A Landmark Symbol in Coaldale - "King Midas Flour"


--In the early 1900's, brothers Fred and George Shane were the owners of the Millbourne Mills in Philadelphia. Millbourne Mills at that time produced a flour branded, "King Midas Flour."

--Starting around 1914, the King Midas Mill began processing hard durum wheat flour for pasta. In the aftermath of World War I, when the government price supports of grain and flour were withdrawn, the Shane Brothers and Wilson were caught with a huge inventory. This may have been one of the factors leading to the mill being sold in 1924. The new owners, two men named Van Dusen and Harrington died within one month of each other in 1928 and the mill came under the ownership of the Peavey Company, a large and powerful Minneapolis-based flour company. The Peavey Company retained the King Midas name for the flour being produced in Hastings as King Midas had gained a reputation of being an excellent durum flour for pasta, spaghetti and noodles. The slogan used in King Midas advertising for many years was, "The highest priced flour in America and worth all it costs." In later years this slogan became a matter of concern to company executives more attuned to the fine points of advertising lore and they sometimes had it retouched out of pictures. In 1939 the Peavy Company moved the production of King Midas durum wheat flour to a mill in Superior, Wisconsin and the entire Hastings production was converted to bread wheat flour. Durum production returned again to Hastings in 1969-1970 after the construction of a durum semolina and pasta flour unit was built on site. The building housed not only the milling unit but also the flour storage, blending and loading systems. After the construction of these modern facilities, little use was made of the mill in Superior.

--The exact nature of the King Midas brand has undergone change over the years. Beginning as the name of a single product, it later developed into a whole line of King Midas Products. In 2000, there are King Midas Durum Products and King Midas Wheat Flour Products. Both of these two product lines appear to be primarily directed towards commercial consumers.

--For many, many years painting advertisements on barns was common in rural America. The 1965 Highway Beautification Act put an end to this long tradition but many such signs survived long afterwards.

Source of Coaldale's "King Midas Flour" Photos: http://outskirtsofsuburbia.blogspot.com/2011/06/king-midas-flour-pg-170.html