Isaac Newton Alexander Grist Mill
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Uploaded on Dec 4, 2008
Isaac Newton Alexander Grist Mill Video, located in Charlotte, N.C. on the Myers Park High School Campus.
In July and August 1857, Isaac Newton Alexander (1808-1892), a native of the Clear Creek community of Mecklenburg County, purchased a large tract of land along Sugar Creek and along Little Sugar Creek, now Briar Creek, in the Sharon section or Mecklenburg County. Soon thereafter, a water-powered grist mill was erected on his farm It was a two-story frame building which rested upon a rock foundation. Mr. Alexander, a farmer, did not operate the mill but brought "millers" to his farm to oversee the gathering and grinding of grain into flour and meal.
The Isaac Newton Alexander Mill served the farmers of the surrounding countryside, who brought their wheat and corn, the principal grain crops of ante-bellum Mecklenburg to the facility for processing. It must have been a hubbub of activity. As late as 1880, the mill was in full operation, not only processing grain but also producing cottonseed oil, the first in Mecklenburg County, peanut oil and castor bean oil. 5 But in the late 1880s and 1890s, more efficient plants, such as a roller mill in Dilworth, made the Isaac Newton Alexander Mill obsolete, and the old building fell silent. 6 On August 28, 1896, the Charlotte Observer reported that the mill dam "at the old Captain Alexander mill" had been washed away by heavy rains. "It was swept completely away," the newspaper noted. "The people in that neighborhood think it a good riddance."
Isaac Newton Alexander died on November 18, 1892. A member and long-time elder at Sharon Presbyterian Church, he was buried in the Sharon cemetery beside his wife, Caroline Morrison Alexander (1825-1863), whom he had wed on August 8, 1845. The Charlotte Democrat described him as a "good Christian man". The Charlotte Weekly Observer was even more expansive in its praise of Isaac Newton Alexander, "His walk in life was that of an honest man and exemplary Christian," the newspaper declared. Cyrus Morrison Alexander, his son, who was associated with the mill operation, lived until March 6, 1947.
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