The Elkhorn Grove mills are situated on Elkhorn Creek, section 31, in Elkhorn
Grove Township. They are owned by Fisher and J. F. Allison. They were originally
erected in 1866, at a cost of $7,000. They have a capacity of one hundred and
forty-four bushels per day, equal to nearly thirty barrels. In February, 1872,
when the upper story of the mill was weighted down with grain, there came a
fearful wind storm that so racked the mill that the joists gave way, letting the
entire floor and its contents down upon the stove, from which a fire started
that destroyed the entire building. Dr. W. K. Palmer, William L. Johnson, Matt.
Deiterlee and Joseph Lukens, the miller, were in the store room at the time.
Lukens escaped through the flume. Dr. Palmer was killed by the falling of the
floor, and was horribly burned before his body could be rescued. Deiterlee was
slightly burned, and Johnson badly burned about the head, neck, face and hands.
They had been wedged in by the falling mass, and were unable to extricate
themselves from the burning debris until the increasing heat gave them unnatural
strength, when they got away, more dead than alive. Lukens was so frightened as
to be unable to render them any assistance. In addition, he was in bad health,
and Dr. Palmer had called to treat him professionally. The loss to Fisher
Allison was about $6,000, and to the customers of the mill about $1,500. There
was no insurance on the mill and the customers made no claim against Mr. Allison
for damages. The mills were rebuilt the following Fall, by Fisher Allison, his
son, Joseph F., the present county treasurer, becoming a partner in their
re-erection and subsequent management.