Baron Woolen Mill

Baron Woolen Mills was another legacy business which made use of the Co-op woolen factory, on 500 East between Forest and First North. Plans for the mill called for a 44 x 88 foot building with an enclosed mill-race and waterwheel at the bottom of a 40-foot shaft. As were most Co-op buildings, it was erected with a stone lower floor and adobe second story.
The Baron family entered the picture at about the time the mill was rebuilt in 1878 following a devastating fire. James Baron worked at the woolen factory during the Co-op period, and after the failure of the association, he continued to operate the mill. In 1889 Baron was approached by Hyrum city officials who asked him to relocate to their city, where they promised an abundance of wool, water, and electric power. At that time, electricity was not available in Brigham City.
Ironically, the mill’s waterwheel was put to use in 1892 to generate Brigham City’s first power system, although belt slippage and an inconsistent water supply soon prompted the company to seek other power sources. That move was also precipitated by news that the woolen mills would be put back into business in 1893. This was a private enterprise with Anthony A. Jensen as superintendent and it ceased operation about the turn of the century. Soon the Baron family was lured back to Brigham City to operate the mill.1Sarah Yates, “Baron Woolen Mills weave a story of history, family tradition,” Box Elder Journal, (Brigham City: November 17, 1982) 1, 10. Four generations of Barons continued the family business, from direct wool buying to retail marketing of finished blankets, until 1988.


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