Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association


    JAMES B. KINDELL, head of the firm of J. B. Kindell & Co., proprietors of the Sugar Grove Mills and Elevator, has met with almost phenomenal success with the enterprise mentioned. From an humble beginning he has built up a plant whose name is a household word throughout this section of the state. He was born in Johnston County, Arkansas, April 12, 1860, and is a son of Ezekiel and Nancy (Tate) Kindell.

    Ezekiel Kindell was born in Shelby County, Ohio, May 25, 1835, and there passed his boyhood days. He emigrated with his uncle, Alden Boggs, in 1855, to Arkansas to become his head miller, having learned the miller's trade with his father, Benjamin Kindel, in a waterpower mill on the Miami River between Piqua and Sidney, Ohio. During the Civil War be enlisted as a private in Company A, Second Regiment of Arkansas Volunteer Infantry, with which he continued throughout the service. He was advanced to the rank of first lieutenant and later served as acting captain of his company.

    He was discharged in August, 1865, after serving in the army four years. After the war he moved north to Miami County, Ohio, where he thereafter lived, following the carpenter's trade and millwrightiug until 1882.

    In partnership with his son, J. B. Kindell, he was engaged in milling at Sugar Grove for many years, then moved to Covington and built an elevator, which business he conducted for five years, being succeeded by S. J. Rudy. He died in November 1907, and was buried in the Covington Cemetery.

    Mr. Kindell was first married in Arkansas, to Miss Nancy Tate, a daughter of James M. and Anna (Mears) Tate. The Mears and Tate families were pioneer ones in Arkansas, removing there from Georgia at a very early period. This union was blessed with the following children: Nancy, deceased; Mary, Alice, Sarah, Dora, George Washington, and James Benjamin, whose name appears at the head of this record. Mrs. Kindell died in May, 1873, and was buried in the Covington Cemetery. Mr. Kindell formed a second marriage in the spring of 1875 with Miss Sarah Jane Fine, a daughter of David M. and Rebecca Fine, and they had four children: Clifford, Ray, Bessie, and Lulu, of whom the three first mentioned are deceased. Mr. Kindell's second wife died in 1906 and also was buried in the Covington Cemetery. Religiously he was a member of the Church of the Brethren. He was a Democrat in politics.

    James B. Kindell attended the public schools of Newton, Newberry and Washington Townships, and in 1877 he went to Arkansas to reside with his grandfather, whom he assisted on the farm for three years. When he returned to Miami County he had $300, with which he started in the milling business in Newton Township, in partnership with his father, under the firm name of E. Kindell & Co. John Reid, Sr., was also interested in the business, which was conducted as a company. At the end of ten years it was reorganized as E. Kindell & Son, and the latest improved machinery for the milling of flour and meat was installed. In 1894, through his father's retirement from the firm, the subject of this sketch became sole owner and proprietor. He thereupon remodeled the mill to the latest sifter system, and built a new residence and the other buildings on the place. He also bought a farm of 100 acres, lying directly across the river from the plant. On February 26, 1898, the mill was entirely destroyed by fire, and resulted in a serious loss to him, only about one- half, or $3,700, being covered by insurance. Phoenix-like he arose from the ashes and built the present mill. In order to clear his indebtedness, he sold his farm of 100 acres, and on October 14, 1898, he began operating his new plant. He installed the very latest and most approved machinery known to produce the highest grade of flour from soft winter wheat. He installed the roller system, with corn scourers and steam dryers, and the very best equipment for the manufacture of corn meal. He again started up with an indebtedness of $12,000 hanging over him, but phenomenal success cleared this away in a few years. He prospered to such an extent that he again bought land, purchasing eighty-four acres near the mill, on which be has erected tobacco sheds. In 1907 he purchased sixty-four acres in Darke County, which he has since sold (in 1909). Prior to 1895 Mr. J. N. Arendall was connected with the plant as head miller, and in recognition of his valued services he was at that time admitted to working partnership in the enterprise. Mr. Kindell owns all the real estate.

    The principal brands of this mill are Invincible Patent flour, Pearl and Golden Dent corn meal, and Germ Graham flour, all of which are well known to the public. The methods of this firm in doing business are progressive and original and have brought gratifying results. Anyone wishing to call them up on business can do so at the firm's expense from the following towns: Laura, Potsdam, West Milton, Ludlow Falls, Pleasant Hill, Fidelity, Union, Englewood, Polo, Bloomer, and Covington, as the firm is flat-rated both ways with the Covington Home Telephone Company.

    On September 22, 1889, Mr. Kindell was united in marriage with Miss Eva J. Graft, a daughter of David and Lavinda (Swihart) Graft. Her parents were formerly of Mexico Indiana, and then settled at Peru, Indiana; they were people that occupied a prominent position in that place. Mrs. Graft died in 1877 and was buried at Deedsville, Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Kindell have a daughter, Alice Marie, who successfully passed the Boxwell examination at thirteen years of age, and graduated from the Newton Township schools in May, 1909, and will enter Covington High School in the fall of 1909. The family are members of the Church of the Brethren. Mr. Kindell is an independent Democrat in politics.

    It is seen by the foregoing that Mr. Kindell is a born miller. His grandfather, Benjamin Kindell, was a miller before his father, and came from Scotland, where his father was a miller. Benjamin Kindell, the grandfather, built the original Sugar Grove Mills and improved the waterpower in 1830, having built himself and installed the first undershot water-wheels here in western Ohio. The present owner has had set two large turbine water-wheels of the Victor pattern, which produce ample power to drive the 50-barrel flouring mill, all scourers, corn mill rollers, making fifteen bushels of fine table meal per hour, together with the wagon dump and corn elevator taking care of a fifty-bushel load of corn every twenty minutes. Mr. Kindell is so infatuated with milling that he expects always to remain in the business at Sugar Grove, as he thoroughly believes in the community, from the support which he has received in the past.

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