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This mill could produce 90, bushels of wheat annually, and the flour produced was equal in quality to the flour produced in St. As a result, the mill enjoyed a monopoly in the upper Midwest until the establishment of other mills. Pratt and Manson would operate this mill for the next 25 years. Operations at the Rockdale Mill were temporarily halted due to the Rockdale Flood.
The mill would eventually start producing flour once again. In the mill burned to the ground. He changed the name to the South Dubuque Mill. Gondolfo would purchase the mill in He made repairs, and the mill continued to produce flour for a number of years. In the mill would be leased out to a company that ran the mill for the next 14 years. In the mill was finally shut down. For a time it was used as a dairy barn until it was destroyed by fire in The village would eventually grow to include a saloon, hotel, stores, blacksmith shop, several homes, and a post office.
The villagers built a Methodist church built out of logs in the s. In the present structure was built at Old Mill Road with red brick. The Rockdale Methodist Church still stands and, along with its Cemetery at the side and back, is still in use today. On July 4, , Rockdale would be the site of one of the worst flooding disasters in the history of the area.
For most of the day those living in the area celebrated the th anniversary of the nation. As night approached the celebrations wrapped up. Soon this drizzle turned into a downpour of rain. The Catfish Creek soon jumped out of its bank and broke the mill dam which was upstream of the village. The resulting wall of water — which was estimated to be 20 feet deep and hundreds of feet wide — swept through the village. By the time the flood was over, the mill and one house would be the only buildings still standing.
In Rockdale forty-two people died in the flood, while in Dubuque only one person died. Survivors were found in the tree tops where the flood waters had swept them. Charles Thimmesch — a local barkeeper — survived with an incredible tale of escape. He had climbed on the roof of the post office after warning others of the flood. Thimmesch escaped by swimming naked to higher ground with his money in his mouth. As a result of the destruction, the village was never the same.
Most of the people living in the village had died during the floods. The crops here will not be good here, there has been so great falls of rain that has done a vast deal of damage. On the 4th July, the great day of rejoicing all over America, at night set in such violent a storm of rain as was ever known here.
I cannot sleep well for thinking of those dear children. The house was knocked to fragments and up to the 8th, 31 dead bodies were found. Hundreds of people have been to see where they stood. Log in or sign up in seconds. Submit a new link. Submit a new text post.
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