Descendents of the Jay Ames family recently donated $400.00 to the Neligh Mills Historic Site. Carlie (Ames) Froemke from Fargo, North Dakota who is a great granddaughter of Jay Ames along with her sons, Wesley and Henrik, presented the donation to Neligh Mills Historic Site Supervisor Don “Harv” Ofe.
Jay Ames was one of the last owners of the Neligh Mills. Jay came to Neligh in 1914 and started working at the mill as a bookkeeper and traveling salesman. Jay worked at the mill for 55 years giving him the honor of being the longest working employee of the Neligh Mills. Through the years he rose to the position of manager of the mill in 1947 when J.W. Spirk, the current owner of the mill passed away. In 195,3 Jay along with Adina Vidstedt purchased the Neligh Mills from the Spirk family. Jay and Adina operated the mill until 1969.
Jay was also instrumental in getting the Nebraska State Historical Society to purchase the Neligh Mills in the fall of 1969. The Neligh Mills Historic Site was open to the public in 1973, 100 years after it was built. Today the mill is operated as a Historic Site by the Nebraska State Historical Society. It is the only 19th century flour mill in Nebraska to still have all of the original flour milling equipment in place.