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Location DB > United States > Kansas > Mildred > Great Western Cement Co.
Great Western Cement Co.
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 Database Info
created by peterbillionaire on 4/30/2008 12:27 AM
last modified by Emperor Wang on 4/21/2021 12:53 PM
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This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
There is a cluster of six huge silos next to the highway. We got inside two of them. Further into the forest, there are the ruins of three or four major structures and several more out-buildings. Almost all of the roofs have collapsed, and those that are still standing will soon follow. There is almost nothing made of metal or wood. All of the remains are cement or masonry. The forest has reclaimed the site almost entirely.

Credit to Versatile for pointing out this location.
 Basic Information
Type: Outdoors
Status: Abandoned
Accessibility: Easy
Recommendation: Highly enjoyable and interesting, but you must use your imagination....
 Physical Information

Mildred, Kansas
United States
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  •  Hazards
  • All of the cement roofs are rotten and about to collapse.
  •  Interesting Features
    Imagine trekking through the dense jungles of eastern Kansas and stumbling upon the ruins of an ancient Aztec city. Or finding the ruins of a small community college built in the 1960's in a cement style now called "brutalist."
     Security Measures
     Historical Dates
    Built: 1907
    Closed: 1917
     Required Equipment
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    Mildred was a company town, born and bred. In the spring of 1907 Sam T. McDermott of Kansas City found what he was looking for in Allen County. An ideal site for another cement plant. He bought 260 acres just west of the Katy Railroad tracks from John Winterbottom and Hiram Lieurance in the northeast corner of town and it was then announced that the Great Western Portland Cement Company would build a $2,000,000 plant there. The company then built Mildred to house the plant's workers. Coal Creek was dammed to provide a water supply. A 40 acre townsite was platted. By the end of that first year a school was under construction. Twenty months later 300 men were hard at work making cement from the limestone and shale mined from the quarries.

    Mildred was named after J.W. Wagner's, company president of the Great Western, daughter. Retail stores sprang up. Dr. R.R. Nevitt established his practice and opened a drug store. The Mildred Ledger reported community events each week. At its peak, Mildred had a population of 2,000. There were two hotels, two barbershops, an elementary school, a motion picture theater and a high school. The Great Western plant grew to employ 375.

    Then a slump hit the cement business about 1917. Perhaps because building slowed during World War I; perhaps because the industry had over-expanded, particularly in Southeast Kansas. In Allen County alone there had been cement production in Humboldt, Iola, Concreto and Carlyle in addition to the full-scale operation at Mildred. To make things worse, the supply of virtually free natural gas sank drastically and fuel costs to the energy-intensive industry rose. Whatever the proximate cause, the Great Western closed down in 1917. It reopened in the 1920's but never operated at full production again. It was sold to Consolidated Cement Company and some of the machinery was shipped to another Consolidated plant in Fredonia, Kansas.

    Mildred shriveled quickly when the job drought hit since the community was a one-plant town. Families moved to find work elsewhere. Businesses went broke or pulled up stakes and moved. In 1944 the last high school class was graduated. The area is now part of the Marmaton Valley District. Throughout much of Mildred's modern history, Charlie Brown's grocery and general store has served the community, which it still does, and those residents who remained gather there to spin tales of its brief time at center stage as a boom town.
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     Photo Galleries
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    peterbillionaire's gallery
    Wed, Apr 30th, 2008
    posted by peterbillionaire
    25 pictures
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    peterbillionaire's gallery
    Sat, May 3rd, 2008
    posted by peterbillionaire
    6 pictures

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     Moderator Rating
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    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 4/21/2021 12:54 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Apr 21 21 at 12:54, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Apr 21 21 at 12:53, Emperor Wang changed the following: History, Interesting Features, Description
  • on Apr 20 21 at 19:27, fr00tCake changed the following: Latitude, Longitude, Co-ordinate Accuracy
  • on Apr 1 13 at 13:27, Opheliaism validated this location
  • on Mar 31 13 at 1:27, peterbillionaire made this location public
  • on Jan 29 09 at 17:03, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Jan 29 09 at 17:03, Emperor Wang changed the following: Province / State (please use full name)
  • on Jul 17 08 at 1:52, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on May 3 08 at 3:53, peterbillionaire updated gallery picture Great Western Cement Co. 154.jpg
  • on May 3 08 at 2:41, peterbillionaire made this location available
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    You must log in for this feature to work.Mildred Cement Plantlortjumolbo221711/11/2020 4:08 PM by Miss_Mercury
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