Textile Factory - Donaldson & McNeill/Fayetteville Manufacturing Company
Builder: Henry A. Donaldson 1824 - 1826
Built: Fayetteville, NC
Owners: Henry A. Donaldson & George McNeill, 1824 until 1829, when the General Assembly chartered the Fayetteville Manufacturing Company, owned by Donaldson and others (see below).
Specifications: By June 1826, the three-story, frame factory had been
completed with up to 1,200 spindles operating. The firm employed 20 to 50 people. The mill was located on Cross Creek.
Notes: Henry A. Donaldson designed and co-owned a cotton
mill in Fayetteville, NC, apparently with George McNeill. As was
typical with many early operations, the construction and
operations were phased in over a period of time.
   The factory (apparently referred to the November 1824 ad at right) was in some limited operation in late 1824. As was common in those days, production often began on some basis, even before the mill was completed. Selling through local merchant Hugh McLaurin, the factory was referred to by different names — the Donaldson Factory, the Donaldson & McNeill Factory, the Fayetteville Cotton Factory and then the Fayetteville Manufacturing Company.
   Henry A. Donaldson was the chief promoter of the Fayetteville Manufacturing Company, incorporated by the General Assembly of 1828-29 on January  7, 1829. Donaldson had previously designed Battle's Mill,  which later became the Rocky Mount Mills, as well as this mill in Fayetteville with partner George McNeill. 
   In the push to incorporate numerous businesses, the General Assembly authorized the formation of the Fayetteville Manufacturing Company with capital stock to be more than $10,000 and less than $50,000. The company was authorized to manufacture cotton, hemp, wool and flax.
   Subscriptions to stock were to be received by Henry A. Donaldson, Louis D. Henry, John Kelly, Hugh McLaurin, Jesse Birdsall and John M. Dobbin. Whether this company became active as a separate entity or simply was a device to operate and expand the existing mill is not known.
   The factory was idled sometime in the early 1830s, perhaps as a result of a devastating fire that burned much of Fayetteville on May 29, 1831. The property was sold to Greensboro(ugh) textile factory owner Henry Humphreys in 1834. But by 1836, Humphreys still had not installed new equipment or reopened the existing Fayetteville facility. 
   In April or May 1837, two Guildford men, operating as Benbow & Company, bought the mill facility from Humphreys. The mill apparently reopened in late 1837 as the Cross Creek Mill incorporated in 1841 as the Cross Creek Manufacturing Company.

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