| July/August 1981

The Carson Roller Mill

The Carson Roller Mill

The following story is reprinted with permission from 'North Dakota History,' Volume 47, Number 1 (Winter 1980). Copyright 1980. State Historical Society of North Dakota. All rights reserved.

The Carson Roller Mill is the only known roller flour mill in North Dakota to remain essentially unaltered and complete with original equipment. Roller mills were a common feature of trade center towns in the early settlement period, but nearly all of them have been lost to fire, demolition, or incorporation into grain elevator complexes. The Carson Mill presently contains the original milling equipment installed between 1913 and 1919, as well as disc grain cleaners installed in 1924. A single-cylinder, 32 horsepower Fairbanks Morse kerosene engine in the basement provides power to pulleys and drive belts that extend in series to the third floor.

The mill was built in 1913 by a group of Carson residents led by businessman and promoter, Richard Mott. The business opened that year under direction of head miller, A. W. Berkner, who lived with his family in the south wing of the building. By mid-1914 the mill was turning out 45 barrels of 'Wild Rose Flour' per day by operating both day and night. The market for the flour was primarily local, but by 1918 the Carson Mill was also shipping flour to firms in Minneapolis and Boston.

The Fairbanks Morse power center of the Carson Roller Mill. From the picture collection of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

The early history of the mill included frequent changes in management and millers until the business was purchased by the Muggli Brothers of Glen Ullin in 1919. Vincent Muggli became both manager and miller, and continued to operate the mill until his retirement in 1960. The Carson Roller Mill has been maintained in operating condition since 1960 for purposes of grain cleaning and storage for the Muggli farms of the Carson vicinity.