died in 1876, the mill was taken over by the Anderson family. William Anderson and his brother, Tom, ran the mill until 1884. Later Eldridge Weaver owned the mill briefly, then Isaac Morris ran it until 1910.
From the 1870s to the 1890s, grain at the Easton mill was ground between large millstones. In the 1890s, more advanced milling technologies were introduced. Corn was still ground using millstones, while wheat was ground using large iron rollers. Roller mills produced a higher quality flour, more in demand. The milling machinery, including both the roller mills and the millstones, was powered by a Lane and Bodley 40-horsepower steam engine dating to the 1870s.
William C. Ley, prominent in the Cheat River iron industry, purchased the mill from Morris in 1910. He cut back operations in 1930, during the Great Depression. The mill was closed in 1940. It was willed to the Monongalia Historical Society in 1970, upon the death of Ley’s daughter, Estella Ley Pickenpaugh.
In 1975, the mill was surveyed by the Historic American Engineering Record, and in 1978 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This Article was written by Norma Jean Kennedy-Venable
Venable, Norma Jean. Easton Roller Mill. Morgantown: Monongalia Historical Society, 1994.
Cite This Article
Kennedy-Venable, Norma Jean "Easton Roller Mill." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 03 February 2012. Web. 29 March 2017.