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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Kearney in Clay County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Watkins Mill

— Clay County Historical Society Historic Landmark —

 
 
Watkins Mill Historical Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tony Meyers, August 15, 2011
1. Watkins Mill Historical Marker
Inscription.  This farm established by Walthus L. Watkins, centered around his woolen factory built 1860-1861. It operated for 40 years with mass production machines. This farm (Bethany) also boasted a grist mill, flour mill and saw mill, church and octagonal school house.
 
Erected by The Clay County Missouri Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmarks, and the National Historic Landmarks series lists.
 
Location. 39° 24.62′ N, 94° 15.594′ W. Marker is near Kearney, Missouri, in Clay County. Marker can be reached from Watkins Road, one mile south of County Road MM. Watkins Mill, the Watkins Home and the Visitor's Center are located in Watkins Mill State Park in Clay County, Missouri. Drive approximately 6 miles east of Kearney, Missouri on State Hiway 92. Turn north on County Road RA and drive 2 miles to the State Park entrance. Follow signs in the park to the Watkins Mill
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historic site. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Kearney MO 64060, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. James Farm (approx. 3˝ miles away); Hall of Waters (approx. 5.1 miles away); a different marker also named Hall of Waters (approx. 5.1 miles away); Bell-Pharis House (approx. 11.7 miles away); Riverview (approx. 13.8 miles away); "The Old Graveyard" "Mt. Memorial Cemetery" (approx. 13.8 miles away); John Priest Greene President's Home (approx. 13.9 miles away); Mass Grave Site (approx. 13.9 miles away).
 
More about this marker. A representative of Watkins Mill Association (see Link No. 2) asked us to note that Mr. Watkins’ first name is spelled Waltus, not Walthus, as inscribed on the marker.

This marker and two additional historical markers are located just adjacent to the rear exit of the Visitor’s Center on the path leading to the Mill and the House.
 
Also see . . .
1. Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site. (Submitted on August 19, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
2. Watkins Mill Association. “Waltus and his wife Mary Ann, along with their children, built the farm they called Bethany into a very successful agricultural
Historical Markers at the Watkins Mill Visitor's Center image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tony Meyers, August 15, 2011
2. Historical Markers at the Watkins Mill Visitor's Center
and industrial complex.” (Submitted on November 3, 2011.) 
 
Watkins Woolen Mill image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tony Meyers, August 15, 2011
3. Watkins Woolen Mill
Marker designating Watkins Mill as a Registered National Historic Landmark image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tony Meyers, August 15, 2011
4. Marker designating Watkins Mill as a Registered National Historic Landmark
Watkins Mill has been designated a Registered National Historic Landmark. Under the provisions of the historic sites act of August 21, 1935 this site possesses exceptional value in commemorating or illustrating the history of The United States. U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service 1966
Marker designating Watkins Mill as a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tony Meyers, August 15, 2011
5. Marker designating Watkins Mill as a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark
National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark 1861 – C.A. 1890. The Watkins Woolen Mill is among the best preserved examples of a mid-19th century woolen mill in the United States. It’s variety of machinery for preparing, spinning, and weaving—some of it modified during its life at the mill to improve its performance—presents an unsurpassed cross-section of textile technology at that time and is the finest collection of early textile machines in situ in North America. The mill was designed and built by Waltus L. Watkins (1806-1884), a machinist and master weaver from Frankfort, Kentucky. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers - 1980
The Waltus L. Watkins Home image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tony Meyers, August 15, 2011
6. The Waltus L. Watkins Home
Watkins Mill and the Watkins Home are accessed from the Visitor's Center.
Watkins Mill image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., July 22, 2013
7. Watkins Mill
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 15, 2011, by Tony Meyers of Liberty, Missouri. This page has been viewed 711 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 15, 2011, by Tony Meyers of Liberty, Missouri.   7. submitted on August 25, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 4, 2024