Pioneers of Ellis County
Grove Creek Mill Owned by Stout, Served Many People
Abstracted from article by John B. Herring, Ennis Daily News July 14, 1938
Contributed by Jean Caddel
Because there were only a few small settlements prior to 1850 in what is now Ellis County, there were few commercial industries during that time period. The first settlers came to establish farm homesteads. Necessities of life not raised on the farm were hauled in by ox-carts from points twenty-five, fifty or even a hundred miles away. Much such merchandise was shipped from New Orleans to Galveston and Houston, and brought up the Trinity River by steamer, and the rest of the way in ox-carts. The railroads were to come many years later.
According to The History of Ellis County Texas, ( Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1892), the first commercial industry in present Ellis County, was Peter Stout's mill, built on Grove Creek in 1846. It was located a short distance from about where the H. & T. C. Railroad crosses the Creek and was patronized for twenty miles around.
[Note: We do not know the exact location Section 5 of the old map on this website shows the location of the mill as being just below the Dallas County line and north, northeast of Red Oak. However the creek known as Grove Creek at the turn of the century, was much further south - between Red Oak and Waxahachie The reference cited above states that General Tarrant was an early Ellis County settler and built a mill on a tributary of the Trinity River just below Forreston. He arrived about 1844, but no date is given regarding the mill.
If anyone has more information on the locations of these two mills please share it.]
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