Description: Postcard of Watts Mill.
Creator: Ray, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Collection: Mrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Historical Article: In 1849 Anthony B. Watts, a millwright from St. Charles, Mo., whose father, Samuel Watts, was a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, bought a grist mill on Indian creek near what is now 103rd street and Wornall road. The mill had been built in 1832 of hand-hewn walnut and oak and nailed with hickory pegs. There were wooden pegs in the flooring, wooden hinges on the doors and wooden cogs in the wheels. The burrs for the grinding were from France. Indians and settlers took their corn and wheat for grinding. Watts took one-fifth of their grist in payment. The mill ground three barrels of flour and two barrels of corn meal an hour. A superstructure was added to the old basement building just before the Civil war. It towered over the cabins nearby, and became a landmark. Stubbin Watts, who followed his father at the mill, worked there 62 years. With his long white beard, cloth slippers and old felt hat dusted with flour, he seemed to blend into the weathered gray scene of the mill's aging timbers and the limestone rocks beneath. In 1942 Stubbin Watts's son, Edgar B. Watts, arranged for the scrapping of the abandoned mill's metal, for the war effort. The mill was razed in 1949 by new owners. The ground is vacant today.The old mill witnessed the commerce of the Santa Fe trail, the 49ers on the way to California, legions of pioneers, the Mormons of Independence who brought grain to the mill, the Southern army in flight from Westport and the Northern forces in pursuit. In its last days the picturesque old structure, grounds and creek became an objective for motorists and picnickers and artists and a monument to the pioneers of Jackson County. Kansas City Times, January 4, 1969.
Item Type: Postcard