Sutters Mill...1875 - The mill is located at 4426 Dodge Street in what is now Omaha, Nebraska. It has a very colorful history. Almost as colorful as Omaha itself. It was out in the country when it was built. Omaha was a wild boom town. It seemed to have as many saloons and brothels, as it had citizens. John Creighton had one of the largest whiskey distilleries in the world. Several wonderful books are available on early Omaha.

John Sutter's Mill started out in life as a grist mill, 1875 or earlier. It is constructed of giant 8x8 and 8x10 solid timbers stacked on each other in a typical post and trestle method used for centuries. It consists of a double post system the lenght of the structure, at a six foot interval, for the mill equipment. It's large water wheel was turned by the constricted flow of Saddle Creek, the grain is crushed by the large stone wheels ( connected by a common shaft ) inside the mill.
Omaha was the epicenter of pioneer life. A mill in a rural setting is the hub of activity in the area. Wagontrains were outfitted with flour and whiskey for the long trek to California. Due to several years of drought and the towns being built around it ( Dundee, Benson ) The stone wheels were exchanged for cutting blades, the grain chutes and conveyors were removed, It was now a planing mill. A planing mill is much more elaborate then a typical sawmill. A planing mill was needed for the beautiful and delicate woodwork being used in the mansions lining The Lincoln Highway, Dundee, Benson and in Omaha's Goldcoast area.
E.A. Benson lived a block away from the mill most of his life. (not in Benson)
The Mill is the only known surviving building of Nelson Updike's empire. Updike was not only known for feed, grain, lumber and coal. (He once shipped a thousand bushels of grain to England)
He was also the owner of The Omaha Bee and The Daily News.

The Mill is also the oldest building on The Lincoln Highway in Nebraska, and possibly the country. It had the largest billboard on it. It was hand painted and bright orange, painted by the cy-co sign company, selling furniture to families moving to the "West Coast" to seek their fame and fortune, just as they had purchased grain over fifty years earlier.

A mill in Nebraska will typically be moved a few times in it's life due to a stream changing it's course (waterpower), Nebraska is flat in places, the invention of/or availability of steam power, the invention of electricity (alternating current, the ability to transverse greater distances) conversion to electric motors.
The Florence Mill is a wonderful historic grain mill and a perfect example of a mill being moved. The original Mormon mill was abandoned and some of the timbers were used in the current structure, it was flooded and moved to a higher elevation with a poured concrete foundation. They have great art, and pleasant company. Please support them. Please go to an art show there.



We are currently seeking any information, stories, family members and photographs of the mill, to be used in a museum at the mill, and in preparation of the 2013 National Lincoln Highway Convention in Kearney, Nebraska. We prefer they have a reason to take the real Lincoln Highway thru Omaha and not highway 30 thru Blair.

Any museum in and around the Omaha area (Iowa / Nebraska)is encouraged to contact us about placing kiosks directing people to your facility

Names we are seeking information and photos of;

John Sutter
John Joseph / Josephs
Carl Josephson
Josephson Planing Mill
Updike Lumber and Grain
Nelson B. Updike
Updike Fuel and Coal
A.E. Samuelson
Mary Samuelson
Dundee Shade and Blind
Figure Fair
The LincolnHighway (maps,cigar boxes,photos,automobiles)

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