SAW MILLES pgs 110-111
Men who ventured to build such large mills as the first steam mill in Davenport were thought to be almost crazy. What would one do with a mill that could make hundreds of barrels of flour in so short a time? But now the little mill in the country beside the small stream has gone and the great mills of the cities make thousands of barrels of flour every day. Here and there in Iowa an old water mill remains, but the wheels of most of them do not turn any more. By examining the flour sack at home one may find out whether the flour he eats is made in Iowa or in some other state.
But the mills which helped to feed the pioneer were not much more important than those which made lumber for his better house. As already mentioned, the ax and the auger and the hand saw were tools enough to build a house. But when boards were wanted a saw mill was necessary.
These saw mills were set up along the woods near some home and the logs of hard wood were hauled to them with ox teams. After the logs were sawed into boards they were hauled back to the building place. Each man, of course, took the lumber from his own logs just as he took the flour made from his own wheat when he went to the grist mill.
The pine lumber, which one sees every day, came at first from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, or from Cincinnati. A short time after Iowa had been settled along the Mississippi River great rafts of logs were brought down from pine woods of Wisconsin. For many days in the year these rafts could be seen by people who lived near by the rivers. Large saw mills and planing mills were built in some cities to turn the logs into smooth lumber, which the settlers would take away in wagons. Until the railroads were built the pine lumber had to be carried in wagons to any place back from the Mississippi.