Koke Mill was on Spring Creek, near the present-day Koke Mill Road crossing.
One of the best-known local mill names today, Koke Mill has one of the most complicated histories of ownership. It went through more than a dozen owners or co-owners between 1837, when Jacob Early petitioned the Sangamon County Court Commissioners to build a mill dam across Spring Creek, and 1859, when Eliza Burns won ownership of the mill in a lawsuit. (At one point, the co-owners included James F. Reed, later one of the leaders of the ill-fated Donner Party.)
Burns sold the operation along with other property for $5,000 to Anne Burton in 1861, and Burton sold the mill site a year later to William Keefer.
After 30 years of operation, the mill was purchased by the individual whose name would remain associated with the historic mill site long after its abandonment. On May 10, 1866, William Keefer sold the mill to William Koke for $800.
Koke ran the mill independently for a time, then leased the business. He sold the property in about 1900 to the DuPont Powder Company, and the mill burned in 1903. Like Carpenter’s Mill on the Sangamon River, the site of Koke Mill became a popular picnic and fishing spot.
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