Sawyer-Kelley_Mill

The imposing white building on the south side of Main Street near the town square has been a village landmark since it was built in 1892.

the-main-street-mill-1915

 

The Village of Huntley recently purchased this property, known by local historians as the Sawyer-Kelley Mill.

sawyer-kelley-mill-001

W. G. Sawyer and John T. Kelley actually owned two grain mills in town.  The first was located in the building originally built in the late 1860s along what today is Route 47. That historic building, most recently bearing the name of Marlowe Feed, was demolished in 2011.

 

marlowe-feed-formerly-sawyer-kelley-mill

Sawyer founded the two mills, which dealt in flour, feed, bran, seed and coal.  He had purchased the Main Street property in 1880 from Thomas S. Huntley, founder of the village bearing his name.

Sawyer eventually took the young John T. Kelley as a partner. Kelley was the son of John G. Kelley, who had been a blacksmith on the town square since before the Civil War.

john_t_kelleyKelley bought a half interest in Sawyer’s mill in 1892 and later bought the other half from Sawyer’s heirs after Sawyer died in 1912.

John T. Kelley was not only a successful and enterprising businessman, but also a dedicated community servant.  Through the years he had served as village clerk, township trustee, school board secretary, postmaster and mayor of Huntley.

He also had served as vice president of the State Bank of Huntley.

Kelley died in 1949 at the age of 83.

The Kelley family continued to own the building, which housed the Huntley Post Office until 1957. Other tenants have included Raymond Kelley’s law office, Wayne Donahue’s real estate business, apartment dwellers, a barber shop and The Huntley Farmside newspaper.