The Abraham Family
The most human aspect of Upminster Windmill and its history is that the Abraham family ran the Mill from 1859 to 1934 when the Mill ceased to be used. The Mill and a plot of land not unlike the Mill Field we see today, was bought by Thomas Abraham for £1100 and £800 of that was obtained by mortgage! It took him 3 years to restore the mill to a profitable enterprise and business flourished for the next 30 years. Thomas died in1882.
Thomas's eldest son did not want the Mill and its ownership passed to his younger son John Arkell Abraham (you don't get names like that anymore). John Arkell had worked with his father at the Mill from 1870 so he knew the trade well. Lightening struck the Mill in 1889 and in 1905 and at about that time, John (always a bachelor) delegated the business of running the Mill to his two nephews Alfred and Clement. John died in 1912. Alfred ran the Mill and Clement was the business manager and another brother. Sidney ran a bakers shop in Station Lane Upminster Due to government controls in the first World war and the growth of large scale milling, the Mill became unprofitable. In the years that followed the Mill turned to animal feed though money was found for repairs after another ferocious storm in 1927. Clement died in 1935 and the estate was sold by auction in 1936. There are several pieces of graffiti around the Mill which are clearly visible and which remind us all of that one family's connection with our prized icon.