top of page

Franzen Windmill

Old Flax Mill





John H. Franzen (1850 - ?)



  • Bensenville Public Library

  • Personal records / observations

History of the Mill


John H. Franzen built a windmill sometime between 1847 and 1850 on a site on Wood Street near Barron Road in Bensenville, Illinois.  Unlike any other windmills listed, this is the only known windmill in the vicinity known to be used to grind flax seed into linseed oil, a product then used for making paints.  Farming and milling flax seed was profitable until about the Civil War when flax production was moved exclusively to Chicago.  The upright mill stones still stand in front of the Bensenville Public Library at the corner of Wood and Church Street.  A plaque on one stone reads:


"These mill stones were used by John H. Franzen in 1850 to grind flax seed from which linseed oil was made."


bottom of page