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Picturing the Past 151: Cortner's Mill

Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2012, at 7:52 AM

(Photo)
The finished product flows into a bag at Cortners' Mill in the mid-1950s. (Photo by Don Brisby)
Remember Cortner's Mill when it was an operating mill, without the restaurant/bed & breakfast that's there today?

Don Brisby does. Brisby, of Trousdale County (Hartsville area) photographed Mr. Cortner in the 1950s (I think he said 1954, specifically) at the mill. On Monday, Don stopped by the T-G with the large print you see here, as well as another photo. He's colorized both, which were originally shot in black and white.

A young man in his mid-20s then, Don's in his 80s now and still active. He noted that the Cortners had automated the mill so well that they could still operate it in their old age.

Both photos are now on display in the lobby of First Community Bank's main office on Elm Street and well worth a stop by to look.

Picturing the Past is featured each Tuesday in this blog. Reader contributions are welcome.


Comments
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I do not know the history of the mill, but did go up there in a wagon with my grandfather and father in probably the 40's with corn from the farm in Haley to get ground. Was at that time an all day trip.

-- Posted by mary337 on Tue, Mar 20, 2012, at 1:14 PM

There used to be a little history writeup on the restaurant's menu. And I brought one home, since I'm kin to those Cortners -- but I can't find it. (That was about 1996.) That 1870-ish map of the county that was in the Sesquicentennial edition of the T-G shows George Cortner's residence -- don't know if the mill was there. Matthias Cortner was the Bedford Co. pioneer, in that family.

-- Posted by razyn on Thu, Mar 22, 2012, at 1:20 PM

If you have the Bedford County Tennessee Family History Book take a look on page 258 under George A. Cortner. There is a long story about the mill with lots of dates and former names.It was known as Troxler Mill, Huffman Mill, Stephens Mill, Goslin Mill,and The Alexander and Justice Mill. Justice died and Alexander sold to Phillip R. Wilhoite who then sold half interest to George Cortner in 1886. The story continues with how they made the mill more efficient. The concrete dam was built in 1916.

-- Posted by Cal t on Thu, Mar 22, 2012, at 5:04 PM

The man in the photo would be Anrew Johnson Cortner, the son of George A. Cortner and great-grandson of Matthias Cortner. My mother was a Cortner but I'm descended from a different son of Matthias than A.J. was. The Cortners did not start the mill but were the last to operate it as a mill as far as I know. Matthias came to Bedford County in about 1820 from North Carolina. Matthias's father George Cortner died in 1819. The Cortners are descendents of German ancestors like many of the Huffmans, Troxlers, Kellers around this area. There is a book of Cortner family genealogy in the Shelbyville library called "A Winow to the Past" by Neal Cotner. It is well researched.

-- Posted by cortnerkin on Sun, Apr 22, 2012, at 3:04 AM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.