Lyman was originally known as East Loa. It became a distinct place from Loa in 1893.
Bicknell was originally called Thurber, or “Thurber Town”, for A.K. Thurber, who in 1879 built the first house in the area. In 1897 the town moved to a new location due to sandy soil and poor water conditions.
In 1914 Thomas W. Bicknell, a wealthy eastern author, historian, and Education Commissioner for Rhode Island, offered a thousand-volume library to any Utah town that would rename itself after him. The town of Grayson also wanted the library prize, so in a compromise in 1916, Grayson took the name of Blanding, Mr. Bicknell’s wife’s maiden name, as a tribute to her parents. The two towns split the library, each receiving 500 books.
Nielsen Grist Mill
The Nielsen Grist Mill is located at the foot of the Thousand Lake Mountain on the edge of the scenic country referred to by ancient Indians as “The Land of Sleeping Rainbow.” Constructed around 1893 for Hans Peter Nielsen by his son-in-law, Niels Hansen, the mill was known as the Thurber Rolling Mills. Water for powering the mill was channeled from the Fremont River and dropped 22 feet through a wooden pope to the turbine that ran the mill.
The mill still has a double stand of Wolf Rolls and two double stands of McNalley Rolls with scalpers under each that are spouted to the various elevator legs. Sixteen elevators with five reels for flour milling are found in the mill. The Barnard and Leas dust collector and the turbine with belting still have the pulleys made of native wood, ready for use. Old models of Howe Scales, one for weighing wheat and one for weighing flour sacks, still exist. All equipment is in good shape, including the cash register. The mill produced flour, germade, shorts, and bran, each coming from individual sprouts.
farmers would receive one sack of flour for each three sacks of wheat. All 48-pound bags of flour were sewn by hand. The space between the ears was sewn with a long, sharp needle with a built-in thread cutter.
The mill made flour for the surrounding area for 40 years. Improved roads, constructed in the 1930s, spelled the beginning of the end for the Thurber Rolling Mills. Since Wayne County could not grow hard wheat, which made the best bread, it became just as east to truck in flour as hard wheat.
Built by the women of Thurber under the leadership of Sarah Gardner Meeks, President; Mary H. Bullard, 1st Counsellor; Eliza Jane Brinkerhoff, Amanda Haws Durfey, 2nd Counsellors; Viola Cutler Brinkerhoff, Secretary; Mary A. Gardner, Asst. Secretary; Melissa Meeks Snow, Treasurer. Building began June 1, 1897 when the town was moved to its present location. Completed September 19, 1899 and dedicated by President Willis E. Robinson.
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