Then & Now
November 28, 2012 8:28PM
Morris Oatmeal Company in its heydey. From the Dave Belden Collection
Updated: December 30, 2012 6:20AM
Morris Oatmeal Co. — Morris
In 1844, Conrad Elderding was born in LaSalle County. He learned the milling trade from his father, and by 1869 owned a mill in Morris. By the end of the 19th century, Elderding engaged exclusively in the manufacture of rolled oats. In 1902, Conrad Elerding and W. G. Norton formed the Morris Oatmeal Co. Ground was broken in 1912 for the four-story building shown in this divided back era postcard. The plant, shown in the Then photograph, consisted of a mill and packing building, warehouses and offices. Tracks from the Chicago Rock Island and Pacific railroads ran into the property. The products of his mill reached many markets in the United States and Europe. The city of Morris received free advertising from the packages of oatmeal and barley, which bore the city’s name. Quaker Oats did not renew its lease in 1921, and for many years, the four-story plant remained vacant. In November, 1982, the Quaker Oats elevator and brick mill building were torn down. The elevator between Liberty and Wauponsee streets was razed. By September, 1996, the last remnant of the old complex was removed. Today the lot, shown in the Now photograph, remains vacant and is used for storage.
Photos are from David Belden and the Local History Project digital collections.If you are interested in contributing a postcard image, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 815-467-2140 Ext. 260.