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Fitzhugh/Watts Mill
East of State Line Road on 103rd Street and Indian Creek
Kansas City, Missouri
Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, K.C., MO
A Brief History of Dallas, Missouri
The Fitzhugh/Watts Mill
1832  Frenchmen George and Jonathan Fitzhugh construct a grist mill on the banks of Indian Creek.
1842 The mill, where grain is ground for area families and stores, is sold to James Hunter and Duke Simpson of Westport.
1843 James Nesmith's diary of the Great Migration of 1843 indicates that "The Oregon Company met at the grove west of Fitzhugh's Mill on May 18."
1852 Anthony Watts buys land and a grist mill and saw mill from Hunter and Simpson for $400.
1854 Watts builds a farmhouse west of the mill site.
1855  Jim Bridger buys land in Dallas, Missouri, for his farm and home.
1860  The mill is remodeled and expanded to two stories, and the paddle wheel is enclosed.
1865 Stubbins Watts, son of Anthony, returns from the Civil War to run the family mill.
1911 Watts Mill cannot compete with Kansas City mills, which produce 10,800 barrels of flour using modern methods. Watts Mill stays in business by grinding buckwheat and cornmeal.
1922 Edgar Watts takes over mill operations after the death of his father, Stubbins. Dallas Amusement Park opens in a bend of the creek south of the mill. This business venture by Harold Britt of Chicago fails but brings electricity to Dallas. An electric motor is added to the mill's power train; the building begins to show decay.
1923 Edgar Watts marries Flora Boone, great-great granddaughter of Daniel Boone.
1932 Six thousand people attend the centennial celebration of the mill.
1939 The business, no longer commercially viable, is closed.
1942 Nine tons of cast iron and steel from the mill are donated as scrap for the war effort.
1947 Kroh Brothers Realty buys the property.
1949 The old mill, now an eyesore and safety hazard, is torn down.
1973 Landowners donate three acres of the mill site to the city.
1992 Home of Bill Crotty, last building in the City of Dallas is razed.
1993 The Sesquicentennial of the Great Migration of 1843 on the Oregon Trail is celebrated at Watts Mill Park.
Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, K.C., MO

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