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General Mills

General Mills Predecessors

It was in 1902 when Chicago's advantages as a grain center were realized, that a grain elevator was built on a slip of the Calumet River near 104th Street. One year later a flour mill was erected by Star & Crescent Milling Company, having moved from downtown Chicago. Later, in 1922, the Washburn Crosby company purchased the flour mill from them. They then began to remodel and rebuild the mill. 
     In April of 1923 ground was broken for a cereal mill. In August of 1923 the seven story building became the home of the Gold Medal Products Company. Later that same year another Washburn Crosby subsidiary came into existence, The Star Grain Company. It was established to provide the continuous supply of grain and sufficient wheat storage for the Chicago mill operation. The first step to link the two plants occurred in February 1922. The Washburn Crosby Company purchased the flour mill from the Star and Crescent Milling Company. They then immediately began remodeling, rebuilding, and enlarging the mill. The plant was rearranged and new machinery was also installed, while the mill remained in operation. 
     In early 1929, the Washburn Crosby Mill and the two subsidiaries, Gold Medal Products Company and the Star Grain Company, all became one. This movement led to naming the company General Mills, which continued to expand and modernize in South Chicago. 
     Later the company purchased the Rialto Elevator, and an annex was added to it, doubling its capacity. Later in order to supply the cereal plant with flour for Bisquick and Softasilk they installed a Redler conveyor. The original cereal plant building expanded to eight stories, and a seven story building was added. During the first year the cereal plant produced pancake flour and other products. As of March in 1949, an 80,000 square foot warehouse was added and put in place for operation. This, to many, represented more than an increase in space, it was a whole new system of loading. Under this new system, the conveyor line from the packing department joins a single main line. Later in 1968, a four story building was added to the package food plant, increasing the plant's facilities by 15 percent. 
 


General Mills Aerial View

<>In 1984, the flour mill is closed due to the fact that sales that were not good. Later in 1990, the South Chicago Training Center was built in the warehouse, making a four story packaging building. Flour items such as Bisquick and Softasilk were removed so that the Chicago plant only produced cereal. In 1995 the announcement was made that the South Chicago Plant would close May 1, 1995. (Article by Ana C.)