Selby, Paul. Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois. Munsell Publishing Company, 1907.
History of the Mill
"James Tannehill experimented with a wind-mill in the high prairie, on the farm later occupied by John Tate, but the elements were unfavorable, as there was no way provided for regulating the speed of his wind-mill or checking the force of the wind. A storm of wind suddenly struck the wings of the wheel [sails], and increased its velocity to such a degree that the runner flew off its bearing, and came very near taking Tannehill’s head with it, as he was getting down the steps to find a place of safety.
"The storm increased and blew the fragments all over the field. The runner had acquired such a rotary velocity that it was buried in the earth near where Tannehill was standing, and remained long a reminder of the experiment."