The picture for this week is of the old water mill that stood
along the east Fork of Grand River at Denver. Three of the people
in the picture are identified. The lady standing with the umbrella
is Mrs. J.T. Marrs and the two youngsters are her sons, Lester
The picture was taken shortly before the turn of the century. Another picture, taken in 1910, shows most of the windows broken out of the mill so it must have fallen into disuse along about this time.
Several years ago the Gentry County Bank used the Denver Mill as the subject of their historical calendar for that particular year. Ann Smith Hogue painted the picture after studying several photographs. The history of the mill which accompanied the picture was written by Elton Ridge.
The Denver Mill was the first water mill erected in the county. It was built by O. Swaim who came to the Denver area in the 1840's. Mr. Swaim operated the mill for about two years, selling it to William McKnight. (Mr. McKnight receives the credit for laying out the original town of Denver, then called Fairview, in 1849).
Mr. McKnight operated the mill only a few years, selling it to Lyman & Williams in 1854. Later the mill was purchased by a Charley Brown in 1888. Whether there was other ownership between Lyman & Williams and Brown I haven't been able to determine. Mr. Brown was probably the last operator.
The mill had one set of grinding stones.
It appears, at the left side of the picture, that the wooden dam has pulled apart.