Michael Schenck (February 15, 1771 - March 13, 1849)
Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Michael Schenck relocated to Lincolnton, NC, around 1789. During 1815, he apparently built a cotton mill the first in the state on the McDaniel Springs east of Lincolnton.
The small dam on this springs
apparently gave way during a Spring freshnet (or flood). On April 27,
1816, Schenck and his brother-in-law AbsalomWarlick hired local machinist
Michael Beam to rebuilt the spinning machinery for cotton yarn on a site
down the springs slope. The machinery had approximately 150 - 154 spindles.
This mill operated seasonally on a small scale until 1818/1819, when the machinery was moved to a better location on the South Fork of the Catawba River, 2 miles south of the courthouse. The new Lincoln or Lincolnton Cotton Mill was built with probably 512 spindles. The mill was financially successful and was expanded.
The 1819 Lincoln Cotton Mill was owned by Michael Schenck, John Hoke and Dr. James Bivings. (Note: An error in The Annals of Lincoln County, 1934, misquoted earlier works and cited the other partner as Dr. James Bivens.)
Schenck and Bivings sold their interest in the cotton mill around 1834 and John Hoke operated it until his death in 1845. The mill continued in operation for years (at least up to the late 1850s). The building was destroyed by a fire in 1863.
After selling his cotton mill, Schenck retired from business. He died on March 13, 1849.