Frohna Mill Being Razed

While updating some stories about the German settlements in Perry County, north of Cape Girardeau, I passed an old mill being torn down.

I apologize for not having more information, but I thought I’d put the pictures up in case anyone wanted to drive up to Frohna to see the structure before it was flattened. There’s a chance demolition may be delayed, but I think it’s postponing the inevitable.

Mill built in 1863

I found a paragraph in George G. Thurm’s A Pictorial Tour of Historic East Perry County Missouri that said the mill was built in 1863 by Johann Heinrich Weinhold. “The company went bankrupt in the 1920s, when creditors could not pay their bills. The property was sold and converted into a feed store. This operation ceased in 1985.”

Feed sacks for sewing

Over the years, it became an unwritten rule that no women were allowed in the mill. It was the exclusive domain and gathering place for the men in the area.

On the other hand, a local woman told me the men were sent to the feed store with samples of feed sacks so they could match the patterns on sacks the women were using for sewing projects. The sacks in this photo are made of paper.

Close to Saxon Lutheran Memorial

If you want to go to the mill, it’s within a mile of the Saxon Lutheran Memorial in Frohna, and along the way. The memorial’s outdoor history museum with log cabins from around the area is well worth a drive. I’ll be running photos I shot of some of the original buildings in the 60s before long.

Gallery of photos of flour mill and feed store

Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the photo to move through the gallery.

25 Replies to “Frohna Mill Being Razed”

  1. Great shots, Ken. The German settlers built things to last, that’s for sure. My German grandma once told me that you could always tell when a farmer was German cause the barn would be closer to the road than the farm house and also in better condition. I always look for German farmers to this day.

    1. My dad used to say that German farmers liked to have a building for every purpose, so if you passed a farm that had lots of neat, small buildings everywhere, it was owned by a Dutchman(Deutsche man).

  2. I put this on our schedule of one day trips. I remember when the Old Appleton Mill washed away in (?) 1986 or ??. Susan and I walked downstream almost a mile and saw many mill pieces. I kept one souvenir of the mill, a small round wooden eyehole cover used to check grain or meal going through a chute!! I don’t think there is any collection of this type of remains. If so, I have this one to donate.

    1. While you’re in the area, check out the Saxon Lutheran Memorial and the Lutheran Heritage Museum in Altenburg.

      If you want to see the mill, better get up there in the next week or so.

  3. My dad, Edgar Heinbokel, managed the Frohna Feed Store for as long as I can remember. I worked at the feed store during my summers between high school and college. Have many good memories of folks of the area that did business with my dad. Also remember the good old days and a lot of hard work.

    1. I remember being pushed around on a dolley by my sister and cousin and all the candy bars and orange sodas my grandpa (Edgar) would give us from the cooler in the front office. It made for some great childhood memories. Goodbye Feed Store.

  4. I have many memories of going to the feedstore with my Dad[Speed Hager] to get feed and talk to Boots[Mr.Heinbokel].Years later the East Perry County Jaycees fixed it up to be the Haunted Mill on Halloween.

  5. I have so many awesome memories of visiting Grandpa Heinbokel at his feed store and exploring the many levels of the building. On my last “exploring” visit in 2004, I found the last Feed Store calendar dating April 1985 (the month it closed) on the wall above where my Grandpa’s desk would have been. It’s now in a frame in my living room, still presiding above the same old oak roll top desk, passed down from generation to generation.

    1. That’s a great keepsake.

      Bro Mark gave me a framed calendar from my mother’s cousin’s Sinclair station in Advance from the 50s. He also framed a blueprint (actually a white print) from one of dad’s construction projects.

  6. this is most memorable to me. I am carole, edgar’s daughter. Edgar heinbokel was known as “boots”and I am thinking a lot of people did not know his real name. My father had many enterprises operating out of this building, and raised his family as christians. we all admire him.
    in regard to the feed sacks, and ladies want them. well, my
    sister and I had many dresses, etc. made from those. nothing
    but good memories and spent my childhood there, and even later
    when nieces and nephew came to vist and enjoy the fun times.

  7. It would be interesting to here from some more people of Frohna. I’m sure there are many memories and stories that could be told about “Boots”, the “Mill”, before it became the Frohna Feed Store, and also while it was the Frohna Feed Store.

  8. I am Edgar’s daughter. I also have alot of memories. Climbing in the big corn and wheat bins. Of course that was a no no. My dad brought chicks and kept them in a room (which later became his office) with heaters to keep them warm. He even brought them into the house when it was real cold. It is sad to see the building torn down but all the memories will be with us.

  9. I still remember when the Bronenkants managed the Frohna Feed Store with Mr. Sander’s blacksmith shop next door in the 1930s. It’s great to see the comments from the Heinbokel family.

  10. My Great Great Great Grandfather, Johann Heinrich Weinhold built the original mill in 1863. My brother and husband and I visited the mill in May 2009. Tom Scheiter of Altenburg gave us a wonderful tour of the area. We took lots of pictures. I’m so glad we had that opportunity. Our Great Grandmother grew up in Wittenberg.

    1. My 3rd Great Grandfather is Johann as well! My Grandmother grew up in the area as well. Her name was Lillian Margaret Weinhold. She went by Margaret though. If you don’t mind me asking how are you related? I am working on the family tree through and so far I have just been able to get back to Johann’s Father, Karl August Weinhold. Thanks!

  11. I have seen the Original Frohna Feed Store Sign
    When it was owned by “Boots Heinbockel”
    The sign is in AJ’s Unique Antiques
    In Gordonville Mo

  12. The man who built that mill is part of our family from generations ago, my grandpa and grandma Weinhold are buried right up the road, I use to love to stop and look at the old mill whenever I would visit their graves. Sad to see a piece of history gone

  13. It would have been nice to see this place before it was razed. I was not able to find much about Johann other than he was originally from Saxony, Germany. He was my Great-Great-Great Grandfather through his son H. Martin (Henry) and his son Rudolph. I am willing to wager that Frohna was where the Weinhold family first settled from Germany.

    1. Jonathan, I was so excited to see your comment about the Frohna mill. Johann Heinrich Weinhold is also my Great-Great-Great Grandfather through his son, Joseph (Martin’s older brother). My brother and I just completed a book on the history of the Weinhold family and the mills in Wittenberg and Frohna. I have information about all of Martin’s children, including Rudolph.

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