BCTGM LOCAL 13G
History of the New Prague Mill
Hastings New Prague
New Prague Mill

The birthplace of Robin Hood Flour, this mill was built in 1896 by Francis Atherton Bean Sr., with financial support from the community. It would have been hard to guess the eventual success of this operation from Mr. Bean's early efforts in the milling business.

Before coming to New Prague, Mr. Bean was forced out of business in Faribault, leaving behind $100,000 in debts. More than twenty years later, he sought out each creditor and paid him in full with interest, a payment totalling nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

The New Prague mill formed the beginnings for International Multifoods, a company which today claims over one billion dollars in annual sales. The mill was sold to Con Agra in 1988. During the Conagra, Cargill, CHS 2104 Ardent Mills joint venture, the New Prague Mill was sold to the Miller Milling company

In its early years, the flour made here was known as Seal of Minnesota Flour and in later years as Robin Hood Flour. Until 1923, flour from all of the company's mills was sent to the New Prague plant where it was tested daily by the local baker and chemist.

Legend has it that many an undergarment was made from the Seal of Minnesota flour sacks and one such version finds an elderly Czech lady from New Prague lost in the big cities. Not being able to speak English, she proceeded to show her Seal of Minnesota underpinnings to someone in an effort to explain the location of her home town. Luckily, her idea worked and she was directed back to New Prague where her Czech tongue was understood!