List of NC Textile Mills (prior to 1860)
   The first textile mill in North Carolina was in operation around 1815 by Michael Schenck. The following list and supplementary links provide a good picture of this early and substantial industrialization. These beginnings formed an experienced group of owners and workers which in the late 19th Century led North Carolina into textile leadership for the 20th Century. 

   There were numerous announcements of plans to organize textile mills during these early years -- and often nothing came of the plans. The matrix below lists actual, operating textile mills, according to the year operations began, not their year of organization. Where organization preceded operations, we have listed that year in the owner/founder column.
   The Civil War dramatically affected this sector with nearly a score of textile mills destroyed during the conflict, especially during the last 90 days of the war. Meanwhile, the machinery at surviving mills generally was worn out with inability to easily replace equipment during the conflict. 
   Additional material will be added to this section. There will be additional pages for mill listings for 1860- 1899 and post-1900 that will be added later this year. Please provide any information for changes to this list to Ron Vinson.
   Here are some reported early attempts to organize textile mills (sometimes not based on contemporary reports) that never became operational:
Beam Cotton Factory (Lincoln Co., 1804 - Daily Charlotte Observer Oct. 9, 1881, quoting the Shelby Aurora); (very probably a fictional recollection for this early date)
Moravian Cotton Mill (Salem, 1808 - Fries, Records of the Moravians in NC, Volume VI, p.2929);
Planters' Cotton Mill (Coastal Plain, 1811 - Williamson, The History of NC, 1812, Vol. II, p.221);
Hillsborough Manufacturing Co. (Hillsboro, 1813 - The Raleigh Minerva, June 18, 1813)
Yadkin Manufacturing Co. - first effort chartered in 1832; later group succeeded
Iredell Manufacturing Co. (Iredell Co., 1835 - Carolina Watchman, July 15, 1836)
Weldon Manufacturing Co. (Halifax, 1838 - The Register, July 16, 1838)
Bertie Manuf. Co. (Bertie, 1851)
Neuse River Manuf. Co. (Wake Co., 1851 - Carolina Republican, Feb. 16, 1852)

NC Textile Mills Operating before 1860
Name of Mill/Firm Owner/Founder


Location &
(if steam power)
NC County
(at time of creation)
Year ceased
1815/1816 Schenck Mill Michael Schenck 1814-1818/1819  (with Abasolom Warlick) Cotton yarn
150 - 154 spindles
in 1817-1819
E. of Lincolnton, McDaniel's Spring Lincoln abandoned in 1819, machinery moved to So. Fork (see below Lincolnton Cotton Factory)
1819 Lincoln Cotton Mill 
or Lincolnton Cotton Factory 
Michael Schenck 1819-35
Dr. James Bivings 1819-35
John Hoke 1819-45
John F. Hoke & L. D. Childs 1845-63
Cotton yarn
est. 180 spindles in 1820, 288 in 1825 and
later expanded to 1,284 spindles; yarn & cloth
2 miles south of Lincolnton, on South Fork Catawba Lincoln 1863 burned
1820 Battle's Mill or
Rocky Mount Mills
later owned by Edgecombe Manufacturing Company (1829 - 1833)
Col. Joel Battle 1817-1839;
Battle & Co.; partnered with Henry A. Donaldson (1817 - 1828) who built the mill, and others; later John Parker (1830 - 1833) - bought out their interests in 1833 
Cotton yarn, 
288 spindles in 1820,
1,716 spindles in 1860.
Great Falls of the Tar River, Rocky Mount Edgecombe destroyed on July 20, 1863 in a Civil War raid; rebuilt in 1869,  in operation until 1996
1824 McNeil & Donaldson Mill;
named Fayetteville Cotton Factory in 1826 & Fayetteville Manufacturing Co. in 1829
Henry A. Donaldson & George McNeil; 1829 Donaldson and others Cotton yarn
1,200 spindles
Fayetteville Cumberland firm ceased operations probably in 1832; property sold in 1834 to Henry Humphries, in 1837 resold and became the Cross Creek Factory (below)
1833 Mount Hecla Mill

Mount Hecla Steam Cotton Mill
(first steam-powered mill in NC)

some sources cite an early effort in 1818-1822; reorganized & enlarged 1828-1830; steam-powered operation began 1833
Henry Humphreys
Cotton yarn
initially 528 spindles in 1833; 
2,500 spindles
Greensborough Guilford moved to Gaston Co. in 1848, became the Mountain Island Manufacturing Co. and started operations in 1849 (see  listing)
1835 Big Falls Manuf. Co. 1835 
Peter Ray Harden 1849-
Hurdle, Gant & Co.
Cotton yarn Big Falls Orange (part became Alamance Co. in 1849) 
1835? Northampton Manuf. Co. 1835 Cotton yarn Northampton
Mallett's Mill or Factory Charles P. Mallett Cotton Yarn, initially with 500 spindles, expanded later to 1,500 Fayetteville Cumberland The second operating mill in Cumberland County
1836 Cane Creek Manufacturing Co.
(Cane Creek Farmers' & Mechanics' Manuf. Co.)
1836 chartered;  Cotton yarn
power looms added 1845; steam plant in 1850
Snow Camp Orange (part became Alamance Co. in 1849)  1857 sold to Edwin Holt
1836/37 Milton Manuf. Co. (also known as Milton Cotton Factory) 1836 Barrott Newsom & Holden Cotton yarn Milton Caswell
(turn of year)
Mocksville Cotton Factory 1836 Thomas McNeely Cotton yarn
528 spindles
Mocksville -
steam powered
1836 Mt. Arrarat Cotton Factory Trollinger & Montgomery, 1836 Cotton yarn Mt. Arrarat Orange (part became Alamance Co. in 1849) 
Cedar Falls Manuf. Co. Organized in 1828 and chartered Feb. 1, 1829; Members included Jonathan Worth (president) and Jesse Walker; Benjamin Elliott local organizer Cotton yarn
enlarged in 1846 with 54 looms
6 miles above Asheboro on Deep River Randolph The property was bought in 1916 and name changed to Sapona Cotton Mills. Original mill building closed in 1939
1837 Alamance Cotton Mill or Alamance Factory 1836 Holt & Carrigan Co. (Operated under this name until 1851 Carrigan sold Holt his interest) Edwin M. Holt & Wm. Carrigan Cotton yarn
528 spindles,
528 spindles added 1845; 1848 cloth, 1853 Alamance Plaids
Alamance Creek Orange (part became Alamance Co. in 1849)  Nov. 1926 for original mill site; destroyed by fire 1871, rebuilt 
Salem Manufacturing Co. 1836 owned by Moravian Church, Francis Fries (agent) Cotton yarn
Salem  -
Stokes (became Forsyth Co.) sold on March 21, 1854 to Gov. Morehead; his son-in-law Rufus L. Patterson ran mill.
Cross Creek Mills, or Cross Creek Manuf. Co. operational in late 1837 or jan. 1838; incorporated in 1841; Benbow & Co. Cotton yarn, initially 528 spindles Fayetteville Cumberland formerly the Fayetteville Manufacturing Co. building and property; the facility was burned by Union troops March 1865
Lexington Cotton Factory 1838; incorp. Jan. 1839 Cotton yarn; sheeting & skirting Lexington - 
steam powered
1838 Richmond Mill
Richmond Manuf. Co.

also Rockingham Mill
1828 chartered; 1833 organized; John W. Leak & Crawfords Cotton yarn Rockingham Richmond burned by Union troops in 1865; rebuilt in 1869 - Great Falls Mill
1838 Hunting Creek Factory 1837 Mr. Douthet Cotton yarn On Hunting Creek Surry
1838 Randolph Manuf. Co. 1828 & 1839 chartered; Hugh McCain, Jesse Walker, Benjamin Elliot & Jonathan Worth Cotton yarn Franklin Randolph
1838 Snow Camp Factory 1838 Cotton yarn Snow Camp on the Haw River Orange (part became Alamance Co. in 1849) 
1838/1839 Leaksville Factory
also known as Old Rock Mill
1838 John M. Morehead Cotton yarn near Leaksville, on Dan River Rockingham
late summer/
early fall
Phoenix (Woolen) Factory; then Phoenix Manuf. Co. 1836 James H. Hooper, John Stokes Pearson and Charles Beatty Mallett Initially wool yarn and cloth, 20 looms; in late 1839/early 1840, cotton yarn 1,000 spindles & 60 looms Fayetteville
on Cross Creek
Cumberland burned by Union troops March 1865
1839 Rockfish Manuf. Co. 1836 Charles P. Mallett, John Herritage Bryan; 
1860s Charles T. Haigh & John Haigh, pres.
Cotton yarn
3,000 spindles
later to 4,500 spindles
Fayetteville Cumberland (6 mi. so. of Fayetteville) burned by Union troops in March 1865; rebuilt in 1872
Milledgeville Cotton Factory; Montgomery Manuf. Co. 1838; Edward Burage & Co.; in 1851 by P. Burage Cotton yarn Yadkin River, 22 mi. east Salisbury, below Stokes' Ferry Montgomery Did not survive the 1850s
1840 Franklinville Manuf. Co.
(originally called Coffin's Mill)
1837 Elisha Coffin Cotton yarn Franklinville Randolph
1840 Fries Woolen Mill
later H. & F. Fries Cotton & Woolen Mills
Francis Levin Fries, 1839 - 1863 (wool); in 1848 he expanded the mill adding a cotton mill; his brother Henry F. Fries assumed ownership after Francis death in 1863, until 1869 Wool yarn
Cotton yarn 
Salem Forsyth Later bought Haw River (Grist) Mill and Cotton Mill; in 1869 cotton mill sold to Thomas M. Holt of Granite Cotton Factory
1840 Beaver Creek Manuf. Co. 1840 Hall & Johnson; John Hall, Constant Johnson and W. Taylor Cotton yarn
initially 960 spindles
County Cumberland reportedly burned by Union troops in March 1865
Monbo Factory 1840 Cotton yarn Monbo Catawba building destroyed in 1916 flood
Salisbury Manuf. Co.
Maxwell Chambers Factory or Rowan Cotton Factory (1848 - 1855)
In 1848, Maxwell Chambers purchased the firm operating it until just before his death in 1855 
Cotton yarn, 700 - 800 spindles initially, rising to 1,200 by early 1841; 3,000 spindles and 70 looms by 1849 Salisbury -
Rowan Abandoned sometime during 1856-1860; became Salisbury Prison Camp in 1861 for the Confederacy; destroyed by Union troops in April 1865
1841 Little River Manuf. Co. Started looking for sites in 1839; 1841 Duncan Murchison and others Cotton yarn initially 1,100 to 1,100 spindles 10 miles from Fayetteville; on Little River Cumberland burned by Union troops in March 1865
Concord Steam Cotton Factory
Also known as Concord Manufacturing Co.;
J.. McDonald & Sons (1859)
Paul Barringer, President; other founders: Daniel M. Barringer, John T. Phifer, Robert Washington; organized Feb. 16, 1839 Cotton yarn Concord - steam-powered Cabarrus 1859 John McDonald took over ownership; succeeded in 1879 by Odell Manuf. which went out of business in 1907
1842 McLean Mill Angus McLean Wool rolls Cowper Hill Robeson
1844/1845 High Falls Factory 
(Granite Mill);
High Falls Manuf. Co;
Granite Cotton Mills (1858)
Gen. Benjamin Trollinger 
Trollinger & Montgomery
Cotton yarn
528 spindles
Haw River 
Orange (part became Alamance Co. in 1849) 1856, Trollinger sold his interests; 1858 mill sold to Edwin M and Thomas M. Holt; Thomas bought out father in 1861
1846 Catawba Manufacturing Co. 1846 H. B. Williams, Peter M. Brown & Gen. W. H. Neal Cotton yarn Catawba River, 8 miles west of Charlotte Mecklenburg
1848 Saxapahaw Cotton Mill
John Newlin & Sons
John Newlin, 1844
later sons James & Jonathan, and George Gutherie
Cotton yarn; looms installed 1859 Snow Camp on Haw River Orange (part became Alamance Co. in 1849)  Sold 1873 to Edwin H. Holt, John L. Williamson & Capt. James W. White (till 1884), then White, Williamson & Co. into 1900s
1848 Patterson Cotton Factory
S.F. Patterson & Co. (1851)
Samuel Finley Patterson, Edmund Jones & James C. Harper, 1843 Cotton yarn Fort Defiance Caldwell Destroyed by Union troops on March 29, 1865
Island Ford or Coffin Mill
Island Ford Manuf. Co.
1845 Elisha Coffin, A.S. Horney and George Makepeace; sold to Hugh S. Parks in 1858 Cotton yarn
1,700 spindles
Franklin Randolph (Deep River)
Swift Island Manuf. Co. 1845 Cotton yarn Montgomery
Haw River Factory 1845; bought by Francis Fries in 1850? Cotton yarn Orange (part became Alamance Co. in 1849) 
Cape Fear Manuf. Co. 1847 Cotton yarn New Hanover
Rock Creek Shoals Factory 1847 Cotton yarn Iredell
1848 Buena Vista Cotton Factory or the Buena Vista Manuf. Co. 1847 Jasper & Edwin B. Stowe Cotton yarn 4 miles south of Lincolnton on the South Fork of the Catawba River Lincoln This small operation was closed around 1851 and the equipment moved to Gaston County, where the Stowe's opened Stowe's Factory in 1853.
Deep River Manuf. Co. 1848 Cotton yarn Columbia Randolph
1848 Elkin Manuf. Co. 1848 Richard Gwyn Cotton yarn On Elkin Creek near Yadkin River Surry
Woodlawn Manuf. Co. 1848 Cotton yarn Gaston
1848 Blount's Creek Manuf. Co. 1848 George McNeil Cotton yarn Fayetteville Cumberland burned by Union troops March 1865
1849 Laurel Hill Cotton Factory
also known as Laurel Hill Manufacturing Co.; renamed Elm Grove Cotton Mill in 1884
1848/1849 Motz & Company; then Barrett Motz & Co. 
(E.S. Barrett & Andrew Motz, who died 1851)
Cotton yarn
528 spindles in 1851
Lincolnton Lincoln Sold in 1858 to John F. Phifer & R. W. Allison
Columbia Cotton Mill 1849 Cotton yarn Randolph
1849 The Cotton Factory at High Shoals (later known as the High Shoals Manuf. Co.) 1849 John F. Phifer Cotton yarn & cloth 6 miles below Lincolnton at High Shoals on the South Fork of the Catawba River Lincoln
Johnston-Little River Manuf. Co. 1849 Cotton yarn Johnston
Newbern Manuf. Co. 1849 Cotton yarn Craven
1849 Union Manuf. Co. or
Union Mills
1849 Cotton yarn Fayetteville Cumberland burned by Union troops March 1865
1849 Union Factory
(1872 name changed to Randleman Manuf. Co.)
1848 Cotton yarn Union (original name Dicks, changed to Union in 1848; then to Randlesman in 1880) Randolph John Banner Randleman & John H. Ferree bought factory in 1872 and changed name to Randleman Manuf. Co.
Rock Island Wool Factory (1851 named the Rock Island Manuf. Co. 1849 Carson, Young & Grier
(1851 A. F. Orr)
Wool yarn Mecklenburg
Yadkin Cotton Factory 1849 Cotton yarn Wilkes
1850 Mountain Island Manuf. Co.
(from Mount Hecla Steam)
1849 Cotton & Wool yarn Gaston
1850 Eagle Cotton Mills 1850 Thomas N. Cooper Cotton yarn between Statesville and Salem Iredell burned by Union troops April 1865
Tomlinson's Cotton Factory 1850 Cotton yarn Iredell
Buck Shoals Manuf. Co. 1851 Cotton yarn Surry
Double Shoals Cotton Factory 1850 J. Z. Falls & Co. Cotton yarn Garner's Ford Cleaveland (now Cleveland Co.)
Orange Factory 1852 Cotton yarn Orange
Catawba Mill 1852 Cotton yarn Catawba
1853 Stowe's Factory or Stowesville Manuf. Co. 1851 Cotton yarn Gaston
Granite Shoals Factory 1854 Cotton yarn Catawba
1855 Yadkin Manuf. Co. 1855 Cotton yarn Davidson-Rowan
Yadkin Falls Manuf. Co. 1857 Cotton yarn Montgomery
1860 Rocky River Manuf. Co. 1860 Caleb Phifer Cotton yarn Cabarrus
? Belfont Cotton Manuf. Co.
(not sure it ever became operational)
1829 chartered; W. A. Blount, John Myers, William Ellison Cotton yarn Beaufort
1851 Additional Listings
Emanuel Alspaugh Cotton County Alexander 
Tomber & Gage Cotton Taber Church Iredell 
N.S. Perkins & Co. Cotton Beulah Johnston 
Carson, (John A.) Young & Greer Wool Charlotte Mecklenburg 
   became Youn, Wriston & Orr by 1860s
Niel, Brown & Williams Cotton Charlotte Mecklenburg 
Christian & Makepeace Cotton Lawrenceville Montgomery 
McRae & Monroe Cotton Troy Montgomery 
Webb & Douglas Cotton Hillsborough Orange 
John Webb Wool
1850s Larkin Stowe & E.B. Stowe Cotton Catawba River Gaston 1861
Wilfred Turner - Turner's Mill - burned by Union forces in March 1865
Thomas R. Tate's (1860s) Mill
Manchester Mill (1860s) Duncan Murchison
Powell & Shufford's Mill (1860s)
Steel Creek Factory - W. H. Neal, Charlotte pre 1860s - 1860s
Murray & Brothers (mill in Alamance)
Homesly's Mill - Wool 
James Town - Wool

Source: Ron Vinson, CSI/ISI; newspaper reports, original documents, etc.
 Note: We chose to list the year the mill went into operation, rather than when construction started or when a company charter was granted. Additional information, picture and narrative will be available for mills in a pop-up window. 

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