Newton/North Newton Register of Historic Places

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The properties listed below have been named to the Newton/North Newton Register of Historic Properties because they possess significant historical, archeological and/or architectural qualities.
The Warkentin Mill was built in 1879 in the Second Empire style for Monarch Steam Mills.  Bernhard Warkentin, a young Russian immigrant who was living in Halstead, purchased Monarch Steam Mills in 1886, converting it to a roller mill to allow it to handle "Turkey Red" hard winter wheat.  Warkentin is attributed for the encouragement of Mennonite immigrants from Russia to come to the region and to bring this wheat variety with them finding the climate favorable.  It was this new high-yielding wheat variety that gave Kansas its enormous productivity and recognition as the "Breadbasket of the World."  In 1870, Kansans raised less than 2.5 million bushels of spring wheat.  In 1880, following the introduction of the Turkey Red, 17.3 million bushels were raised with that number climbing to 30.3 million in 1890.  In 1973 it was nearly demolished and only saved through the efforts of local manufacturer, Lloyd Smith, stepped in and purchased the building.  The roof had already been removed and during reconstruction, the original plans were found.  These plans guided the reconstruction and today the mill continues to represent Warkentin’s impact on the agriculture of Harvey County and Kansas.
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