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December 4, 2013

Looking Back: Warren Co-op

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The Warren Co-op was the center of activity for decades as the historic Village of Warren grew from its farming roots. The co-op, on Chicago Road between Mound and Van Dyke at the railroad crossing, was the site of the old grist mill built by John and Dave Wilson in the late 1890s. According to city archives, the building was bought by A. V. Church in 1911 and sold to the Farm Bureau. It became the Warren Co-op in 1922 after Farm Bureau members organized as a cooperative company serving the area’s pioneer farm families. The mill originally sold vital materials including grain, flour, feed and coal, but later expanded to sell hardware, farm equipment and household goods.  John Rinke succeeded Louis Bush as president of the Warren Co-op in 1948 and held the position until he retired in 1973. The Warren Co-op was closed in October 1995 and later demolished.