Monday, February 20, 2012

Old Wittens Mill Has Many Names But It Is Now Straight


aunt minerva collection
unknown undated newspaper clipping

Tazewell,Nov. 7-Tazewell County Court clerk, H. Elmer Kiser, is often called on for information. Most of the requests have been made so often that they have become routine, but recently he was asked by a representative of the freight and passenger tariffs, and in various publication in six forms Norfolk & Western Railway to supply the correct name of a non-agency station on the line in Tazewell.
The name had appeared in of spelling. (thinking we may be missing part of the article here....deb)
The station referred to is Wittens Mill, located some five miles east of Tazewell, and as used by the railway it has been written as Witten Mills, Witten's Mill, Wittens' Mills and also as Whittens Mils.
Kiser informed the questioner that the records of his office carried the name Wittens Mill.
The utility from which the place received its name was built, along with a dam, across the north branch of the headwaters of the Clinch River by Alexander Witten and was operated by him until his death several years ago.
Operation was not continued very long after his passing, and has since been dismantled and the old water wheel is pretty well rotted down.
One of the millstones has een erected on the plot in Maplewood Cemetery in companionship to the venerable miller whom it served for such a long time.
Still standing, but not in use, is part of the old Witten Mill. One of the mill stones is in the Maplewood Cemetery in Tazewell, where it was erected as a memorial to its long time owner and operator, Alex Witten. A mill on this site was first built, and run by a Mr. Lane, but it was burned when the Yankee army invaded the county under Col. Toland. In 1870 Thomas Witten and Richard Smooth joined in partnership to reconstruct the mill, with the help of William Tarter, a millwright.
In early settlement days the location of the mill was the impelling influence in teh selection of a homesite. A miller was an artisan of great skill. The names of the mills were adopted into the names of many of the communities in the county today.

(pictured in middle of article Witten's Mill, pictured at bottom of article is Maxwell Mill.)

1 comment:

Lori said...

I have a painting that I cherish of Witten's Mill that my parents used to have in their home. My Aunt's maiden name was Witten.