The Acme-Evans/ADM Milling Company evolved from two small mills of the antebellum era to the large milling company of today. Reputedly the oldest milling company in Indianapolis, it traces its heritage to Isaac Wilson, a Revolutionary War soldier who built his first mill along the White River in the 1820s, and to John Carlisle, who in 1840 constructed his first mill ”only a short distance away,” according to a company brochure. Carlisle’s mill became the Acme Milling Company, and Wilson’s Mill became the Evans Milling Company.
A black and white aerial view of several buildings and homes.
The Acme Evans Factory (1918-1994) encompassed the area between 2-12 N. Blackford Street and 702-710 Washington Avenue, 1947 Credit: Bass Photo Co Collection, Indiana Historical Society View Source
In 1909, the two firms merged to form Acme-Evans Milling Company. In 1946, the Early and Daniel Company acquired Acme-Evans. In May 1988, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) of Decatur, Illinois, took over Acme-Evans and changed the name to Acme-Evans/ADM Milling Company. Its product lines have included plain flour, self-rising flour, cornmeal, cereal, and feed and grain mixtures for livestock. Its best-known product in Indiana is “EZ Bake Flour.” The buildings at Acme-Evans illustrated the evolution of milling architecture starting in the 1880s. A two-story office building displaying Italianate architecture dated to the 1880s and was one of the primary buildings of the Acme Mill. After a fire in 1917, the Acme-Evans Company, as it was known then, commissioned a modern mill to be built on its property along the river. Nordyke And Marmon, manufacturers of precision milling machinery in Indianapolis, constructed the nine-story mill building measuring 112 feet by 44 feet of reinforced concrete and steel in 1919.
A rectangular window display shows bags containing Acme-Evans products. Behind these are a picture of the Acme-Evans building complex and the company name with a list of their products.
Acme-Evans Display at Union Station, 1948 Credit: Indiana Historical Society View Source
Built in 20th -Century Functional style, the mill displayed many modern and innovative features, such as rounded corners to prevent the accumulation of flour dust and large sash windows to provide interior lighting for the “daylight” mill. As one of the first mills in the country to use reinforced concrete storage bins, Acme-Evans modernized and expanded its system of bins and elevators several times beginning in1909. In July 1994, demolition of the mill began after legal action failed to halt it. In the end, ADM gave the White River State Park project an unrestricted $1 million grant, when the park’s development commission extended the deadline for the company to vacate its downtown site. Because of urban space changes, especially the development of the new state park, Acme-Evans/ADM Milling Company relocated to Beech Grove. ADM operated out of two identical buildings at its Beech Grove location for more than 20 years, but the company outgrew these facilities. In January 2013, ADM began construction of a new mill, which was operational by May 2014. It primarily supplies commercial bakers in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, and also markets wheat middling, a byproduct of the flour-milling process to local dairies and beef producers for feed. The new state-of-the-art facility increased ADM’s milling capacity in Beech Grove by 381 metric tons per day, making it the third-largest flour mill in the U.S.
Revised February 2021

Help improve this entry

Contribute information, offer corrections, suggest images.

You can also recommend new entries related to this topic.