Dedicated to the history, preservation, and continuing story of windmills in Illinois.
Baldwin (? - ?)
William W. Williams (? - ?)
Samuel Ward (? - ?)
Balance, Charles. The History of Peoria, Illinois. Peoria: N. C. Nason, 1870
History of the Mill
Only known history: “The first steam-saw mill was built by Mr. Wm. W. Williams, or by a man by the name of Baldwin, who immediately sold it to Mr. Williams. At any rate, Mr. Williams operated it for a year or two, but did no good with it, and it passed into the hands of Samuel Ward, an English millwright, who turned it into a wind-mill; but he, likewise, did no good with it, and the thing went down. I do not remember whether it was burnt down, or pulled down, or turned into a warehouse, as has been stated. Williams failed because, though a sober man, he was not calculated to succeed at any thing; and Ward failed because he was, all the time he carried on the business, killing himself with whiskey, in which latter business he succeeded.”
If this information is true, it would be the first mention (that I have come across) about a wind-powered saw mill in Illinois.