Dedicated to the history, preservation, and continuing story of windmills in Illinois.
(1872 - ?)
Henry Holstein (1872 - 1882)
Steinbeck (1882 - 1899)
(unknown) (1899 - ?)
1874 Combination Atlas of DuPage County.
“Windward ho!” Addison Press. 26 June 1998.
Holstein file at the Bloomingdale Public Library.
Personal records / observations
The Holstein Windmill.
Photo from the Bloomingdale Public Library
History of the Mill
South of Schick Road on the west side of Bloomingdale Road was the farm and residence of Henry Holstein, who built a windmill in 1872. The mill was one of the largest in the area and designed for large-scale production, built with a wing building, presumably used for shipping or receiving. It was constructed with a foundation of stone, a wide base, and a self-governing tail fan to turn the cap.
Holstein hired experienced German miller Henry Raap to operate and maintain the mill. As experienced as Raap was, he narrowly escaped death when a tornado heavily damaged the Holstein Windmill in 1879. Holstein did not reopen his mill for business until 1882 after painstakingly reconstructing it with improvements, including a third run of stone to increase the mill’s capacity.
Soon after reopening, however, Holstein sold the mill to a man named Steinbeck. Steinbeck hired Herman Schmoldt to operate the mill with Raap. When a steam engine was installed, Raap left to work for the railroad. The mill was destroyed by another tornado in 1899; this time, however, the mill was not rebuilt, but rather “capped” and served the rest of its life as a grain storage space.
The grinding stones now sit in a small park between two benches next to the Bloomingdale Historical Society, north of Schick Road west of Bloomingdale Road.