In 1879, a milling pioneer named Hiram Walker built a small water-powered mill on the Sheyenne River at Valley City. In 1882, John Russell invited his son-in-law, Arthur Miller, to form a partnership in operating the mill acquired from Walker. In 1886 Russell and Miller took the first step in a series of expansions which would eventually make the company the fourth largest milling firm in the nation. This was the purchase of a second mill at Jamestown, North Dakota. Subsequently, the partnership was incorporated as the Russell & Miller Milling Company. The brand name "Occident" meaning "out of the West" was selected because milling operations were situated in what was then the extreme western area of wheat production. As the company's milling capacity grew, its allied interest progressed. Increased milling meant more need for grain and thus, proper storage facilities. The Russell & Miller Milling Company built its first grain elevators in the years between 1882 and 1892. By 1906 Russell-Miller's capacity was 8,000 hundred-weights (cwts). It had experienced fires both in Jamestown and Valley City, rebuilding those mills and constructing a new mill at Minot, North Dakota. In 1907 the company's headquarters were moved to Minneapolis where it built a major mill to take advantage of the tremendous stock of select wheat. This move further assured the high quality of "Occident" flour.