LYON COUNTY GENEALOGY: The Compendium
ROCK RAPIDS' TOW MILLS
In the spring of 1887, at Rock Rapids, there was built an extensive tow mill. It was erected by the Racine Twine & Cordage Co. It was located on the B.C.R. & N. (now Rock Island) railway tracks. Its size was 40 by 256 feet and contained a 40-roll break, one 20-roll break, one picker and one steam press, together with modern hoisting machinery. It was propelled by a 50-horse power engine, with a huge smoke stack seventy-five feet high. The daily capacity of the plant was four tons, or 1250 tons per year, for which was required 5,000 tons of flax straw. Their special production was upholsterer's tow. The first six months they paid out $4,500 to farmers for flax straw.
These mills did a flourishing business until farmers had subdued the prairie sod and quit raising flax, which was about 1891.
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