Grapevine in Tarrant County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
The Grapevine Mill
Long known as the B & D Feed Mill, the industrial complex on the west side of main Street north of the railroad tracks was developed in 1902 as the Farmers and Merchants Milling Company, a flour mill started by a group of prominent Grapevine businessmen. Main Street merchants Wingate Lucas and Zeb Jenkins; prominent local physician Dr. Thomas Benton Dorris; founder of the Grapevine Sun, attorney and later mayor Benjamin R. Wall; lumberyard owner Charles Estill; and cotton gin owner and grapevine national bank President George E. Bushong were among the founding board of directors. B.R. Wall serve as the first president. Like many merchants in rural North Texas at the beginning of the century, most of the investors in the flour, mill were also farmers. All of them were committed to creating new enterprises that would benefit the interdependent economies of agriculture and retail business. Fast efficient shipping opportunities were available to the farmers and merchants of Grapevine when the Cotton Belt Railroad began service in 1888 to nearby Forth Worth and Mississippi ports such as St. Louis. Thus developments such as the flour mill near
The cycles of economic booms and bust that always plagued farmers on the Prairie, and witch probably led to creation of institutions such as the farmers Union, made cooperation imperative among everyone in the community to support the local economy.
The flour mill for many years, serving the grain farmers of the Grape Vine Prairie much as the three local cotton gins, which were located west of Main Street along the creek, processed locally grown cotton. However, in 1936, local grocer J. Kirby Buckner and William D. Deacon, a main Street Merchant in poultry and livestock feeds, created a partnership that bought the mill. The men renamed it B & D mills and converted it to a livestock feed manufacturing business. The old three story wooden flour mill building and its round grain tank were expanded several times, with a warehouse added in 1939, metal grain storage tanks constructed in 1945 and concrete elevators completed in 1950. The Deacon family gained sole ownership in 1938, and were operating it in 1956 when B & D Mills became the first electronic manufacturing feed mill in the Southwest and the tall, manufacturing tower was added.
In the 1950s and '60s B & D was a leader in experimental research on poultry feeds and breeding, having branched out into the turkey production business in Texas, As smaller operators disappeared in an increasingly competitive market, B & D became an industry leader in eliminating the grain portion of complete feeds, producing only concentrates which were shipped directly to large poultry producers who added the grain on the farm. With increasing urbanization and the opening of D/FW International Airport, the deacon family sold the business, and complex was closed in 1979.
In 1994 the facility retained nearly all of the original machinery and equipment installed over the previous 90 years, The mill structures represent not only a dramatic visual landmark on the skyline of Grapevine, but also an icon for the rich agricultural history of the area, which was the lifeblood of every family living on the Grape Vine Prairie for more than a century.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1902.
Location. 32° 56.037′ N, 97° 4.688′ W. Marker is in Grapevine, Texas, in Tarrant County. Marker is on South Main Street, 0.1 miles East Hudgins Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Grapevine TX 76051, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Cotton Belt Railroad Depot (here, next to this marker); Willy Majors (a few steps from this marker); The Founders Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Courage, Sacrifice (within shouting distance of this marker); Nat Barrett (within shouting distance of this marker); Land Patent Office (within shouting distance of this marker); Cotton Belt Hotel (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Grapevine Dairy Producers Building (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Grapevine.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 2, 2022. It was originally submitted on March 31, 2022, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. This page has been viewed 181 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on March 31, 2022, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. 2. submitted on April 1, 2022, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.