Volume 4 , Number 11, Spring 1973
Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Dinnell sold the old Dawt Mill of Ozark County, a county of mills, to Mr. and Mrs. James Fisher. Mr. and Mrs. Dinnell bought the mill and surrounding acres in 1966 as a semi-retirement project.
The Ozark County Times quotes Mr. Dinnell as saying, "Dont ever believe you can semi-retire and operate a mill". It was because of the pressure of the work that he and his wife decided to sell the property.
"But we did not want to sell to just any one", Mrs. Dinnell said, "We feel that the mill and surrounding area really belongs to everyone and should be kept as a Testament to Gods creation. I feel that Dawt Mill and the land around it on the North River is really too beautiful to belong to any one person or family... it is just held in trust and should never be destroyed or marred."
The mill, built by Alva Hodgson in 1900, is capable of grinding about 750 pounds of corn an hour. The turbines supplying power to the grinders are in turn powered by a mill race fed by a long, angling low level dam constructed by John Caldwell in 1897, the first miller to locate on this site. After him came Hodgson who also built the mill at Scycamore. Following Hodgson there were a number of owners until 1945, when Mr. and Mrs. Ray Hunt bought the property and operated it until Mr. Hunts death. Shortly after this, it was sold to Leon Dew and others who in turn sold it to the Dinnells.
At the mill a bridge spans the river; here fishing is popular and the mill is also a put-in and take-out spot for float trips.
The Dinnells repaired and preserved the mill building in keeping with its original design. A mill wheel for decoration was added to the front of the mill. "We did this," said Dinnell, "because so many visitors were dissappointed at not seeing a millwheel"
Karl Schmidt authentically designed and fashioned the millwheel.
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
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