Mills, Water-Powered - Macoupin County Illinois




Water-Powered Mills in Macoupin County
by
James Frank


from his book, History of Polk Township

The following are the only three water-powered mills that I have found through researching mills ever being built along the Macoupin Creek in Macoupin county.  "On the June 6, 1836 term of the Court, a petition was made to the County Commissioners Court by Robert Holiday, the new and present owner of property in section 27, T9, R8, ( now Polk township), petitioned and received permission to build a water-powered sawmill in the stream of Macoupin creek at the intersection with Dry Branch creek.  The dam and sawmill was erected around 1840 and was located approximately a mile south of where present day Macoupin Station is now.  That area became known in early days as 'Holiday Mill's'.


[A Huskinson Mill is said to have been in Macoupin County from research done by Christy Jacobson. Jim writes, "Was the Huskinson mill where Holiday earlier had his mill or was it elsewhere in the Macoupin bottom is the unknown question?  If it was water-powered it should be recorded as given permission by the Court of Commissioners of Macoupin County to dam the Macoupin creek and with Robert Holiday already having a water-powered saw mill on Macoupin Creek in this bottom land at the time of the railroad building.   I can't believe there would be permission to add another water-powered saw mill.  Huskinson may have had a steam powered saw mill somewhere here, but I am not familiar with the Huskinson name here in this locality."]

 
David Wright in 1834, petitioned the Court and received from the County Commissioner's Court, permission to build a water-powered grist mill and dam across Macoupin Creek in section 28, T9,R8, (now Polk township).  The mill and dam was never built.  However, later in 1850 Stephen Marshall erected a grist mill and dam at this same location on Macoupin creek.  The mill was destroyed a couple of years later during a massive flood and was never rebuilt.  Marshall before building this water-powered mill, operated of a small horse driven grist mill near the Challecomb area in Chesterfield township.
 
During the same Court of the 1834 session, a Mr. John Harris, petitioned the County Commissioner's Court and received permission to build a water-powered grist-mill and dam on Macoupin creek with location just east of Carlinville.  Upon receiving permission, this dam and grist mill was built and operated several years.  Later the water-powered grist mill was known as Tegards's Mill."
 
I've often heard my parents tell that in the spring of 1923 or 1924, that they looked at a farm listed for sale in the Macoupin bottoms near Eldred in Green County. That farm had been recently flooded that spring and there were shallow, drying up slues of water with rotting dead fish and along with the oderous smell every where, they definately weren't impressed with the farm  and then soon bought our farm north of Plainview.


Polk township

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