By Toni W. Riley
When 5-year-old Robert Harper was paid 25 cents to organize a desk drawer at Hopkinsville Milling for his grandfather Frank A. Yost, the youngster didn’t know he was the fifth generation of the Yost family to work at “The Mill.” Now president of Hopkinsville Milling, Harper easily
recounts the history and development of the company from its beginning in 1874.
At Seventh Street and the railroad crossing, the precursor of Hopkinsville Milling was Crescent Mills, owned by F.J. Brownell and John T. Rabbeth. Brownell was the uncle of Frank K. Yost, Harper’s great-grandfather who joined the firm in 1903.
Harper remembers the evolution of Hopkinsville Milling as it followed history and the changing United States lifestyle. He explains that milling is an industry of pennies.
“Pennies have to be watched at work as well as at home,” he said. “A person can make a good living as a miller, but they won’t get rich.”