By Ruth A. Ringelstetter
In the fall of 2012, Joann and I were in a very small town looking for a school. I didn’t have an address, and from the picture I had seen, the school seemed like it should be in town rather than out in the country. Before we found the school, we found this old advertising sign.
Occident Flour was produced by the Russell-Miller Milling Company. In 1901, they had two small mills in North Dakota which produced 225 barrels per day. They were in the heart of the hard wheat district of the northwest, the section conceded by all experts to produce some of the finest wheat grown anywhere in the world.
By 1938, they were producing 16,000 barrels of flour and 600 tons of feed per day, and had reserve storage for 17,000,000 bushels of wheat at one hundred and forty elevators in North Dakota and Montana.
In the 1950’s, F.H. Peavey & Company purchased Russell-Miller Milling and its elevators and flour mills. Then in 1982, ConAgra, Inc. purchased the Peavey Company.
ConAgra Mills still sells Occident Flour, but advertising such as this is sadly a thing of the past. If you drive through small towns, watch the sides of brick buildings and you might stumble on one of these old ads yourself!