3. Franklin’s Famous Flour Factory
Today you might just know them as those ugly gray things at the end of Main Street. But the grain silos south of Main Street and First Avenue South are the last reminder of what was Franklin’s largest industry for nearly a century.
Joshua B. Lille established the Franklin Flouring Mill on the site in 1869. From there, it was sold to C.H. Corn and W.F. Eakin in 1909. In 1924, grain valued at $400,000 was used to produce over 70,000 barrels of “Franklin Lady Flour” and other products, which were distributed primarily in the southern market.
At its peak, more than 300 railcars of Franklin Lady Flour shipped from here each year in the early to mid 20th century.
By 1926, several improvements were made including the construction of large concrete grain elevators at a cost of $60,000 with a storage capacity of over 250,000 bushels of grain making it the second largest such facility in the state.
Dudley Casey purchased the mill in 1945 from Ernest and Wilbur Corn.
The adjacent five-story mill built around 1887 and valued at $700,000 burned on January 8, 1958.
The grain elevators survived the fire and continued to operate for three decades.