This page contains resources relevant to Knott's Mill, Georgiana, Alabama, which was dismantled in April of 2004.
These items are a memoir by the miller's son, James Knotts, a newspaper clipping, feed grinder brochure, the mill catalog listing and brochure, and the engine listing in the Fairbanks-Morse catalog. Information about the dismantling and preservation of the equipment will be made available as time permits and progress is made.
Earnest E. Knotts was known over most of Butler County from 1947 to 1962 for his home-ground meal.
In 1947, with help from his son-in-law George H. Brewer, the grist mill was installed on the family farm just outside the city limits, east of Georgiana, Alabama.
Grinding corn was mostly a weekend operation and one which drew family members together to experience the novelty of grinding corn into meal, not only for the family, but also for other farmers who brought their corn to be ground. A regular assistant to Mr. Knotts was his son, James, who came with his family on the weekend to help and to enjoy the company of other family members who often came home to visit, enjoy the delicious home-cooked meals prepared by Mrs. Knotts, and to experience family camaraderie. Saturday, the usual meal-grinding day, was not just a work day; it was a celebration of family.
Mr. Knotts also supplied local stores with the delicious corn meal, neatly bagged, labeled, and often still warm from being immediately dipped from the bin. Hence many people in Butler County besides the farmers were able to enjoy this tasty product.
To add to the nutritive value of the meal, Mr. Knotts installed an attachment which added an enrichment supplement to the meal. The supplement was a tasteless mixture of minerals which was distributed uniformly throughout the product during the milling process.
Mr. Knotts' failing health was the primary reason for closing the operation. He died August 22, 1968.
Though the grist mill belongs to an earlier era, it is a reminder of how such operations brought family and community together in a very wholesome way.
Memoir provided by James Knotts
Clipping provided by Bonnie Brewer Armour
The International Harvester feed mill was made circa 1926. The cutter bar came loose while operating, causing a sudden and catastrophic end to its usefulness. It has been restored at the Bogia Tractor Works. Brochure courtesy of John Hammink of The Netherlands.
Later models had an extended frame instead of the support arm on the end of the pulley bearing.
These specs on the Williams Mill come from Neal Collier's 1919 Fairbanks-Morse Catalog. We believe the mill, now located in Building 49, University of West Florida, to be a 30 inch Williams. We also have a rather large pdf file of the Williams Brochure provided by Ken Christison at Grist Millers dot com.
Note that from the table above, the 10 HP Fairbanks engine was not large enough for this mill.
Fairbanks-Morse 1918 10HP Model Z
Engine from the 1919 Catalog.
We also have a brief video of the engine's first run after 50 years of dormancy.