The Tyrrell Feed Mill was located on the west side of Sodom-Hutchins (now Sodom-Hutchings) Road south of King-Groves (now King-Graves) Road. The mill stood on the property of the New York Central Railroad, which had been previously the property of the Mahoning Coal Company Railroad.
The mill offered a grist mill for grinding feed for fowl and cattle, farm supplies, and food products.
Owners and Operations
Frank Humason, of Tyrrell, Trumbull County, Ohio, owned the feed mill from 1915 to 1920. The mill was known then as the Humason Feed Mill.
In 1920, Humason sold the mill to Joseph H. Durig, of Howland, Ohio. The name was changed to the J. H. Durig Feed Mill. Durig's wife, Frances Rinhart Durig, assisted in the business as bookkeeper and banker and operated the business in her husband's absence. The Durig children--Mary, Eleanor, Clara, and William--worked at the mill and performed chores at the family home, just across the railroad tracks from the mill.
Durig added a truck garage on the premises and a small building which served as the Tyrrell Hill Post Office until the federal government built a post office building in the neighboring township of Brookfield. Postal service was discontinued at Tyrrell Hill and residents received mail as Rural Delivery Route #1, Brookfield, Ohio.
In the years that followed, the Mill sold Agrico fertilizer, Larro feed, Champion Coal, cement, sand, gravel, lime, cement blocks, Pennzoil Motor Oil, kerosene, and Pennzip Gas.
These products were not the only services offered. The New York Central Railroad made deliveries upon demand and stopped for passengers when signaled with a handkerchief. The train station at Tyrrell Hill was moved east in 1928 on the tracks to Brookfield. The station still stands along the New York Central Railroad tracks and is used as a scrap yard office (1999).
Fairbanks-Morse Scales were used as drive-on weight measures serving customers in horse-drawn buggies and wagons and Model T and Model A automobiles. Horses, used into the 1940s to haul supplies and for travel, could rear, stomp, and bolt at the piercing sounds of train whistles. Hundreds of pounds of grain headed home on the fenders of cars.
Durig exercised strong principles of business. Burglaries were few and honor agreements in payment were commonplace. Gypsy groups stopped by now and then.
Employment increased during winter months to load, haul, and deliver coal. Coal was the leading heating fuel of the time. Although some coal was still mined in Vienna, this coal was sold elsewhere.
Frances Durig died unexpectedly in June 1941. The Durigs continued the mill business until 1943 when it was sold to the Trumbull Farm Bureau Co-operative, Inc. Lynn Hawley, from Cortland, Ohio, became the mill manager. Hawley also sold Nationwide Insurance and when he decided to specialize in insurance, William Evans of Brookfield became the new manager. Paul Gates and George Dilley, both from Fowler, followed as manager in quick succession. Each had been employed at one time or another at the mill.
In 1964 a larger grinding mill was installed.
In 1966 the mill was vacated. The Trumbull County Farm Bureau commissioned the Vienna Township Volunteer Fire Department in 1967 to demolish by fire the building.
Feed bags, constructed of floral and other designs, were saved, cleaned, and sewn into aprons, pillowcases, children's dresses, and men's underwear. Joseph H. Durig's daughter-in-law, Gladys Quimby Durig, sewed a yellow and blue floral feed sack apron while a teenager in the winter of 1945.
This article is adapted from William O. Durig, Sr., and Gladys A. Durig, "Tyrrell Feed Mill," in Vienna, Ohio, Where We Live and Let Live: Town 4, Range 2 of the Connecticut Western Reserve (Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 1999), pp. 255-258.