The story of a forgotten America.

City Mills

City Mills served as a warehouse for the Sandusky & Mansfield Railroad and then as a mill for City Mills and Gilbert, Waugh & Co. in Mansfield, Ohio.

The City Mills building was designed and constructed by Cyrus Hershiser in 1847. 1 An insecure foundation atop swampy grounds 2 led to the replacement of 1,300 loads of earth with 600 perch of stone by Gandert & Sons.

The five-story building served as a warehouse and terminus for the Sandusky & Mansfield Railroad (later a part of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad). 2 It was later renovated by Burger & Brubaker who installed 13 sets of iron rollers, two sets of millstones quarried from Tobias Cline’s quarry, eight large wheat cleaners, two flour packing machines, eight patent dust removers, and conveyors for the City Milling Company, an upstart flour mill.

Frank A. and Andrus Gilbert purchased the City Milling Company around 1865 and it was renamed the Gilbert, Waugh & Company after J. M. Waugh joined in 1869. 2 The firm produced several brands of flour, including Non-Pareil, Victor, Morning Glory, City Mills, Millstone, Blue Diamond, and Michigan Amber, selling it for as low as $1.40 per 100-pound sack. 2 One of the mill’s most notable customers was the Steam Cracker Biscuit Works, which later merged with several other firms to form the National Biscuit Company (NABISCO). 1

An addition was completed to the mill in 1881, 3 which increased production capacity from 200 barrels to 350 barrels per day. 4 The original building was then demolished. By 1890, the company was able to produce 40,000 barrels of flour per year. 1

The City Mills building was added to the National List of Historical Landmarks in 1986. 1



  1. Forbidden City Tour. Mansfield: Downtown Mansfield Inc., 2012. N. pag. Print.
  2. White, Paul L. “A Glimpse of the Mansfield That Was.” Mansfield News Journal 14 Jan. 1968: 5. 24 May 2012. Print.
  3. “Mansfield, Ohio.” Carpentry and Building 3.8 (Aug. 1881): 155. Print.
  4. Martz, Linda. “‘Forbidden City’ tour Saturday will aid preservation work downtown.” Mansfield News Journal 3 May 2012: n.p. 24 May 2012. Web.

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