The first settler of Dundas, James Irish, arrived in 1852. In 1857, John and George Archibald, Scotch brothers, came from Canada looking for a good site for a new milling industry. Here, on Cannon River, was the water power, fertile soil, and nearby markets they needed. So they bought the land and laid out their village, naming it after their hometown Dundas, Ontario (Canada). By 1879 the Archibald Firm was said to take the leading place among the mills of the country - even the world! Competing successfully with Minneapolis in the New York and Boston markets, they produced the famous D. flour.


Archibald Mill ruins: chase exit on Cannon River - photo by Glen Switzer
The Historical Archibald Flour Mill
The Mill was a community center in the early days. Church services were held there, and it was even a refuge in case of an Indian attack. Fortunately, friendly relations were maintained between the settlers and Native Americans.
The Mill burned down on New Year's Eve in 1892. Rebuilding efforts began immediately, only to to burn down again in 1914. The mill was rebuilt, this time with a massive castle top. Eventually the business stared to decline and it was sold to a group from Minneapolis in 1930. They took down the castle top and left town, patents being sold to what is now General Mills.

The distinguishing characteristics of our early day citizens such as James Irish, H.M. Matteson, Larkin, Chester, Drake, Donaldson Bros., Bundy, Scoffield, and Taylor & Cheney were industry, energy, independence, and steadfast honesty. We, as citizens who follow them and live here in this village founded upon the rock of their characteristics, may well emulate their virtures.

 

 

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