The water power of the Fox River made Menasha and Neenah the 19th century industrial powers that they became. This map, culled from 1880 census data, shows the concentration of mills and factories along both branches of the Fox. In 1880, flour milling was still an important function of the local economy, especially in Neenah, but that was quickly coming to an end. The paper industry had been inaugurated in the 1860s, but only began to gain traction with the formation of Kimberly-Clark in 1872. By 1890, with the westward expansion of the wheat industry away from Wisconsin, the flour milling industry was essentially over.
Back in February, we featured a news article on the flour mills: