from 1869 directory

Clinton Mills (sometimes Clinton Flour Mills or Clinton Flouring Mills) was established c.1854 by Charles W. Reid and his brother-in-law, Mr. Potter, 1 and was known for "Golden Star" flour. It was the first grain mill in the Oakland area, and was located at East 11th Street and 12th Avenue (originally Jackson and Polk Streets.) By 1857 the company was the leader in the local grain industry.

Apparently it was owned by J.D. Bostwick & Co. at some point. 7

By 1869, Joseph Bassett, Abram Welch and F.E. Weston owned the business, with Welch known as the miller. Weston had numerous interests besides the mill. Bassett was a commission merchant in San Francisco selling flour and grains. By the late 1870s production at the plant had expanded to 100,000 barrels annually.

Grain and wooden buildings are both flammable, and the mill had a number of fires. 2 A fire in October 1879 destroyed the mill, with $40,000 to $60,000 in losses. 3,4 A few weeks later, Weston and Welch announced that they had purchased Sarpy & Son on 11th Street between Broadway and Franklin and would continue business there while the mill was rebuilt. 5 The new mill was almost complete by December 18. 8

In 1881, Charles J. Welch, Abram's son, began selling Sperry's Mills' Granulated Flour, made by Sperry & Co. of Stockton. 9

By 1884, the mill had been closed. A brief article in February 1884 said the mill was to be reopened by "an Eastern firm," but it's unknown if that happened. 6 In 1886, it was noted that Charles Welch was doing repairs and putting in new machinery for the mill, which had been doing business, but not grinding. 10

1874 ad1879 ad 51880 ad

Links and References

  1. Death of Charles W. Reed San Francisco Examiner May 21, 1888
  2. Two More Fires Oakland Tribune November 20, 1876
  3. Destructive Fire at East Oakland Oakland Daily Times October 6, 1879
  4. Oakland Items San Francisco Chronicle October 7, 1879
  5. Clinton Flour Mills ad Oakland Tribune October 27, 1879
  6. Oakland Items San Francisco Chronicle February 28, 1884
  7. Answers Last Call Oakland Enquirer October 29, 1903
  8. Oakland Brevities Oakland Tribune December 18, 1879
  9. ad Oakland Tribune May 17, 1881
  10. East Oakland Oakland Tribune September 8, 1886