Growth of Textiles in South Carolina After the Civil War, the textile industry grew quickly. Northern investors provided much of the needed capital. By 1910, there were 167 mills throughout the state. Most mills were located in the Upstate (Piedmont) of South Carolina. More than 100,000 people labored in the textile mills of Spartanburg County.
Why were most textile mills located in the Piedmont? The Piedmont had all of the resources to make the textile industry profitable.
Large Supply of Cotton
Many Rivers and Streams
Huge supply of labor.
Resources Large supply of cotton + Rivers and Streams for Water Power + Huge Supply of Labor = Growth of Textile Industry in the Up Country
Pacolet Mill Pacolet Mill was established in 1882. Pacolet Mill # 1 was located on the Pacolet River. The first mill had 12,000 spindles and 328 looms for its 500 operators. By 1894, there was a third mill that housed 57,000 spindles and 2,190 looms. The flood of 1903 ruined the first mill and
second mill. It severely damaged #3. The mills were later rebuilt with the help of Seth Milliken. By 1907, Pacolet became the largest manufacturing complex in Spartanburg County. By 1983, all Pacolet plants were dismantled.
Goods made in Pacolet carried the white horse label.
Other Spartanburg County Textile Mills Apalache Mill Arkwright Mill Chesnee Cotton Mill Clifton Mill Fairmont Mill Fingerville Cotton Factory Glendale Mill Jackson Mills Mayfair Mill Mary Louise Shamrock Mill Spartan Mill Riverdale Mill Tucapan Mill
Apalache Mill One of the earliest mills in Spartanburg. It was built between 1836 and 1838 near the South Tyger River. It operated 1,300 spindles and 24 looms. From 1880 until 1888 the mill was known as Cedar Hill Factory
Apalache Mill At its peak in the 1900’s Apalache had 143 mill houses. In 1946, J. P. Stevens bought the factory and it produced cotton yarns, brown sheetings, and fancy weaves. The plant closed in 1991.
Mary Louise Mill
Established in 1885 in the Mayo are of Spartanburg.
It was named for the daughter of W. E. “Ball” Watkins
It was also known as Island Creek Mill and Huckleberry Mill.
When it opened it had 1,040 spindles
Most of the mill was destroyed in the flood of 1903.
Mary Louise Mill
The mill was rebuilt, but in 1932 it went bankrupt.
There were several other attempts to keep the mill in operation, before it was closed for good in 1968.
In February of 2000, it was destroyed by fire.
Spartan Mill Spartan Mill was established in 1888. It was the first mill located in Spartanburg city limits. It operated 30,000 spindles and 1,100 loams By 1890, it was the largest mill in the state.
Spartan Mill Spartan Mill consumed 1/3 of the county’s cotton crop. A second mill was added in 1896. Spartan Mill employed 1,300 workers. The company was renamed in 2000 to Spartan International. It closed in 2001.
Glendale Mill Glendale Mill was located along the banks of Lawson Fork. The river that provided the water power is Lawson Fork River. It was established by doctor James Bivings in 1836. In the Early days the mill had 1200 spindles and 24 looms.
Glendale Mills Continued In 1860 the mill had 14,435 spindles and 26 looms Then in 1907 the mill had 37,392 spindles, 518 plain looms, and 550 automatic looms. It went bankrupt in 1855 . It made cloth and after it was rebuild it made heavy drills and cloth. It was the first Glenwood factory and it closed in 1961. It is not in operation anymore.
Arkwright Mill Arkwright Mill was organized in 1896. Located on Fairforest Creek in Spartanburg, SC Fairforest Creek supplied the water source for the mill. The mill operated 11,000 spindles and 374 looms.
Arkwright Mill (cont.) It was named after Richard Arkwright, a British inventor of the spinning jenny. The mill survived the Great Depression by selling smoked hams throughout the U.S. Cateswood Plant, built in Arkwright made 20% of flannel for work gloves in the U.S.
Arkwright Mills The mill was closed in 1979 and demolished The last remanding plant, Cateswood, was sold to Mount Vernon Mills of Greenville in 2000
Fingerville Cotton Factory The Fingerville Cotton Factory opened in 1849. It was located 15 miles north of Spartanburg. The North Pacolet River provided the waterpowerfor the factory. In 1849, it had 400 spindles. In 1880, it had 1000 spindles and 15 looms.
The original Fingerville Cotton Factory was destroyed by a fire. The factory was heavily damaged by the flood of 1903 , but it did not close down. The factory was closed in 1995 under the owner of Oneita Knitting Mills.
Chesnee Cotton Mill Chesnee Cotton Mill was established in 1910 by John A. Law. It was located in northeastern Spartanburg and powered by the Tyger River. In 1927, it operated 20,160 spindles and 440 looms. It produced army twill. It closed in 1997.
Jackson Mills Begin as Jordan Manufacturing in 1905, producing terry towels and quilts It was located two miles east of Wellford and powered by the Middle Tyger River. In 1907, it operated 36 looms. In 1940, it operated 30,840 spindles and 627 looms. It closed in 1997.
Riverdale Mill In 1888, it was incorporated as Enoree Manufacturing Company. It operated with 10,000 spindles, 320 looms and about 400 workers. It was built between two hills, and Two Mile Creek ran under the middle of the factory. The mill was not profitable until WWII.
Riverdale Mill cont. Riverdale Mill was bought three times and renamed twice, then was merged with Inman Mills in 1954. Riverdale Mill is no longer in operation. It was closed in August 2001 and was scheduled for demolition in 2002.
Clifton Manufacturing Company Mill No. 1 was established on January 19, 1880. It was located at Hurricane Shoals. It operated 7,000 spindles, and 144 looms. Mill No. 1 had a capital stock of 200,000 dollars.
Clifton Mill No. 2 No. 2 was built in 1889. It operated 21,512 spindles, and 861 looms. It was located three quarters of a mile downstream from the 1st mill.
Clifton No. 3 It was built in 1890. Clifton No. 3 was located upstream from the other two. It operated 34,944 spindles, and 1,092 looms. No. 3 was also known as “Converse.” It was named after Edgar Converse.
Mayfair Mills Established in 1903 as Arcadia Mills. The first mill was built near Fairforest (Westgate area). The mill operated 14,624 spindles and 244 looms. Company went bankruptcy in the stock market crash of 1929 and was sold to Mayfair Mills The company went bankrupt in 2001 and closed all of the plants.
Fairmont Mills It was established in 1847 as Crawfordsville. It was located near the Middle Tyger River. It had 1000 spindles and 20 looms. In the late 1880’s it became Fairmont Mills. The mill expanded to 4,000 spindles and 120 looms. The mill was destroyed by fire in 1977.
The mill was organized in 1914 by J.E Mallory, Kye Spears.
It was located in Landrum on Shamrock Avenue.
It first produced damask table cloths, then switched to jacquard bedspreads.
The mill operated 3,000 spindles and 1,100 looms.
The company had 5,000 employees in the 1970’s.
Tucapau Mill Established in 1896 It is located on the Middle Tyger River The mill operated 10,000 spindles and 320 looms. It was the first mill to have automatic Draper looms. By 1907, it operated 64,744 spindles and 1,696 looms.
Tucapau A second plant was established in 1923. In 1930, renovations were made to the plant and the name was changed to Startex Mills A bleachery and finishing plant were added in 1930 The plant was closed in 1998 and dismantled in 1999.