Information taken from the Andover News

Written by William A. Greene 2006


       The first gristmill to be built in Andover was built in 1819 by Luther Strong.  It was built about ¾ miles east of the village on the Greenwood road.  A sawmill was built in 1815 on the same place but they weren’t connected.

       Sometime in 1826, a Mr. Holliday built the first gristmill in the village of Andover.  It was located on the north side of the railroad tracks and the street we call Water Street today.  It had no name back then.  This is the spot where a mill stands today.

       The creek was damned up and a wooden water pipe directed the water to the mill, where it would turn the wooden paddle wheel, which turned the grinding stone, which ground the grain.  (I have a piece of the wooden pipe that was dug up in 2004, while the village was replacing the water system).  The water ran down the millrace and dumped back into the creek a couple of hundred yards away.

       Sometime later, on an unknown date, Mr. Holliday sold the mill to Elijah Hunt.  The mill burnt in 1833 but was rebuilt by Mr. Hunt on the same location.

       At some point in time after the rebuilding of the mill the following people operated or worked in the mill, they were Samuel Russell, D.J. Hale, and Jason Hunt. In the 1850’s we find a Perian Burrows, James Diffin and James Denning were running the mill. A Johnathan Price, Henry Holbert, James Dorsett and James Diffin were operators sometime during the 1860’s.  Then in the 1870’s an Edward Bundy and Robert Bundy were operating the mill. The above names were taken from the Andover Census.

       In 1878, a George E. Brown purchased the mill from Robert M. Bundy and ran it for over 40 years.  During this time it was known as Moser and Brown, Brown and Williamson and finally Mr. Brown  worked with his son Frank.


       Sometime in the 1870’s another mill was built on the corners of West Greenwood St. and Second St. A Walter Lanphier with Seth Baker helping operated this.  It was powered by two steam engines.  The gristmill was on the first floor and on the second floor was a broom handle factory operated by an A.R. Henderson.

       On May 20, 1889 the Lanphier mill burned to the ground.  The mill contained two mammoth boilers, two 30 horse power and one 10 horse power engines, a saw mill, planers, matchers, saws, several runs of stones for milling, besides other machinery.  The log carriage, one large saw, the heard blocks and the main drive belt were all that were saved from the mill.  The boilers were uninjured and Mr. Lanphier thinks the engines can be repaired.  As for Mr. Henderson, he has lost everything.

       The cause of the fire was unknown, but was thought to be set as the fire was nowhere near the boilers, and the building was inspected by Mr. Lanphier two hours before he went to bed. 

       Mr. Lanphier rebuilt his mills on the same lot and continued to saw logs and make custom flours for his customers.  Mr. Henderson moved his business to just north of the railroad tracks on Main St.

       March 26, 1893 at 3:30 in the morning the George E. Brown mill burns to the ground. The only things saved were a safe, books, a couple of saws, the saw carriage, and a few sacks of flour, and meal.  The cause of the fire was never determined.

       In the 14 years that Mr. Brown has owned the property many alterations and additions have been made.  The building was raised to two stories, many repairs and new machinery has been purchased.  In 1892 a sawmill was added and has since done an extensive business in the manufacturing of lumber.  At this time the steam engines must have been added to run the sawmill.

        By July the frame of Mr. Brown’s new mill was going up and by September of 1893 it was almost completed and by January everything was running and they were back in business.

       Both mills were known for their excellent work in grinding and sawing and were known all around the county.  Both had been in the business close to 50 years.  Then in 1923 both men died, first George on January 29th and then, on August 13th, Walter.  Andover lost two very good businessmen. 

       Frank Brown, son of George, took over where his dad left off and ran the mill. In September of 1927 the mill was remodeled to make it completely modern with electricity to run everything throughout the mill. I don’t know if this is when the sawmill was taken out or not.  It was never mentioned again.

       What happened to the Walter Lanphier mill from the time of his death till it was torn down in September of 1928, I don’t know.  Houses have been built and you would never know a business was there for about 50 years.

       In 1939 Mrs. Frank Brown sold the mill on Water St. to Edward McGuirl of Shinglehouse, Pa. and Donald Green.  At some point in time, probably after WW II,  Donald DeRemer became partners with Ed McGuirl.  The mill was called “The Farmers Feed Supply” and later “Agway”.  These two gentlemen supplied many farmers in the area with feed and lime and dairy supplies.  They retired in March of 1970.


       Leon McNeil and Richard York then purchased the mill.  The name was changed from “Agway Feed Mill” to “D & L Feed Company”.  Again they kept up the quality of work that was done before them.  Keeping the farmers supplied with custom ground grain products, lime and dairy supplies.  Both Dick and Leon retired from the business in 1992.

       From 1992 to 2000 Michael Hulse leased the business from Dick and Leon.  Again supplying the local farmers with their grain needs.  The sad part is that there weren’t that many farmers anymore.  The dairy business was just about over.  Where once there were numerous farmers, now there is a handful. As the men before him, Mike ran a good business and saw what was happening.  He was offered a different job and took it.

       In 2000 a James Dunning purchased the mill from Leon McNeil to add to his gristmill business in Canaseraga.  It didn’t last long.  In October of 2003 the doors were shut until who knows when.


        A business that had been open for almost 177 years in the same spot was over. A business that was older than any other business in Andover. A business that has hardly anything written about it.  It wasn’t just a business place it was a friendly place. My first time there was back in the early 1950’s with my dad, when Eddie McGuirl and Don DeRemer operated it. My last time there was in 2000 when Mike Hulse operated it. Through all those years I’ve seen many smiling faces and heard many tall tales told, but it was always a friendly place to see your neighbor.  Many people have walked and driven by the old mill and have no idea as to the stories behind it. If they only knew.