Before electricity, flowing water was a prime source of energy to run mills for sawing lumber and grinding grains. The Mormons are credited with construction, in 1846, of one of Travis County's first mills on Bull Creek. That mill was created after the one at the base of Mount Bonnell on the Colorado River washed away.
The Mormons were not the only ones to build mills on Bull Creek. The one shown here was likely built ca. 1850s by Hughell Walden, one of the early settlers to the Bull Creek Valley. This photograph was taken by H.B. Hillyer, Austin based photographer, variously dated at ca. 1869 or 1875.
Clementine Walden Jackson, granddaughter of Hughell Walden, says this mill was used as a lumber mill, shingle mill, and also for grinding corn. The home of Edward Zimmerman, built in 1861, now on the property of The Settlement Home for Children, is said to have been built with lumber from a mill on Bull Creek, quite possibly this one.