Relic Home and Blacksmith Shop

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

THE McCLENAHAN MILL


THE McCLENAHAN MILL

 

  The McClenahan Mill was built according to certain specifications recommended
by the territorial authorities. It was a two story building with a granary
and ample space for wheat and bins for graham, corn meal, and ground feed,
also a 20 foot reel for bolting flour. The mill, which was equipped with two
elevators, operated with water power from Pleasant Creek, using a Leffell
wheel, a wooden flume and penstock.
The flour was good and found a ready market with quantities being shipped to
Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Pioche, Nevada. It was not long until the
mill operated on a twenty-four hour basis and required three extra men on
the force.
One policy of the McClenahan Mill, while under grandfather's jurisdiction was
that no family man was ever to be refused flour or feed, whether he had the
money at the time of delivery or not. There was no record that any man
extended this kindness ever defaulted in his obligation to grandfather.
Furthermore, grandfather never reminded anyone of an obligation by sending
them a statement of debt.
An excerpt from a "tribute" to James Kemp McClenahan and Catherine Orthelia
(Kidd) McClenahan on their wedding anniversary. This tribute was written by
Ellice Adelaide (McClenahan) Carter.
Source: Information copied by Dorothy H. Erickson from the files of Blanch
McClenahan (Mrs. Frank) of Toulon, Stark Co., ILL. Mrs. McClenahan is now
deceased. Records in possession of Mrs. John Montgomery, Rockford, ILL.

 


My grandmother, Catherine Kidd McClenahan was a true southern lady and
to the "manor born." She bore no resemblance to the "Sure 'nough, honey
chile," or the "you all" types so often dramatized. She and the well-to-do
and aristocratic James Kemp McClenahan were true examples of the Old South.
My grandparents life together was a beautiful one and a "love affair to
the end." In referring to the hardships of pioneer life, Grandma always
said, ---"Kemp felt we should settle here, and I think Kemp was right."
Sometime after 1856, the James Kemp McClenahan family left Provo, Utah,
where they had been for a time and located in Mount Pleasant, Utah. Here in
1866 James Kemp McClenahan began the operation of the milling business. In
the beginning when the mill was almost ready to operate they were unable to
secure any bolting silk which was necessary to complete the process of
turning wheat into flour, and what to do was the question.
Grandma had the solution. She offered to sacrifice her beautiful
(voluminous) whiote silk wedding dress as a substitute for the silk bolting
cloth, which was not available elsewhere. There was no alternative,
sentiment must be made to serve a practical need, the wheels of industry
must turn that the people might be fed. (Note: The author remembers seeing
in the museum at Marietta, Ohio, beautiful old wedding gowns older than the
one above, made of bolting silk. First settlers in Marietta 1790)
While Grandma gave her lovely white silk dress, her dress of romance, to
be used as bolting silk in the mill, she always kept the foundation, a stark
naked wire frame, which we called hoops. It remained a sentimental reminder
of the nman she loved and cherished, It was part of her "wedding dress," a
wedding dress which helped in our city settlement.
Among the first houses built in Mount Pleasant, Utah after it had had
been surveyed and platted was Grandma and Grandpa's house. It was a large
house made of adobe facing North on Main Street. It was built close to the
street with pine trees on either side. While the house very plain with no
verandas, it had an air of distinction. On the back of the lot was a barn,
chicken coop and smokehouse all built of white adobe. The hop arbor was of
light lumber. Between these buildings and the house was a garden.
My grandmother's home was always rather special with its grandfather
clock, its round rosewood center table and horsehair sofa, which was not too
comfortable. One of Grandmother's prized possessions was a walnut cupboard
with glass doors which held her best dishes. In the bedrooms were four
posters and marble topped bureaus and wash stands. Grandma's room was rather
special. It had a walnut four poster tester bed with canopy and ruffled
valances with walnut bureau and wash stand. In the dining room the chairs
were arranged geometrically along the wall.
Guests were always welcome at my grandparent's home, either for supper
of afternoon tea. If a casual caller came in to see the house or wait for
her husband to pick up his grist at the mill, she was served tea with
cinnamon toast by Grandma, gracious as always, in a starched white apron,
which was the mode in those times.
Very humbly and with great appreciation I record the following tribute
to my grandparents, which was given at my grandmother's funeral in 1912. In
tribute to her and my grandfather's contribution to the success and early
settlement here it was said: If all the flour and mill products that were
given to these good people, and all the money given and loaned without
security, together with contributions they made to the needy, had instead,
been put in the bank at compound interest from date of settlement of Mt.
Pleasantm until the present date (1912), the remaining members of the
McClenahan family would be the possessors of great wealth.
Such kindness and consideration for his fellowmen remind us of these
words, "Charity suffereth long and is kind; charity envieth not; charity
vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly,
seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil." I Cor. 13:4 -
5.
And thus passed the original family of McClenahans who helped build
Mount Pleasant, Utah. The name has been immortalized on a beautiful monument
bearing proof that the McClenahans were there.

Source: Information copied by Dorothy H. Erickson from the files of Blanch
McClenahan (Mrs. Frank) of Toulon, Stark Co., ILL. Mrs. McClenahan is now
deceased. Records in possession of Mrs. John Montgomery, Rockford, ILL.

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