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The First

DeWitt County Grist Mill

 
Jacob's oldest son, John Coppenbarger, built the first grist mill in DeWitt County in 1828.  It stood in section 8 of Tunbridge Township.  At the time, the nearest mill was over forty miles away.  One family history describes it as being on the banks of Salt Creek, although "it was not a water mill, but it was operated by horses, or oxen.  The burrs, or stones, which did the grinding were fashioned by hand from rocks salvaged along the banks of Salt Creek."

According to family legend, John was assisted by Colonel Jack Henderson, of Kentucky.   Eventually, the Colonel returned to Kentucky, but his daughter Nancy stayed behind to marry George Coppenbarger.

The stones from the mill have since been displayed in various places in Kenney, Illinois.  As seen below, they are currently located outside the Kenney Civic Center.
 


Click on the photos for a larger view.

Mill stones displayed by Kenney Civic League The original grist mill stones on display 
outside the Kenney Civic Center, 1999.

By April 2001, flowers had been planted and two plaques had been added to the base of the stones. The text of the plaques is listed below.

THE FIRST GRIST MILL
STONES
IN DEWITT COUNTY
 

Made in 1828 By John Coppenbarger And Blacksmith Jack Henderson.  The Stones Were Used On The Coppenbarger Farm And Turned By Horse Or Ox Power.  Approximately Three Bushels Of Wheat Or Five Bushels Of Corn Could Be Ground Per Day.

Presented To The Kenney Heritage Association By The Heartland Coon Hunters Club, Owners of Old Settlers Park.

Photos copyrighted to the webmaster, 1999, 2001.

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