Early Industry Served Agriculture

Bountiful wheat harvests in the Little Thompson Valley led Denver businessman J.K. Mullen of the Colorado Milling & Elevator Company to build a grain elevator in Berthoud in the fall of 1885. Two years later in the winter of 1887-88 when the Berthoud Farmers Milling & Elevator Company was incorporated, the elevator was purchased from Mullen with plans to add a flour mill.

Completed in the fall of 1888 at a cost of $52,000, the new mill produced Crown Patent, Farmers Pride, Extra Fancy and Blue Ribbon brand flours at the rate of 300 sacks per day. To meet demand the factory operated around the clock until 10-12 boxcar loads of flour-filled barrels, boxes or sacks had been warehoused.

Re-purchased by J.K. Mullen in 1903, the flour mill was town’s only factory from the 1880s to the 1940s. The mill which was located east of the railroad tracks on Berthoud’s Mountain Avenue was razed in 1966 after it was declared a local fire hazard.