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Oliver Oat Mill Company – Joliet

This photograph, circa 1900, show a view of the Oliver Oat Mill, which was located along the I&M Canal in Joliet.

This photograph, circa 1900, show a view of the Oliver Oat Mill, which was located along the I&M Canal in Joliet.

History:
In 1856, Ferdinard Schumacher organized his German Mills American Oatmeal Factory in Akron, Ohio. His plan was to introduce steel-cut oats to the American diet at a time when oats were considered inappropriate for anything but horses. German and Irish immigrants were the first to bring the food to their tables because they were accustomed to eating oats in Europe. Oat milling in the 19th century was a relatively low-cost operation, and competitors quickly appeared as oats as a food staple gained acceptance. By the 1880s, there were established markets throughout the Midwest, especially in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Detroit. This photograph, circa 1900, show a view of the Oliver Oat Mill, which was located along the I&M Canal in Joliet.

Time Frame:
These photographs are part of the Lewis University Canal and Regional History Special Collection.

We Need Your Help:
David Belden is a history teacher at Minooka Community High School and is currently publishing local postcard books with Arcadia Publishing in his Local History classes, including Grundy County, Joliet, Will County and Princeton. He and his students are currently looking for I&M photos and postcards for a new publication. If you are interested in contributing a postcard image, please email him at: dbelden@mchs.net or localhistory@mchs.net call 815-467-2140 x260. To view more postcards and images, visit www.localhistoryproject.org or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/localhistory

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