Peoria Landmark #342
I couldn’t find any information as to when this plant closed, it does have an interesting history, courtesy of the book “History of Bartonville, Illinois“, published in 1977.
The history of Allied Mills and Wayne Feeds virtually parallels the history of the commercial feed industry. The firm got its start in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1897, under the name of the Marsden Company, formed to utilize corn byproducts. This was mixed with molasses, oil cakes, gluten meal and corn meals to make a balanced ration for cattle, horses, and mules, and was largely exported to Europe.
Another firm, the American Milling Company, also of Philadelphia, held important patents for processing molasses cattle feeds. This firm was acquired in 1906. Two brands of molasses feeds were manufactured, Sucrene and Sugarine, which are still maintained by Allied Mills. Marsden and American Milling consolidated in the American Milling Company in 1907, and, in 1909, their headquarters was transferred from Philadelphia to Chicago, and, in 1913, to Peoria.
A new eleven-story plant was built at Bartonville in 1920, and it was said to be the largest feed mill in the world at the time, a distinction it held for many years.
On September 1, 1929, American Milling and Fort Wayne Milling merged and became Allied Mills, Inc., manufacturing under the brand name “Wayne Feeds”.
Since scientific feeding of livestock and poultry began to develop rapidly, the demand for mixed feeds was greatly increased. In 1937, a research division was established at Bartonville, consisting of biological labs and a research farm to supplement analytical labs and quality control programs. These facilities were moved in 1947 to Libertyville, Illinois, where they still exist.
It is interesting to note that it was a Bartonville lab where scientists determined the Vitamin D and manganese requirements of chickens. In the early years, some of the most popular and thriving products included feeds for commercially-raised foxes and minks.
In 1973, the Bartonville facility was converted to the production of Wayne Pet Foods and specialty diets for laboratory animals. This facility has the distinction of being one of the oldest operating plants in the company’s history.
(This building is on the South side of Bartonville, hugging Rte 24 if anyone wasn’t sure, and yes, Wayne Feeds did indeed manufacture Monkey Chow)