The Bay City Roller Flour Mill (referred to in some sources as 'Bay City Roller Flouring Mill") was established by Jacob Samm in 1875. Samm partnered with J. C. Westphal in 1883, at which time the plant underwent considerable expansion. By 1887 the company was listed as owned by Samm & Westphal, but by 1898 J. C. Westphal & Sons were the owners of record. The mill was located on the corner of 1st and Clay Streets, Oakland. It was a popular brand of flour carried throughout California. Bay City was manufacturers and dealers in flour, feed, grain and meals of all kinds. In 1887 the company advertised that they were proprietors of "Germ Meal, the new breakfast cereal ... Germ Meal is delicious, easily and quickly prepared, and is indispensable to Dyspeptics and Invalids."
With the offices and the mill both located in Oakland, their products were "sold by all Grocers" and they also bought grain for cash. The shipping facilities of the mill were excellent, what with the company owning the schooner Annie transporting goods between Oakland and all other bay county ports, plus being conveniently located near the railroad line with side tracks built to facilitate fulfilling orders. The mills was equipped with all the new and improved roller processing machinery for reducing cereals to flour and meal. Both Oakland and the surrounding suburbs (which are now mainly a part of Oakland) were supplied by a number of wagons which made daily deliveries.
By 1883 the plant was producing 100,000 casks of flour and 18,000 tons of ground barley annually. In 1898 the mill employed 35 to 40 men in the various departments, with a payroll of over $50,000 annually, with business receipts of $500,000 a year.
On June 30, 1889 it was reported in the Daily Alta California that "George Harting, a well-dressed young man, was arrested yesterday on two charges of. felony embezzlement. For several years he was employed as a collector by Saturn & Westphall, proprietors of the Bay City Roller Flour Mills of Oakland. Harting's actions were such that the firm began to suspect him in April. An investigation' of the books showed that the collector was about $6000 short in his accounts. His stealings cover a lengthy period, and as other charges are to be placed against him, the order has been .made, that he is not to be bailed from the City Prison. Harting is aged thirty years, married, and was living at No. 1 122 Geary street when arrested. He confesses having taken considerable money, from bis employers, and says that he lost it all in the pool rooms."
In 1893 the Bay City Roller Flouring Mill had a capacity of over 225 barrels a day, with production including the "finest grades of flour, oatmeal, graham flour, coarse and fine hominy, corn meal, middlings, bran, pearl barley, and farina."
Unfortunately, the company has nothing to do with the Bay City Rollers, the '70s Scottish band, which derived its name from the town of Bay City Michigan.