In the two weeks since The Star wrote about Leawood developer Dan Clothier’s plans to restore an abandoned 1875 mill in the Kansas Flint Hills, offers of money and volunteer labor have flowed in to the mill’s nonprofit website, cedarpointmill.com. Clothier’s dream is to get the mill in working condition and to grind heirloom Kansas Turkey Red wheat there.
Readers also emailed offers of parts, including an Atchison couple who has two millstones. Others suggested operating grist mills that Clothier could visit in Lindsborg, Kan., and War Eagle, Ark.
Clothier even learned about a 130-year-old organization of operating grist mills based practically in his backyard, in Overland Park.
Some of the most rewarding feedback was from people with stories of personal connections to old mills, including none other than John McDonald, founder of Boulevard Brewing Co.
McDonald, a longtime friend of Clothier’s, called to tell him about his family, wheat farmers who founded the town of Enterprise, Kan., not far from Cedar Point. McDonald’s family built a dam on the Smoky Hill River, erected a mill and established a successful flour milling business.
One of Clothier’s neighbors, it turns out, grew up in a family of wheat farmers in eastern Washington State and sent links to a grist mill there.
And one of the many phone calls The Star received was from the great-granddaughter of Peter Paul Schriver, one of the mill’s two original owners. Their names are inscribed in limestone on the third floor of the recently uncovered facade: Drinkwater & Schriver 1875. She lives in Kansas City.