History of Benson Mill, Utah

Benson Mill (Tooele) is located in the northern Tooele Valley at 40.65079N 112.29718W on Highway 138, just north of Stansbury Park. Brigham Young commissioned Ezra Taft Benson, after whom the mill was named, to erect the structure. The building is constructed of intricate French buhrstones and wood. The mill dates back to pioneer era master craftsmen who erected the building in 1854 using wooden pegs and leather strips, a method similar to the construction of the LDS Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Builders of the mill were members of the Lee family: Samuel, Thomas, Samuel Francis, Alfred, Francis and Eli.

In the 1850's the mill's original grind stone, also imported from France, was transported by ox teams along with other mill equipment across the plains. Millers included the following: Mease Houtz and John and Oscar Jones.

From 1854 to the 1940's, the mill ground and processed flour, bran, and cornmeal. By the 1970's the Benson Gristmill had fallen into disrepair. However, during the 1980's the mill was restored by enthusiastic local volunteers. Much of the mills original machinery and equipment can be viewed inside the mill.

Over the years other historical buildings have been relocated to the mill site; among them are the Booth/Davis Barn, the Bolinder Blacksmith Shop, the Tanner/Russell Home, the White Family Barn, the Harris/Bolinder Sheep Camp, The Pehrson/Gowans Building, The Miller's Cabin, the Forsyth Cabin, the Johnson Cabin and the Gollaher Barn.

In 1972 the site was placed on the National Historic Register.

G. William Wiersdorf

See: The Historic Benson Grist Mill, Benson Mill Markers, Plaques and Brochures, Memories of the Mill booklet.

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