Early Mills of Brown County, Nebraska
To pioneers the early mills are of great value. The fine running streams on the south side of the Niobrara offered ample water power which was early utilized for grinding grain and sawing lumber. On Pine creek were the Ritterbush mills for both flour and lumber, Richard Upstill, sawmill; Steve Kyner, flour mill. On Bone Creek was Sisson’s mill and people came from great distances to have their wheat ground or to buy flour. It was owned by A. L. (“Gus”) Sisson. Otto Hoefs built a sawmill at the mouth of the Fairfield in 1892 and sold to Wm. Kuhre the next year. Mr. Kuhre still owns it.
An earlier mill was built on the Fairfield in 1883 by Cornell and King. Chas. Cornell took the first homestead in Fairfield precinct. Logs were cut along the creek by the government for use in building Fort Niobrara and later lumber from this mill was bought for use in the construction of the buildings there. The Bruce mill on the Niobrara in the western edge of the county about six miles above the Norden bridge, was useful to early settlers in that section.