The City Mills Building, located at 160 North Main Street in Mansfield, Ohio, served as a warehouse for the Sandusky & Mansfield Railroad and then as a mill for City Mills and Gilbert, Waugh and Company.
The City Mills building was constructed in 1847 1 atop a swamp.2 An insecure foundation led to delays early in construction and 1,300 loads of lowland was replaced with 600 perch of stone work by Gandert and Sons. Brick used in the building was sourced by Everly Brick Works and laid by Foulke and Mohler. The building itself was designed and erected by Cyrus Hershiser.
When finished, the five-story building was used as a warehouse and terminus for the Sandusky & Mansfield Railroad, later part of the Baltimore and Ohio.2 The warehouse was then renovated for Burger and Brubaker who installed machinery for the City Milling Company, their upstart flour mill. Dr. Joseph Hildredth had a large interest in this enterprise called City Mills. Burger and Brubaker installed 13 sets of iron rollers, two sets of mill stones quarried from Tobias Cline’s quarry, eight large wheat cleaners, two flour packing machines, eight patent dust removers and conveyors. There were two large boilers attached to a 125 horsepower William Wright automatic engine from Newburgh, New York.
Around 1865, Frank A. and Andrus Gilbert purchased the City Milling Company.2 In 1869, J. M. Waugh joined City Milling and the company became known as the Gilbert, Waugh Milling Company.
To increase production from 200 barrels to 350 barrels a day,4 an addition was constructed in 1881 for $35,000 3 and the original structure was then demolished. (It is believed that the circa 1881 structure occupies part of the circa 1847 lot.1)
Newspaper advertisements from 1881 listed Giblert, Waugh and Company as selling flour for as low as $1.40 for a hundred-pound sack.2 They manufactured several brands of flour, including Non Pareil, Victor, Morning Glory, City Mills, Millstone, Blue Diamond and Michigan Amber. By 1890, City Mills produced 40,000 barrels of flour a year.1
One of Gilbert’s customers was The Steam Cracker Biscuit Works, located on West 4th Street, that later merged with several smaller companies to form the National Biscuit Company (NABISCO).1
In the 1920’s and 1930’s, the City Mills Building was home to John Aricon and Company, consisting of John, Charles, Andy and Joseph Amicon, who operated a produce commission house.
In 1986, the City Mills Building was added to the National List of Historical Landmarks.1