Crimes & Disasters
Documents & Records
50 Years and Over of Akron and
Samuel A. Lane, Beacon Job
Department, Akron, Ohio 1892, p 454-459
CEREAL OPERATIONS.—It will be remembered that in its
earlier history, milling was Akron's chief industry, which,
while not very materially augmenting the industrial population,
yet by furnishing a ready market to the surrounding farmers for
their grain, greatly enhanced the commercial and financial
interests of the village and county. The 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, (afterwards the Carter &
Steward Oatmeal Mill); the Pearl Mill, by William G. Raymond,
Abraham Fulton, A. M. Barber and others, now the Hower Oatmeal
Mill); the Perkins Mill, (now the Allen Mill), etc., Akron
flour, both under the old and new processes, ever having
maintained a high standing in New York and other Eastern
A TRULY "LIVE DUTCHMAN."—But it was reserved to Fred.
Schumacher, to bring to Akron its chief renown as a milling
center. Coming hither in 1851, Mr. Schumacher, in company with
Mr. Theodore Weibezahn, opened a small notion store in Hall's
block, 'fronting on West Market street. Withdrawing from that
business in August, 1852, Mr. S. started a small family supply
store, where the First National Bank now stands, afterwards
removing to the larger room across the street, next to Empire
House, where, for a number of years he did a profitable
business, with Mr. Charles W. Bonstedt as his chief clerk.
In 1859, Mr. S. commenced the manufacture of oatmeal, on a small
scale, in a frame building at the foot of Howard street, which
had originally been used for a woolen factory, but later by
ex-Sheriff Thomas Wilson, in the manufacture of mineral paint.
This, undoubtedly the pioneer oatmeal mill in America, was
appropriately named "The German Mill." Its products finding a
ready sale, Mr. S. soon added the manufacture of pearl barley,
for which, in 1863, a separate extensive mill was built on South
Summit street, near the Union depot, which was named the
"Empire Barley Mill." In 1872 the orginial German Mill was
destroyed by fire, a new German Mill being built near the Empire
Mill on Summit street. Sundry additions were made from time to
time, a large elevator for the storage of grain having been
erected in 1879, Mr. S. having in the meantime bought and
refitted with modern machinery, the Cascade Mill, near Lock
Fourteen, Ohio Canal, originally built by Mr. William B.
Mitchell, in 1840.
TERRIBLE CALAMITY.—Other mills were added to the original
plant on Summit street, including the celebrated eight story "
Jumbo" mill, a large drying house, fronting on Broadway, and the
splendid office building on the corner of Mill and Broadway, the
whole with several small dwelling houses, mostly owned by Mr.
S., covering the entire square, bounded by Summit street upon
the east, Mill street upon the north, Broadway street upon the
west, and Quarry street upon the south. These immense mills,
filled throughout with expensive machinery, were being driven to
their fullest capacity to meet the demands of the wonderful
business which the energetic push of Mr. S. had thus built up,
when, oh the night of March 6, 1886, the entire plant, except
the original Empire Barley Mill, with their valuable contents,
were destroyed by tire, involving a loss to Mr. S., over and
above insurance, of $600,000, besides a prospective serious
interruption to his business.
THE F. SCHUMACHER MILLING COMPANY.—In the meantime, so
popular had become the oatmeal and other cereal products
manufactured by Mr. S., other similar mills had been started in
Akron and elsewhere, one of the largest of which, that of the
Akron Milling Company, in connection with the old stone mill,
was just fairly getting into operation.
Between this company and Mr. Schumacher, a consolidation was
effected, by which the several milling properties of both were
brought together under one corporation—The F. Schumacher
Milling Company—with an authorized capital stock of two
millions of dollars, the business thus being carried right along
with but a comparatively slight interruption; the officers of
the company being Ferd. Schumacher, president; Lords Schumacher,
vice-President; F. Adolph Schumacher, secretary; Hugo
The German mill, the elevator and the drying house, together
with the office building, have been rebuilt, a second larger
elevator erected, and it is confidently expected that the entire
burned plant will be rehabilitated in the near future, and the
cereal works of the Schumacher Milling Company maintain their
standing as the very largest and best establishment of their
kind in the world.
THE HOWER OATMEAL MILLS.—What was formerly the Pearl
Mill, corner of Canal and Cherry streets, was converted into an
oatmeal mill, in the latter seventies, by Mr. Robert Turner, a
practical miller, the present proprietors, the Hower Company,
succeeding to the business in 1880. The officers of this
corporation are: John H. Hower, president; Harvey Y. Hower, vice
president; M. Otis Hower, secretary, and Charles H. Hower,
treasurer, the three latter being sons of the former. Large
additions have been made to the works, increasing the capacity
from about 2,000 pounds, in 1880, to nearly 30,000 pounds of
bulk and package cereal goods, in 1888, for which a rapidly
increasing sale is being found in every portion of the United
AMERICAN CEREAL COMPANY.—Since
the foregoing was published in serial form, most of the
principal oatmeal mills of the United States, in June 1891,
united in the organization of The American Cereal Company, with
a capital of $3,400,000, the F. Schumacher Milling Company and
the Hower Company selling their entire plants to, and the
several members thereof becoming stockholders of, the new
company, with Mr. Ferd. Schumacher as its president and its
principal office in Akron.
THE ALLEN MILLS.—In the middle forties a substantial
brick mill was erected on Canal street, south of Cherry, for the
manufacture of satinets, by the Perkins Company, composed of
the late Simon Perkins, Jedediah D. and Alexander H. Commins,
Jesse, Jacob and Hiram Allen, etc. Some years later this plant
was converted into a flouring mill by the Perkins Company, and
is now owned and operated by Allen & Co., composed of Frank H.
Allen,of New York, and Victor J. Allen and William A. Palmer, of
Akron. Supplied with the very best of modern machinery and
processes, the various grades of family and bakers' flour
manufactured by this firm, find a ready and extensive sale both
at home and in New York and other eastern markets.
SEIBERLING MILLING COMPANY. Capital $200,000, five-story
brick mill, located in the Sixth ward, on the site of the old
Cuyahoga blast furnace, erected i n 1817. It is first-class
throughout, with a capacity of 1,000 barrels of flour per day.
The officers of the company are: President, John F. Seiberling;
secretary, Lucius C. Miles; treasurer, Frank A. Seiberling.
SOUTH AKRON FLOURING MILL—This mill, together with a
sawmill, at the head of the canal basin, in South Akron, is now
owned and operated by the Brewster Coal Company, as a custom
feed mill, the new process appliances, for manufacturing flour,
never having been introduced. It is nevertheless, capable of
doing good work in the particular line of grinding indicated,
and is a very great convenience to its patrons.