In 1828 several leading citizens of early Indianapolis, including, , Noah Noble, William Sanders, and incorporated the Indianapolis Steam Mill Company. The state legislature assisted the business by selling it a choice seven-acre site on the just above the National Road bridge (built in the early 1830s) and by granting the company permission to cut timber on state-owned land.
Construction of the three-story mill was completed in September 1831, with the saw and flour mills soon in operation. The following spring the mill began processing wool and opened a dry goods store to sell its products. The mercantile business closed in 1833 and the mill was abandoned two years later. Since the facility produced more than three times the local demand for flour and since inadequate transportation facilities prevented operators from shipping surplus elsewhere, the mill often operated at less than full capacity. Too large for the early Indianapolis market, the mill proved to be one of the biggest business failures in the city’s history. The building remained vacant until sold in 1847 to the Geisendorff family, who refitted it as a woolen mill and used it until 1852. The vacated mill burned down the next year.