12-30-1876, Nebraska City Paper:
“Unadilla, says a News gatherer, is located on the Nebraska Railway, 27 miles west of Nebraska City, in Russell precinct, Otoe County. It contains about one hundred and fifty inhabitants, several first class stores, one hotel, the Saunders House, two large warehouses, one blacksmith shop, some very neat dwelling houses and churches, Good Templar Lodge, and other places of convenience such as an energetic go-ahead people require to make a nice little town.
The town site was surveyed about five years ago, and it is destined to become quite a shipping point for the large grain and stock growing country that surrounds it for many miles distant. It is from this point that Lincoln, this city and many towns in the State get their supply of building stone, and we are told by those competent to judge that the article of stone taken from the Unadilla quarries are superior to any in the West.
Unadilla is the central grain depot for a very large portion of the agricultural lands of Otoe, and the amount now in crib at that point and still coming in, will convince any one of that fact.
THE UNADILLA MILLS located here, are the pride of that portion of the county, and well it may be, for it is certainly the best constructed water mill there is in the State, and the patronage it receives from all over the country makes its gentlemanly proprietors, Messers. Sanders & Co., fell that their capital and labor spent in its erection was not spent in vain. Your reporter is not sufficiently versed in milling or mill building to give the readers a minute description of this mill and its construction, but can safely say that it is the best constructed water power he has seen in the West. The dam is built of heavy stone cemented with water-lime, and is twenty-four feet high and fourteen feet thick at the base. The first and second story of the mill is made of stone, while the third and fourth are wood. There are two run of burs, with a capacity of making sixty-five sacks of flour and one hundred and fifty bushels of feed stuff every twenty-four hours. The flour made at these mills finds a ready market all over the West, and is on sale at Lincoln and Nebraska City all the time, while a carload or two is shipped monthly to Chicago, where it finds a ready sale in that market.
In connection with these mills are constructed several feed lots for hogs and a finer lot of the porcine family we have never seen.
Mr. William Sauders is the practical man of the firm, having been raised in a mill in England from boyhood until he arrived in this country some eight or ten years ago. Thus combining his knowledge of the mill business with a small capital, he has labored hard for three years to complete this public enterprise, and it is a source of gratification to himself and the public generally that after many years of toil under adverse circumstances he has ACCOMPLISHED THE END sought for, and can now point to these mills as among the best established manufactures in the State. When these mills are kept running on full time they turn out $32,000 worth of flour annually, besides the feed stuff ground.
After viewing the mills for some time we retraced our steps to the city, calling in at the store of Messrs. Abbott & Draper, where we found them busy buying corn, selling goods and ready to play a joke on this innocent and child-like reporter. This firm is dealing quite extensively in grain, and to look at their extensive corn cribs, now full, one would suppose that the western portion of the county was a solid corn field.
Mr. Patrick Grantfield is another one of Unadilla’s merchants, who deals in dry goods and groceries, and is doing a good business. Pat, like James Buchanan, never married, but then that is no sign he will remain in a state of single blessedness always.
Wm. Saunders keeps the Saunders House, where its patrons are cared for in a very hospitable manner.
John Keefer shoes horses and makes wagons and does other work in his line to the satisfaction of his many customers.
Judge Abbott, who presides at the Police Courts, is also Notary Public, conveyancer and captain of the Limber Twig base ball Club.
Mr. Abbott is also proprietor of the Opera House, of which we may have more to say hereafter.
During the year just drawing close Unadilla has shipped the following articles or car loads:
Stock…..1 car Lumber…..1 car
Oats……1 car Feed……..3 cars
Ice………5 cars Flour……..5 cars
Barley….5 cars Wheat…….29 cars
Corn……53 cars Stone…….173 cars
Total 276 cars
She has received in actual car loads of merchandise, twenty-seven, besides nearly every train leaves more or less way freight which as not figured in the number of cars. There has been about one-half million feet of lumber sold and otherwise disposed of at Unadilla this season.
To Miss A.M. Sanders, Judge Abbott and others are our reporter indebted for valuable information.”