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Weston Grist Mill

President Brigham Young directed Mariner W. Merrill to explore new town sites. Out of Merrill’s survey, several families from Richmond, Utah crossed the Bear River on April 15, 1865, and settled in the Weston area. The first dugouts were constructed in the Meadows of Cedarville.

The very next year, 1866, a grist mill was constructed by James Mack on Weston Creek south of the present town site. This new mill’s location resulted in the relocation of the proposed town. Rocks were hauled from Cedar Hills to construct the new mill. Mack acquired machinery for the mill from Thatcher’s in Logan. The grist mill used 3 1/2 foot stone burrs to grind grain, a small grain cleaner, two stands of elevators, and one centrifugal reel. Mack also installed a 13 1/4 foot James Leffel turbine that had been freighted to the west in1859.

Brigham Young visited Weston in 1869, and proclaimed that golden fields of hard red wheat would soon surround the community. The grist mill stimulated dry-farm wheat cultivation, and Brigham Young’s proclamation was soon fulfilled. The construction of the mill provided stimulus for several other early businesses, all powered by Weston Creek, including saw mills, iron works, spinning, carding, weaving and
dyeing enterprises.

Building of the grist mill launched the new town of Weston. It was the only mill on the west side of Bear River. For many years, the mill operated 24 hours per day to meet the consumptive needs of Weston, Oxford, Clifton, Dayton, Clarkston and Cornish. Weston was also located on the “gold road” to mines in northern Idaho and Montana. Weston settlers shipped flour and other food items northward. The town quickly became a shipping center and was additionally enhanced when the railroad came to Weston in 1890.

The mill was often remodeled over the next 100 years, and it also changed owners several times. The mill operated in a modernized world with steel rollers and advanced technology, but it could not survive for very long in the post World War II Era.

The text above is from Daughters of Utah Pioneers historic marker #561, located on 2nd South in Weston, Idaho.

The pictures below were submitted by Marshall Hurst: