Forty Years a Mill Man

| March/April 1954

R. D. 4, Bagley, Minnesota

William Wallingford first owned and operated a sawmill near Nevis, Minnesota, in 1906. His first engine was a 12 hp. C. Aultman chain drive traction. He used this engine for a short time, then traded it for a stationary engine which he used until 1913. During those years he sawed only pine lumber which was manufactured into grain and coal doors at the mill and then sold. In 1913 he bought a 32 hp. Reeves simple traction which he used on the mill until 1817, when both mill and engine were burned in a fire at Akeley, Minnesota.

He built another mill immediately and reconditioned the engine, selling this engine several years later and buying a Star (Aultman) under-mounted traction which he used until 1924. He traded it for another 32 hp. Reeves and a 20 hp. Avery Under-mounted. These two were used in his lath mill at Akeley.

In 1928 Mr. Wallingford and his son James, (who was in partnership with him now) sold the two engines and bought a Reeves 40 hp. traction which they used until 1927, when they traded it for a 25 hp. Reeves.

In 1928, the senior Wallingford left the mill to move to Bagley, Minnesota, where he operated a country store for 11 years.

James Wallingford also moved to rural Bagley with the mill in 1928, where he operated it for several years. In 1934 he located the mill in Bagley where he operated continuously until 1950 despite two fires, one in 1938, and one in 1943, each of which completely destroyed his mills. At present he is in the road construction business.