Almost two hundred years ago milling was Akron's chief industry.
The industry was furnished by the surrounding farmers and their
grain. This, in turn, greatly enhanced the commercial and
financial interests of Summit County.
famous Old Stone Mill, built by Dr, Crosby and others in 1832,
was the pioneer, followed by the AEtna, by William B. Mitchell
and Samuel A. Wheeler in 1838; the Center Mill, by Joseph A.
Beebe and William E. Wright, in 1839; the Cascade Mill, by
William B. Mitchell, in 1840, and a few years later by the City
Mill, by Gen. Geo. W. McNeil and others; the Ayliffe Mill,
(Carter & Steward Oatmeal Mill); the Pearl Mill, by William G.
Raymond, Abraham Fulton, A. M. Barber and others, afterwards
called the Hower Oatmeal Mill); the Perkins Mill, (Allen Mill),
and the Akron Flour Mill.
Ferdinand Schumacher, Akron's "Oatmeal King," built this mill
(left) on Summit Street in 1872. Earlier that year, fire had
destroyed his original German Mills (right).
At one time the Cascade Mill was the largest and best in Akron.
Its water wheel was 36 feet in diameter and it weighed 37 tons. It
was eventually totally destroyed by fire. It was located near
Howard and North Streets.
Blessed with abundant river water and men who knew how to use it,
Akron became a milling center in the 1830s and remained one until
the turn of the century. The Aetna mill, shown here, was on the
Ohio Canal at the foot of Furnace street. Oddly enough, the Aetna
started out as an iron furnace. Destroyed twice by fire, it was
rebuilt after the second blaze as a flour mill.
The Stone Mill at the foot of Mill Street, built by Dr. Eliakim
Crosby in 1832, was the leading flour mill of Akron for many
years. Power to operate it was furnished by Cascade Race, which
was built from a point north of Middleburg (Little Cuyahoga) to a
point near Lock 5.
Cuyahoga Falls Library Archives, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.