J. Lloyd Ford was born on September 14, 1876 in Battle Creek, Michigan.
The original wooden mill was built in 1891 and was dragged across the North Canadian River using horses, ropes and skids during a drought in 1895 to its current location.
J. Lloyd Ford at his desk in the Grand Rapids Candy Company, where he worked as manager. He moved to Oklahoma permanently in 1901 and was employed as a Flour Salesman by Acme Milling Company in Oklahoma City, OK
Mrs. J. Lloyd Ford, formely Frances Moore Sims, pictured soon after her marriage to J. Lloyd Ford in the fall of 1903.
J. Lloyd Ford bought the mill on April 20, 1906 with his life savings. He immediately renamed it Shawnee Milling Company and opened its doors for business on Tuesday, April 24, 1906.
J. Lloyd Ford is seated at right, across from his first employee, W.H. Williams. Williams, formerly of Lonesome Dove, TX, worked for the company for 43 years before retiring in 1950.
Several additions to the original mill had been made by 1908. Ford is shown in horse and buggy near the building with “Shawnee Chief Flour” painted on its side.
J. Lloyd and Frances Ford with their first child, John Lloyd Ford Jr., who was born in March 1909.
Growing fast, Shawnee Milling Company in 1910.
Shawnee’s Best Flour was called Climax in 1912. Since it was Shawnee’s best retail flour, the name was eventually changed to officially be known as Shawnee’s Best Flour, a name that is still in use today
Expanding Shawnee Milling Company in 1917.
Okeene Milling Company as it appeared in 1926. Okeene Milling Company is the only one of nine Oklahoma flour mills Ford acquired between 1911 and 1917 that is still a part of Shawnee Milling Company today.
Shawnee Milling Company in 1926.
Owen Wimberly, Vice President and Branch Manager of Okeene Milling Company
Shawnee Milling Company in 1931.
Shawnee Morning News headlines on Sunday August 12, 1934, tells the story of the fire that leveled Shawnee Milling Company the morning before. The 1934 fire was one of the worst fires in Shawnee history.
Newspaper advertisement J. Lloyd Ford placed on June 6, 1935, showing new Shawnee Milling Company plant.
Four generations of the Ford family. From left to right are Emma Ford, her son J. Lloyd Ford and grandson Leslie Ford who is holding his infant son, Bill Ford.
Leslie L. Ford second president of Shawnee Milling Company, led the company into a position of prominence in the post-war period.
Shawnee Milling Company’s second most devastating fire destroyed the top two floors of its 90-foot high feed mill building on Friday, October 8, 1954.
Full-page advertisement in May 1957 was placed in observance of Oklahoma’s semi-centennial and Shawnee Milling Company’s 51st year in business.
Shawnee Milling Company introduces its original convenience foods, Shawnee Baking Mixes
Shawnee Milling Company in 1978.
William Leslie Ford, third president of Shawnee Milling Company in 1979 at the age of 36.
Robert L. Ford named Executive Vice President of Shawnee Milling and President of Okeene Milling Company in 1979 at the age of 34.
Pictured from left to right: Bill Ford, Owen Wimberly, Bob Ford.
Shawnee Milling Company complex at the company’s 75th anniversary in 1981.
Bill Ford restored the two-story log cabin his great-grandfather built on 160 acres in Pottawatomie County in 1895.
A new packaging concept Shawnee Milling Company introduced in 1986 for baking mix products won a spot on the Flexible Packaging Association list of the nation’s top 10 new packages in 1987.
Fourteen-truck loading dock on the east side of the food products building was added to the milling company complex in early 1990s.
Fred Honeywell, plant superintendent, had rolled up 28 years’ service with Shawnee Milling Company. He was named 1992 "Miller of the Year" by the national Association of Operative Millers.
Okeene Milling Company in 2005.
Joe Ford joined Shawnee Milling Company as Vice President of Operations to mark the fourth generation of the Ford Family in leadership with the company
Shawnee Milling Company complex at the company’s centennial in April 2006.
Shawnee Milling Company introduces a package refresh for Shawnee Mills Baking Mixes