Harshbarger Milling Co.


This ornately decorated bag contained 50 pounds of “Ultra-Lived Feed,”
produced by Milton’s Harshbarger Milling Co.
Courtesy James E. Casto


MILTON — Ira J. Harshbarger was born at Barboursville in 1858. When he was
 4 years old, his family moved to a farm near Ona and lived there 10 years
 until moving to Milton. As a youth, he worked on the family farm and
after he grew up his father gave him an interest in the farm.

In 1888, when he was 30 years old, he joined his half-brother John
 in operating a Milton grist mill. Later, John sold his interest to
 George W. Harshbarger, who was a full brother to Ira.

In March 1903, the business was incorporated as the Harshbarger
 Milling Co. The corporation’s stockholders were Ira Harshbarger,
 George Harshbarger, E.E. Harshbarger, C.W. Blackwood and
 E.M. Burke. Later that year a rail siding was built from the
 Chesapeake & Ohio Railway to the feed mill.

For decades, the mill, which had a capacity of 150 barrels a day,
 would be a busy place, receiving shipments of grain from farmers
not just in the immediate area but even from distant states.

The mill was by no means Ira Harshbarger’s only business. He organized
 the Bank of Milton and for many years was its president and largest
 stockholder. The experts insisted there was no gas or oil to be
 found south of the Kanawha River. Harshbarger proved
them wrong when he organized a gas and oil company
 and drilled a number of successful wells.

According to records in the West Virginia Secretary of State’s
office, Harshbarger Milling went out of business in 1963.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Feb. 8, 2021.


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