A Short Pictorial History

Many thanks go to the Startex-Tucapau Historical Society
in Startex, South Carolina ( USA ) - for information and some of the images displayed on this page.

~ The Tucapau Mill ~

Located in Startex - South Carolina, U.S.A. Spartanburg County

Established June 7, 1895.
Closed September 5, 1998


Last updated: January 1, 2012.


( At the base of this page more history on Textile Mills of South Carolina is included )


Y e a r - 1 8 9 5.


- Image used with Permission -

Tucapau Mill

The above photo is the oldest known image of the Tucapau Mill
being kept on record by the Startex-Tucapau Historical Society.
It was taken just prior to the construction having been finished.
The Belfry with the pointed roof was a very common feature on
all mill buildings of this period ( middle 1800's through to 1930 )
and was used to house a Bell, or Steam Whistle - these would
be sounded to indicate the start and finish of each shift.

Some of the features of this Mill included :
Stores & Finished goods floor
Cutting & Finishing floor
Main Weave room
Dynamo room
Carding room
Bleach room
Boiler room
Dye room



Stage two, of the Tucapau Mill was constructed between 1901 to 1904

Engineer :

Stuart W. Cramer

Working in close conjunction with

Tucapau Mill Engineer - C R. Makepeace & Company

Power Sources:

1895 - 1901
Two Undershot Waterwheels :

At this stage a pipe was laid to convey water from the Tucapau Dam high above the mill through a twelve foot diameter pipe to the wheel
house located under the rear of the mill, from there the water was then diverted into two channels and thus to the undershot Waterwheels.
After having driven the Waterwheels the water would then be returned back into the Middle Tyger River by a channel known as a tailrace.



Mechanical Transfer of Power from the Waterwheels:

As with nearly all mills of this era the main power transmission was of a mechanical nature by means of ropes ( 1 1/2 inch diameter )
mounted on 'V' split pulleys bolted to the main Waterwheel shaft, in turn these ropes were attached to smaller pulleys mounted on the
main drive shafts within the mill, running the full length of the mill floor, from this drive shaft all machinery could be mechanically
driven by another set of pulleys of different diameters, the ropes coming from each pulley obtruded through specially adapted box
sections on the mill floor due to the main drive shaft being boxed in for reasons of safety, other small box sections could be opened
for the maintenance of bearings and lubrication plus the replacement of couplings as the main drive shaft comprised of a series of shafts
throughout its entire length. The transfer of power to the above floors was enabled through an elaborate transfer case ( boxed in ) at the
rear end of the mill containing a larger array of pulleys to and from each floor.


In the small photo below ~

The water pipe can be seen as it enters the rear of the mill, the small building to the right in the photo was added to house
a new Cross Compound Corliss engine, as power was found to be inadequate with the installation of more machinery,
running parallel along side the end of the mill and to the front a boiler room was added to supply steaming hot water
to the bleachery operation and also to power the newly installed Cross Compound Corliss engine. From the boiler room
a smokestack can be seen above the roof line, in 1903 this end of the mill would be added stage 2, an extension known
as Mill No.2 - more on this is included further down the page.



Tucapau Mill - SC

1901 - 1955
Hydroelectric :

By 1901 power to the mill was via a three mile transmission line from the Berry Shoals Power Station.
The Berry Shoals Power Station consisted of two 27 inch McCormick turbines, under a total working
head of 70 feet, developing 1400 horse power, at 400 revolutions per minute.
It was directly connected to a G.E. - 1200 K.W. / 10,000 volt, three phase, 40 cycle, Generator.

The Berry Shoals Power Station was closed forever in 1959, the mill having
been connected to the main power grid a good number of years earlier.

To reveal the Power Company involved a good link below tells the story.

An Excellent history on Stuart W. Cramer can be seen by Clicking on the reference case below:

The above link is an Excellent website devoted to the history of mills, people and companies.
- TEXTILE INDUSTRY HISTORY -
Presented by
Gary Mock


The spillway at Berry Shoals can be viewed in the link below.

Click below on the reference case to view an Excellent photo taken by Kevin Sargent in 2007.
Kevin Sargent has also added a good little history entitled " From Berry Shoals to Tucapau "





Year - 1 9 0 0 .



Seen below :-
The first Draper Corporation type of Loom to be installed in the Weave Room.

This is a Model " A " Northrop Loom from the George Draper Corporation
built in Hopedale, Massachusetts and was manufactured in 1893 - 1894.

Model A Draper Loom

This model of loom was also called the 1894 Pattern - and was installed in
the Queen City Mill as well as the Amoskeag Falls Mill in New Hampshire.


Model A Draper info

Above :-
The text from the same page - part of it READS :-

This was the original loom sent out on the Queen City, TUCAPAU , and other early orders.

The above photo and text coming from a 1900 Draper Corporation manual.





Below :-
From the Draper manual giving the Loom Quantity at Tucapau for January 1, 1900 - totaling 469 Looms.
In the list - Spartan Mills also gets a mention - they were later to take over the Tucapau Mill in 1936 adding
to the ever growing number of Mills owned by Walter S. Montgomery, Sr. who went on to be a leader in the
Textile Industry throughout the United States along with other Industry giant's such as the name Milliken.


Tucapau Loom Qty for January 1900

 



A 1900 account mentioning the Dynamo Room / as at top of page.

From the 1900 Edition of the Draper manual ( pp 10 )

Text 2.

Text 1.

 





Year - 1 9 0 3 .


- Image used with Permission -

1903 Pacolet River flood

In the above photo:

Flood waters can be seen surging down and around the rear of the Mill during the flood of 1903.
( More on the flood below... )
One will also notice the additions to the building since 1895, namely the new extension as mentioned above (Mill No.2)
the mill now having been extended by at least one third the length of the original building, seen at top the of this page.
With this new extension came a new Carding room stretching the full length of Mill No.2 plus the addition of a second
boiler room built beside the old existing boiler room of the late 1890's. The full length of the building ( internally ) can
be gained in an advertisement further down this page showing the rows of looms in the main weave room.



Below ~

The diagram below shows how the mill looked by the end of 1903, now having the L shaped extension completed.

Mill No.1 & extension

The position of the above mentioned Tailrace can be gained from the diagram.
By this time the Dynamo room, firstly used for lighting was well and truly gone,
and the Corliss engine had been sold to another mill although it remained in the State.
( A small section on this Corliss engine will be added to this history at a later date )




In the photo below the new Carding room in Mill No.2 can be seen,
the carding process was performed at ground level with the upper
three levels used for the roving, twisting and spinning operations
before coming down to Mill No.1 and eventually to the weave room.
Time had given way to the concept of rope drives and leather belting
was now standard in nearly all textile mills plus all other industries.



Card Room, Tucapau Mill, 1903.

Above ~

A new Whitin Carding machine is seen in the foreground with a G.E. motor now situated above,
this was in fact the next step in modernization through this era and beyond, now having the power
sources mounted above all machinery to save on floor space allowing many more machines to be
installed. Within a few short years all machinery of all types gained their own individual motors.




Below ~

A typical carding machine in full view

Card Room, Tucapau Mill, 1903.

The primary purpose of a Carding machine was to separate the fibres and form them in a parallel fashion
and to remove broken fibres, plus the removal of all other foreign objects including dust from the cotton.
Once the Carding operation was over the next operation was to take the sliver from the card and pass it
to the drawing frames for the purpose of straightening the fibres. The next operation then involved a series
of roving frames before the twisting and loading of bobbins to be placed in the loom for the final weaving
process could take place.

In the Carding room photo above the sliver from the machine was wound into the upright containers
known as roving cans seen placed at the rear of the machine, from there the roving cans can be seen
further down the carding room now with the sliver being pulled out of the cans and into the rear of the
drawing frames.

( NOTE - Many more operations over the above mentioned were performed, but are far to complex in nature to be included in the above )



~ The Great Pacolet River flooding of 1903 ~

During the early morning of June 6th the Pacolet River burst its banks causing one of the
worst flash floods of the century. Moist air associated with a low pressure trough the day
before produced heavy rain which had tracked across northwestern South Carolina overnight
and by mornings fall all tributaries feeding the Pacolet river were in full flood adding to the
awesome destruction. The Textile communities of Clifton and Pacolet were the worst effected
with waters rising to a 40 feet level in the worst hit areas, and with flood damage in all other
streams in northwest South Carolina. The Clifton Mill Plants ( 2 ) now reduced down to one with
Plant No.1 damaged beyond repair and down river Plant No.2 having extensive water damage.
Housing, Churches, Industrial plants and crops were all washed away in the fury of the flood, the
Tucapau area did not escape from this fury with damage to housing, crops and water damage to
the ground floor of the Tucapau Mill. Between Fifty to Sixty five people were drowned by the flood
waters, and the total economy devastated by over five million dollars.





Year - 1 9 3 4 .




1934 Cotton Journal advertisement

Seen above ~

Thanks to a 1934 Textile Journal entitled " Cotton " and an advert within for
Sherwin-Williams paints, a picture of the main weave room emerges with
a before and after shot also showing the much improved Model " D " Draper
Corporation looms, manufactured in Hopedale, Mass.

On September 3rd 1934, just two months after this image was published mostly all
of the Cotton Mills throughout the Industry and taking in all States went on Strike.
Times were already extremely tough due to the "Great Depression", but this strike
lasting months would eventually have a devastating effect on the whole Industry.




Seen below ~

A closer look at the text from the advert above.

Advert Text closeup





Main Weave Room

The above scan gives a good view of the Main Weave Room within the Tucapau Mill.





The Tucapau Mill as it stood in 1998 has now been razed and is now
only a fading memory to all that toiled in this once bustling workplace.




 

 

The End

To be continued...

 

 


 

For a more detailed History of the Tucapau Mill

Click Below
for

THE STARTEX / TUCAPAU HISTORICAL SOCIETY - Official Website.

Click Here

The Society always welcomes new information, newspaper clippings and photos at any time !!
So, dig deep in that closet or basement - for one never knows, You may just have something of Interest to the Society.

 



 

 

 

 


This section is reserved for Old Tucapau / Startex Material and Advertisements !!


Year - 1 9 5 4 .



 

Below :-

A 1954 Startex Advertisement.

1954 Startex Advertisement

Credit for this image goes to :- " Deborah Sloan " from
Lamar, Colorado.

To learn more about Lamar County on the Famous - Santa Fe Trail
Click Below

Click Here



Year - 1 9 3 3 .



Below

~ A Startex Mill Store trading token from 1933 ~

A tragic reminder of the " Great Depression " when Coinage became scarce
and people from all Nations had no other choice but to resort to using Tokens.
The Tucapau Mill was no exception to this every day occurrence, which allowed
purchases to be made for the trade of a token or tokens. Tokens were also used
as gifts in these very tough times to buy the Normal Necessities of every day Life.


1933 Tucapau Token

 

Click below on the reference case to view another Mill Token from the Tucapau Mills Store.
Value 5 cents

The above link is made possible through the web-site ( tokencatalogue.com ) by Richard Greever, Click below

Richard's Token Database

 





- For Information on Northrop Looms and The Draper Corporation plus a thorough History of the Draper Family -

Click Below

Hopedale History, Massachusetts
An in-depth look at Hopedale, Massachusetts - Past and Present.
And while you are there - Stop off at "The Little Red Shop" - Brimming with History.
Presented by Dan Malloy.

 

 




~ Textile Mills in South Carolina ~

Stepping back in time to the early 1900's for a look at some
of the other Prominent Mills in the State of South Carolina.
The mills below are by no means the total amount of Mills in the State at this period in time.

Below
A small list of Textile Machinery Builders & merchants most of whom would
have supplied machinery to the Mills of both South & North Carolina
including all other States.

The Lowell Machine Shop, Lowell, Mass. - ( Total range of Textile Machinery )
The Kitson Machine Company, Lowell, Mass. - ( Finisher Lapper's )
Crompton & Knowles Loom Works, Worcester, Mass. - ( Total range of Looms )
Howard & Bullough, Pawtucket, Rhode Island. - ( Drawing & Spinning Frames, Warpers, Slashers )
Kilburn, Lincoln & Company, Fall River, Mass. - ( Cotton Looms & Wool Machinery )
( Northrop ) The Draper Corporation, Hopedale, Mass - ( Total range of Textile Machinery )
The Hopedale Machine Company, Hopedale, Mass. - ( Spinning Frames, Spoolers & Warpers )
The Whitin Machine Works, Whitinsville, Mass.- ( Total range of Textile Machinery )
The Mason Machine Works, Taunton, Mass. - ( Total range of Textile Machinery )
Providence Machine Company, Providence, Rhode Island. - ( Roving Frames & Wool Frames )
James Hunter Machine Company, North Adams, Mass. - ( Wool Washers )
Geo. W. Payne Company, Pawtucket, Rhode Island. - ( Upright Spoolers & Spinners )
Smith & Furbish Machine Company, Philadelphia. - ( Wool Carding & Cotton Machinery )
Parks and Woolson Machine Company, Springfield, Vermont. - ( Shearing, Finishing & Packaging Machinery )




Below
~ Some of the Textile Mills within the County of Spartanburg ~

- Including Spindle & Loom quantities for 1904 -

 

~ Tucapau Mill - South Carolina ~


( Number of spindles 12,000 - Yr. 1900 )
Number of spindles 30,144 - Yr.1904
Number of looms 840 - Yr.1904


Tucapau Mill - SC

Above photo - Circa 1902

Northrop-Draper looms throughout were in use for this Mill.
( Total number of Northrop-Draper looms to July, 1904 - Qty 1759 )

In the early days the mill was powered by water
as it was located on the Middle Tyger River until
a hydro power generating station was built on the
South Tyger River which provided power for large
electric motors that in turn drove the drive shafts.
In the early 1950's all machinery was converted to
run on individual electric motors. A steam whistle
sounded twice a day ( 7:30 AM & 3:30 PM ) which
signaled the beginning of the day & evening shifts.
To signal the start and end of shifts to those working
inside the mill the lights would be turned on and
off rapidly mainly due to noise levels within the mill.


~ Pacolet Mill No.1 - South Carolina ~


Spindle & Loom numbers below


Pocolet Mill No.1 - SC

Above photo - Circa late 1800's

Loom types - Northrop-Draper and Whitin


~ Pacolet Mill No.2 - South Carolina ~


Spindle & Loom numbers below


Pacolet Mill No.2 - SC

Loom types - Northrop-Draper and Whitin


~ Pacolet Mill No.3 - South Carolina ~


Number of spindles 59,332 in total for three mills - Yr.1904
Number of looms 2,202 in total for three mills - Yr.1904


Pacolet Mill No.3 - SC

Above photo - Circa 1914

Loom types - Northrop-Draper and Whitin
( Total Northrop-Draper looms sold to Pacolet Mills to July, 1904 - Qty 222 )


Click below on the reference case to view the History of John Henry Montgomery,
the original founder of these mills and many others within Spartanburg County

The above link is an Excellent website devoted to the history of mills, people and companies.
- TEXTILE INDUSTRY HISTORY -
Presented by
Gary Mock


~ Whitney Mills - South Carolina ~


Number of spindles 20,570 - Yr.1904
Number of looms 730 - Yr.1904


Whitney Mill - SC

Above photo - Circa 1902

Loom types - Northrop-Draper and Whitin
( Total Northrop-Draper looms sold to the Whitney Mills to July, 1904 - Qty 394 )


~ Clifton Manufacturing Co. Mill No.1 - South Carolina ~


Spindle & Loom numbers below

Clifton Mill No.1 - SC

Above photo - Circa 1902

Loom types - Northrop-Draper and Whitin

Founder and owner - Dexter Edgar Converse
~ A small history ( 1899 ) of Dexter Edgar Converse bottom of this page ~


~ Clifton Manufacturing Co Mill No.2 - South Carolina ~


Spindle & loom numbers below

Clifton Mill No.2 - SC

Above photo - Circa 1902

Loom types - Northrop-Draper and Whitin

 

The Great Pacolet Flood of June 6th, 1903 caused a great deal of damage to No. 2 mill but the structure was repaired and still stands today,
The Bell Tower was and still is a remarkable piece of brick architecture as with the rest of this mill building that stands on the Pacolet River.

Founder and owner - Dexter Edgar Converse
~ A small history ( 1899 ) of Dexter Edgar Converse bottom of this page ~

Click below on the reference case to view some photos of the mill as it stands today

The above link is made possible through Dave ?? at Blogspot dot com

More below...

Click below on the reference case to view a good video of the mill including a good shot of the
Bell Tower, water flowing over the Mill Pond and many more interesting aspects of this Mill.

The above video is made possible through YouTube dot com


~ Clifton Manufacturing Co Mill No.3 - South Carolina ~


Total in all three mills - Number of spindles 101,024 - Yr.1904
Total in all three mills - Number of looms 3,254 - Yr.1904

Clifton Mill No.3 - SC

Above photo - Circa 1902
At this stage the mill was machanically powered
( The image of the mill was taken before it was totally swept away by the devastating floods of 1903 )

Loom types - Northrop-Draper and Whitin
( Total Northrop-Draper looms sold to Clifton Mills to July, 1904 - Qty 1,000 )

The new mill constructed after the floods was though to contain a pair of McCormick horizontal 42 inch turbines, supplemented by a 750 HP tandem compound condensing Corliss engine.
Mill #3, 1911 - Power source Vertical Hydraulic Turbine
Mill #3, 1953 - Power source Hydroelectric and Leffel Vertical Hydraulic Turbines - James Leffel & Co

Founder and owner - Dexter Edgar Converse
~ A small history ( 1899 ) of Dexter Edgar Converse bottom of this page ~


~ Enoree Manufacturing Co - South Carolina ~


Number of spindles 30,720 - Yr. 1904
Number of looms 986 - Yr. 1904

Enoree Mill - SC

Above photo - Circa 1902

Loom & Spindle manufacturer not listed


Advert

~ Spartan Mills No.1 and No.2 - South Carolina ~


Number of spindles 80,000 - Yr. 1904
Number of looms 2,458 - Yr. 1904

Spartan Mills Nos 1 & 2 - SC

Above photo - Circa 1902

Loom types - Northrop-Draper and Whitin
( Total Northrop-Draper looms sold to Spartan Mills to July, 1904 - Qty 1,880 )

President and Treasurer - Captain. John Henry Montgomery

Spartan Mill No.2 ( 1899 ) Draper reference

Click below on the reference case to view an Excellent history on John Henry Montgomery

The above link is an Excellent website devoted to the history of mills, people and companies.
- TEXTILE INDUSTRY HISTORY -
Presented by
Gary Mock

Below
A small comment dated 1899 regarding Spartan Mill No.2 coming from the 1901 Draper machine manual
at that time in history running 30 Northrops looms at the slow speed of 180 revolutions per minute.

Spartan Mill No.2 ( 1899 ) Draper reference

Click below on the reference cases to view two different Mill Tokens from the Spartan Mills Store
Value 1 cent



The above link is made possible through the web-site ( tokencatalogue.com ) by Richard Greever, Click below

Richard's Token Database


~ Cowpens Mill - Cowpens, South Carolina ~


Number of spindles 10,000 - Yr. 1904
Number of looms 264 - Yr. 1904

Cowpens Mill - SC

Above photo - Circa 1924

Loom & Spindle manufacturer not listed

 


~ Inman Mills, Inman - South Carolina ~


Number of spindles 18,336 - Yr. 1904
Number of looms 444 - Yr. 1904

Inman Mills - Inman, SC

Above photo - Circa 1926

( 1904 ) The Inman Mills with its large spinning room employed up to 825 operatives and was
a leading mill in the area, by the middle 1920's the spindle and loom numbers had grown to:
Spindles - 47,200
Looms - 1,350
The Mills manufactured Twills, Piques - ( ribbed or raised pattern ) and a variety of print cloths.
President and Treasurer - James A. Chapman.

Loom manufacturer not listed
Whitin & Lowell Spindles were in use within this mill.

Click below on the reference case to view an Excellent history of the Inman Mills

The above link is an Excellent website devoted to the history of mills, people and companies.
- TEXTILE INDUSTRY HISTORY -
Presented by
Gary Mock

 


Anderson County


~ The Pelzer Manufacturing Co, Pelzer - South Carolina ~


Ellison Adger Smyth
1847 - 1942

Capt. Ellison A. Smyth

In 1882 Captain Ellison A. Smyth became President
and Treasurer of the Pelzer Manufacturing Company
a position which he held for many years, he was also
president of other numerous companies and a director
of more than sixty others including Insurance, Banking,
Newsprint and the Power Industry.




Secretary
A L. Blake

Engineer for the Pelzer Mfg Co. in 1902
W H. Tramell

Superintendent
P D. Wade - 1908

W H. Tramell was formally with the testing department of the General Electric Company.



Pelzer No. 4 Mill, Pelzer, SC

Above photo - Circa 1908

Undoubtedly, one of the Biggest Mills in South Carolina to have ever been built the Pelzer Manufacturing Company
made history in its hay day with the implementation and use of the Electric motor through the careful planning of
General Electric, Mill Engineer - W H. Tramell plus the valuable assistance of Stuart W. Cramer. of Charlotte, N.C.
Although three other mills had been built before this time both in the upper and lower Saluda river region, this mill
would demonstrate the best in mill practices and modern equipment, as well as being another good test bed for the
greater knowledge of the electric motor in mill conditions of this period., carried out by the General Electric Company.
The Pelzer Manufacturing Company is believed to be the second or third textile mill company to have adopted Electric Drive
in the Unites States by 1885, having the main hydroelectric power generating plant at a distance of nearly three miles away.

( A link below- to this hydroelectric plant still in operation better tells the story )

The mills in Pelzer employed a total of 2,800 operatives, nearly all coming from a total Town population of 6,000 who were
directly or indirectly dependent upon the mills, the Town at this time not being incorporated, but was held as private property
and totally governed by the rules and regulations of the mill corporation.


The make-up of equipment within this mill above is included below:
During 1900-1901 General Electric installed 21 motors with ratings ranging between 30 H.P. to 130 H.P.
to drive the following:

1 - Freight Elevator
80 - Carding Machines
11 - Intermediate Pickers
10 - Frames on No. 20 Yarn
22 - Frames on No. 13 Warp
36 - Filling Spinning Frames
8 - Frames on No. 13 Filling
14 - Frames on No. 40 Filling
14 - Warp Frames on No. 28 Yarn
32 - Filling Frames on No. 40 Yarn
49 - Fly Frames, and 6 Intermediates
Total of 1001 Northrop Looms - January 1, 1900.


Pelzer Mill. 4 Card Room, SC

Above photo - Circa 1908

Above
A glimpse into this Huge Textile Mill, showing the rows of Whitin Carding Machines on the Card Room floor.
One of the G.E. motors as mentioned above can be seen at the top of the image half way down the carding room.
The type of machines in the image were best known as the Revolving Flat Card, the Whitin Machine Works in
Whitinsville, Mass., specializing in the construction of these and many other types of textile machines.

The Pelzer Manufacturing Company was equipped by Stuart W. Cramer who as well as being a Leading engineer
in many fields including Mill design, Humidity Control and Air Conditioning was also the Southern Agent for :
The Whitin Machine Works.
Woonsocket Machine and Press Company.
Kitson Machine Company.
plus many other...

To be continued...


Although the Pelzer Mill is no longer in existence, one part of its history survives today... look below

Click below on the reference case to view an excellent page showing the Pelzer Hydroelectric Plant of 1894

Thanks to North Fork Electric Inc. for the above page link, plus the work involved in renovating this remarkable hydroelectric plant
located on the Saluda river nearly three miles from the above mill, purposely build to provide A.C. current to the mill plus the mill village in that era.


Click below on the reference case to view an Excellent history on Captain Ellison A. Smyth

The above link is an Excellent website devoted to the history of mills, people and companies.
- TEXTILE INDUSTRY HISTORY -
Presented by
Gary Mock

 


Spindle and loom numbers above are accurate to 1905, and are obtained from
Draper Manuals, Newspapers and various other Textile Books & Journals.



 

 

An interesting factor comes into play when you consider the amount of Looms, spindles and associated machinery that went
into all the above Mills in the early days of the Industrial Revolution - How were they transported from the nearest rail depot ?

Hauling Northrop looms across S.C.

The photo above reveals how this was achieved - Entitled " Hauling Northrop Looms across S.C. " in 1896.

The Inventor

James H. Northrop

James Northrop retired to Santa Ana, California after his tireless work involved with the development of the Northrop Automatic Loom
manufactured by the Draper Corp. in Hopedale, Mass. By the introduction and operation of the Northrop Automatic Loom, one weaver
could operate as many as 28 looms, depending on the class of work but this advance would see a new model established nearly each
year for the next 20 odd years.

 

 

 


Dexter Edgar Converse

A small history of 1899
Published in 1900

Dexter E. Converse

Dexter Edgar Converse,
the founder of Converse College, was born in Vermont in 1828, and died at his home in Spartanburg October 5th, 1899.
His father was Orlin Converse, also a native of the same State. His grandfather was Paine Converse, a farmer of Massachusetts,
and direct descendant of Edward Converse, who came from England to America with Governor Winthrop in 1630. His mother
was Louisa Twitchell, a native of Massachusetts, and daughter of Peter Twitchell. She died in 1888. D. Edgar Converse, when
but three years old, was deprived by the death of his father's care, and placed in the care of an uncle in Canada, where he was
reared and educated. This uncle was, like his father, a woolen manufacturer, and it was from him that the subject of this sketch
received his first lessons in this line of business, which he conducted to the end of his life with marvelous success. In 1850 after
reaching his years of maturity, he went to Cohoes, N. Y., where he was employed in a cotton mill for five years, and thus obtained
a good knowledge of that business in all its branches. In 1855 he came South, and, after a brief connection with a cotton mill in
Lincolnton, N. C., he removed to the present county of Spartanburg, and was employed in a cotton mill at Bivingsville, now
known as Glendale, of which he soon acquired a proprietary interest, and at the time of his death owned a controlling interest in the
the stock. At the beginning of the war he enlisted as a private in Company 1, 13th Regiment, S.C.V. His captain was D.R. Duncan.
There was, however, such need of accomplished manufacturers that the Confederate government detailed him to return home and
conduct the business of cotton manufacturing, requiring of his company one-third of the product of their mill, which was carried
out in good faith. After the close of the war the old factory building at Bivingsville was removed and a fine new establishment was
built, the business of which grew steadily as the ravages of war disappeared. The name of Bivingsville was changed to Glendale,
and Mr. Converse was made president of the new mills. In 1880, in connection with business associates, he purchased the water
privilege and site of the old South Carolina Iron Works on the Pacolet River, Spartanburg county, and here three new mills have been
erected, known as Clifton Nos, 1, 2 and 3. The total capacity of these, with Glendale Mills, at this writing ( 1899 ), amounts to
3,768 looms and 118,072 spindles. Of the Clifton Manufacturing Company Mr. Converse was president and business manager from
its organization to the time of his death. He was a trustee of the South Carolina Institute for the deaf, dumb and blind, at Cedar Spring,
and, as already stated, the founder of Converse College for the education of young women, which will always rank among the foremost
institutions of our country and which has added imperishable honor to his name and character.

There is a little bit more to this history although not textile related...
This history and many others may be cited at the link below
( The above history starts on Page.81 )

The History of Spartanburg - published in 1900 can be found by clicking below

Click here


The above link is made possible through The Internet Archive.



The Internet Archive is the most valuable tool today for researchers, historians, and scholars to historic collections that exist in digital format
The link below takes one to the main index of the archive
Click here


Click below on the reference case to view another History of Dexter Edgar Converse,
which shows a subtle difference in the way history has been recorded compared to the above small history.

The above link is an Excellent website devoted to the history of mills, people and companies.
- TEXTILE INDUSTRY HISTORY -
Presented by
Gary Mock


 

 


 

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