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Russell-Miller Milling Co. Flour Mill
Russell-Miller Milling Company Elevator / Peavey Co. Elevator

87 Childs Street in the First Ward in Buffalo, NY

Part of Silo City

Original owner and function:
The founding company, American Malting, was created in August 1897, to consolidate a large number of small malt houses under one combine. The trust was established to sell prepared malt to brewers more cheaply than they could purchase barley alone. The Volsted Act (Prohibition) ruined the business.
Second owner and function:
In the spring of 1922,  the Russell-Miller Milling Company purchased the complex, which was subsequently extended and converted for flour production Occident-brand flour.  By the late 1920s, the company owned 135 country elevators and three terminal elevators including the American.
Third owner: In the early 1950s, Russell-Miller was bought out by Peavey Corporation, the sixth largest grain dealer in the world. Peavey improved the elevator and made the mill the world's largest pneumatic flouring processor.

Russell-Miller Milling Company

The [American] elevator was built in association with a malt house constructed to the west of it in December of 1906. The steel and brick malt house was built by the James Stewart Company at a cost of $1 million. The building was in two sections—a main five- story block measuring 175' x 110'  featuring three towers on its western elevation and another five-story building south of the main block. A steel-roofed railroad loading shed was located in the gap between the main block of the malt house and the adjoining elevator.

I
n the spring of 1922,  the Russell-Miller Milling Company purchased the complex, which was subsequently extended and converted for flour production.

Almost immediately, the unloading capabilities of the elevator were augmented by the addition of a second marine tower with associated quayside. The new tower was movable and ran on tracks between the existing fixed tower and the Perot Elevator.

Russell Miller commissioned the design of a new mill in 1923 for which a building permit was issued the next year. The new structure was built on the site of the south wing of the original malt house that had been demolished the previous year.

By the late 1920s, the company owned 135 country elevators and three terminal elevators including the American. Russell-Miller built the flour mill illustrated below.

In the 1920s, Russell-Miller's leading retail brand, Occident Flour, was sold primarily to merchant markets such as the baking industry. Buffalo's advantages as a milling center stemmed from its superior access to lake and canal transport routes to eastern markets. By1931 the company had thirteen flour mills but still only the American serving eastern markets.

Russell-Miller changed its name to Russell Flour Mills in 1935.

- Source: HABS, p. 6 (online April 2013)


Jan. 20, 1928 Buffalo Evening News ad.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Testa

Note the left  (west) section of American Elevator where the flour mill added in 1924.

Original photo (without text) from Google Earth.


Mill: A building equipped with machinery for grinding grain into flour and other cereal products.


West elevation.

Left (white painted brick): 1906 malt house, adjacent to the taller main house.
Right: 1923 Russell-Miller Milling Company Elevator flour mill.

The 1906 elevator was built in association with a malt house constructed to the west of it in December of 1906. The steel and
brick malt house was built by the James Stewart Company at a cost of $1 million. The building was in two sections - a main five- story block  [left building in photo] and another five-story building south of the main block [demolished for flour mill].

Russell Miller commissioned the design of a new mill in 1923 for which a building permit was issued the next year.  The new structure was built on the site of the south wing of the original malt house that had been demolished the previous year.



1924 flour mill built on the site of the south wing of the original malt house that had been demolished the previous year.

" The new mill was an eight-story reinforced concrete structure measuring 124' x 50'.  The pier and panel structure consisted of 9 x 4 bays, the tops of the piers forming castellations at the parapet.  A block of square concrete bins was incorporated into the eastern end of the building and occupied an area of 3 x 2 bays between the basement and top floor.  The building was constructed by J.W. Cowper of Boston and completed by May of 1924." - Source: HABS, p. 6 (online April 2013)



Rail tracks leading into distribution area west of the 1923 flour mill





A steel-roofed railroad loading shed is located in the gap between the main block of the 1906 malt house which was replaced by the 1923 flour mill [at left] and the adjoining 1931 elevator annex [at right].


Inside the railroad loading shed



Inside the railroad loading shed




Color photos and their arrangement 2013 Chuck LaChiusa
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