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List of Cotton Mills in Alabama with [1910 photographs and film]

COTTON MILLS IN ALABAMA


Cotton was king in Alabama for many years and cotton mills sprang up around the state. The manufacture of cotton goods was first included in statistical reports for the State in 1839, when the value of cotton products reported by the United States Census Bureau was $17,547.

Closing time at Dallas Mille, Huntsville,, Alabama Nov. 1910 photo by Lewis Hines

During the next 50 years the industry increased slowly, but from 1889 to 1909 its growth was remarkably rapid, especially during the decade following 1899. In 1899 Alabama held ninth place among the cotton-manufacturing States, having a value of products aggregating $22,211,748 for that year. By 1916, there are about seventy cotton factories, employing nearly sixteen thousand operatives, running nearly a million spindles, turning out a large variety of products, and representing the investment of many millions of dollars.

A complete list of the cotton factories, with data regarding the present status of each, follows:

Historical Reference Books 

Abingdon Mills, Huntsville; established 1906; 13,952 ring, 2,624 twister spindles; 51 cards; 3 boilers; manufactures duck, drills, twills, and osnaburgs.

Adelaide Mills, Anniston; incorporated 1900; capital $50,000; 7,344 ring sp.; 25 cards; 3 boilers; 12 to 20 hosiery yarns.

Alabama Cotton Mills (property of the State) Speigner; 9,000 ring sp.; 32 cards; 234 broad looms; 3 water wheels; electric power; sheetings, osnaburgs & duck. (convict cotton mill)

Alexander City Cotton Mills. Alexander City; inc. 1906; cap. $200,000; 6,528 ring sp.; 50 cards; 209 looms; 2 boilers; duck, drills, etc.

American Net & Twine Co., Anniston; est. 1842; inc. as Gold Medal Twine Mills; cap. $500,000; 10,000 ring sp.; 54 cards; 4 boilers; seine twine; branch of East Cambridge, Mass.

Anniston Cordage Co., Anniston; inc. 1892; cap. $50,000; 1,500 ring sp.; 19 cards; 2 boilers; braided sash cords.

Anniston Knitting Mills Co., Anniston; inc. 1901; cap. $50,000; 75 knitting, 60 rib, 25 looping machines; dye; finish; 1 boiler; children’s and misses’ 96 to 128 needle ribbed cotton and lisle hosiery.

Anniston Manufacturing Co., Anniston; inc. 1880; cap. $250,000; 12,767 ring sp.; 43 cards; 3 boilers; brown sheeting, shirting, & drills.

Anniston Yarn Mills, Anniston; inc. 1900; cap. $100,000; 5,712 ring sp.; 20 cards; 3 boilers; hosiery & undyed yarns.

Young sweeper at Anniston Yarn Mill Nov. 1910 photo by Lewis HInes
Young sweeper at Anniston Yarn Mill Nov. 1910 photo by Lewis Hines
Young sweeper in Annniston Yarn Mill Nov. 1910 photo by Lewis Hines
Young sweeper in Annniston Yarn Mill Nov. 1910 photo by Lewis Hines

 

Ashcraft Cotton Mills, Florence; inc. 1909; cap. $100,000; 6,240 ring, 1,000 twister sp.; 17 cards; 1 boiler; brown sheeting, fancy dress goods, & dress duck.

Attalla Hosiery Mills, Attalla (owned by W. B. Davis & Sons); inc. 1915; cap. $100,000; 100 knitting, 100 ribbing, 25 looping machines; 1 boiler; electric power; white hosiery; branch of Fort Payne.

"The Mill School" at Avondale. The mill gate is but a few feet to the right of the photo and the employees pass through the school yard continually. From all I could gather on the question, the school is only a makeshift, because the mill children go here only the eight weeks of the year to comply with the law. Attendance is irregular. In the lowest first grade, with a child of six years, were two girls of fourteen and fifteen who had been to school but two weeks in their lives.
“The Mill School” at Avondale. The mill gate is but a few feet to the right of the photo and the employees pass through the school yard continually. From all I could gather on the question, the school is only a makeshift, because the mill children go here only the eight weeks of the year to comply with the law. Attendance is irregular. In the lowest first grade, with a child of six years, were two girls of fourteen and fifteen who had been to school but two weeks in their lives.
Some children working at Avondale Mills Birmingham Nov. 25, 1910 - photo by Lewis Hines
Some children working at Avondale Mills Birmingham Nov. 25, 1910 – photo by Lewis Hines

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 "OUR BABY DOFFER" they called him. Donnie Cole. Has been doffing for some months. When asked his age, he hesitated, then said, "I'm Twelve." Another young boy said "He can't work unless he's twelve." Child Labor regulations were conspicuously posted in the mill. Location: Birmingham, Alabama.

“OUR BABY DOFFER” they called him. Donnie Cole. Has been doffing for some months. When asked his age, he hesitated, then said, “I’m Twelve.” Another young boy said “He can’t work unless he’s twelve.” Child Labor regulations were conspicuously posted in the mill. Location: Birmingham, Alabama. November 1910
"OUR BABY DOFFER" they called him. This is one of the machines he has been working at for some months at the Avondale Mills. Said, after hesitation, "I'm 12," and another small boy added, "He can't work unless he's twelve." Child labor regulations conspicuously posted in the mill. Location: Birmingham, Alabama.
“OUR BABY DOFFER” they called him. This is one of the machines he has been working at for some months at the Avondale Mills. Said, after hesitation, “I’m 12,” and another small boy added, “He can’t work unless he’s twelve.” Child labor regulations conspicuously posted in the mill. Location: Birmingham, Alabama.

 

Mary and Minnie Gillim, fourteen and fifteen years old. They were commencing to attend the Mill School at Avondale, and had been to school but two weeks in their lives. Were in the low first grade in company with a child of six years. At that time (Nov. 30/10) their father was trying to take them out of school and put them back into the cotton mill. He has no obvious occupation
Mary and Minnie Gillim, fourteen and fifteen years old. They were commencing to attend the Mill School at Avondale, and had been to school but two weeks in their lives. Were in the low first grade in company with a child of six years. At that time (Nov. 30/10) their father was trying to take them out of school and put them back into the cotton mill. He has no obvious occupation

Avondale Mills, Birmingham; inc. 1897; cap. $625,000; 39,800 ring sp.; 58 cards; 512 broad, 430 narrow looms; dye; 6 boilers;print cloths & chambrays.

 

Typical workers in Barker Cotton Mills where good conditions prevail ca 1930
Typical workers in Barker Cotton Mills where good conditions prevail ca 1930

Barker Cotton Mill Co., Mobile; inc. 1900; cap. $300,000; 16,008 ring, 200 twister sp.; 36 cards; 30 broad, 443 narrow looms; 4 boilers; sheeting, diaper cloth, toweling, & 14 chain yarns for market.

Typical workers in Barker Cotton Mills where good conditions prevail. ca. 1930
Typical workers in Barker Cotton Mills where good conditions prevail. ca. 1930

 

Bettie Francis Cotton Mills, Alexander City; inc. 1914; cap. $100,000; 5,472 ring sp.; electric power; knitting yarn.

cotton mill3

Buck Creek Cotton Mills, Siluria; inc. 1911; successor to Siluria Cotton Mills Co.; cap. $600,000; 20,000 ring sp.; 55 cards; 400 looms; 4 boilers; electric power; sheetings & drills.

Canebrake Cotton Mills, Uniontown; inc. 1912; cap. $80,000; 10,000 ring, 5,000 twister sp.; 35 cards; 4 boilers; warp twist yarns.

Central Mills, Sylacauga (owned by Avondale Mills, Birmingham); 25,536 ring sp.; 75 cards; 3 boilers; 18 to 32 hosiery yarns.

Group of workers at Central Mills, Sylacauga November 1910 by Photographer Lewis Hines
Group of workers at Central Mills, Sylacauga November 1910 by Photographer Lewis Hines

Cherry Cotton Mills, Florence; inc. 1893; cap. $200,000; 11,008 ring sp.; 34 cards; 4 boilers; 12 & 14 single 40-2 warps, 6 to 40 single and ply skeins.

Chinabee Cotton Mills, Talladega; inc. 1901; cap. $75,000; 5,200 ring sp.; 2 boilers; 12 to 18 hosiery yarns on cones.

Clark-Pratt Cotton Mills, Prattville, successor to Prattville Cotton Mills; inc. as Prattville Manufacturing Co. No. 1, by act of Jan. 13, 1846 (see text supra); 12,500 ring sp.; 290 narrow looms; 4 boilers; 1 water wheel; cotton cloth.

Coosa Manufacturing Co., Piedmont; inc. 1891; cap. $175,000; 30,096 ring, 12,380 twister sp.; 60 cards; 9 pickers; 10 boilers; 30 to 80-2 ply combed Peeler and Egypt, yarn.

 Cowikee Mill Band on parade in downtown Eufaula, Alabama.

Cowikee Mill Band on parade in downtown Eufaula, Alabama.
Cowikee Mill Band on parade in downtown Eufaula, Alabama.

Cowikee Mills, Eufaula; inc. 1909; cap. $100,000; 12,864 ring sp.; 31 cards; 320 broad looms; 2 boilers; dye, bleach, finish; 36 in. gray goods, 26 in. and 36 in. chambrays & stripes.

Saturday closing hour Dallas Mill, Huntsville, Alabama, all worked at the Mill, Nov. 1910 by Lewis Hines

Saturday closing hour Dallas Mill, Huntsville, Alabama, all worked at the Mill, Nov. 1910 by Lewis Hines
Saturday closing hour Dallas Mill, Huntsville, Alabama, all worked at the Mill, Nov. 1910 by Lewis Hines
Closing time at Dallas Mill, Huntsville, Alabama Nov. 1910 by Lewis Hines
Closing time at Dallas Mill Saturday afternoon, Huntsville, Alabama Nov. 1910 by Lewis Hines

 

Dallas Manufacturing Co., Huntsville; inc. 1890; cap. $1,200,000; 58,752 ring sp.; 144 cards; 715 broad, 704 narrow looms; 12 boilers; 36 in. to 108 in. brown & bleached sheetings.

Closing time at Dallas Mill, they all said they were 12 but some said they lied, photo November, 1910 by Lewis Hines

Closing time at Dallas Mill, they all said they were 12 but some said they lied, photo November, 1910 by Lewis Hines
Closing time at Dallas Mill, they all said they were 12 but some said they lied, photo November, 1910 by Lewis Hines

 

Danville Knitting Mills, Bon Air; est. 1914; 6,120 ring sp.; 36 cards; 1 boiler; 14 to 18 hosiery yarn; branch of Danville Knitting Mills, Danville, Va.

W. B. Davis Hosiery Mill, Inc., in Fort Payne, Alabama.

. B. Davis Hosiery Mill, Inc., in Fort Payne, Alabama.
W. B. Davis Hosiery Mill, Inc., in Fort Payne, Alabama.

Davis, W. B. & Sons, Fort Payne, formerly Florence Hosiery Mills; 100 knitting, 210 ribbing, 4 2 looping machines; 1 boiler; children’s cotton hosiery; branch of Davis Hosiery Mills, Chattanooga, Tenn.

Demopolis Cotton Mills, Demopolis; est. 1914; 3,600 mule sp.; 9 sets cards; 1 to 7 mule spun yarn (woolen system).

Dwight Manufacturing Co., Alabama City; inc. 1841 in Mass.; 64,700 ring sp.; 275 cards; 2,000 narrow looms; 7 boilers; sheeting, drills, duck; (also Chicopee, Mass.).

Enterprise Cotton Mills, Enterprise; inc. 1901; cap. $150,000; 6,324 ring sp.; 36 cards; 60 broad, 100 narrow looms; 3 boilers; duck & osnaburgs.

Eva Jane Mills, Sylacauga (owned by Avondale Mills, Birmingham); 40,000 ring sp.; 125 cards; 1,200 looms; 8 boilers; dye; bleach; sheetings & colored goods.

Fulton Cotton Mill Co., Athens; inc. 1910; cap. $50,000; 6,032 ring, 2,896 twister sp.; 16 cards; 3 boilers; 24-2 weaving yarns.

Girard Cotton Mills, Girard; inc. 1900; cap. $75,000; 7,616 ring sp.; 22 cards; 283 narrow looms; 1 boiler; electric power; plaids; subsidiary of Eagle & Phenix Mills, Columbus, Ga.

Glenola Cotton Mills, Eufaula; inc. 1910; cap. $50,000; 5,800 ring sp.; 13 cards; 148 broad looms; 3 boilers; sheetings.

Handley, W. A., Manufacturing Co., Roanoke; inc. 1900; cap. $100,000; 17,000 ring, 5,800 twister sp.; 38 cards; 231 broad looms; 2 boilers; duck, drills, & 6 to 30 single & ply 30 weaving yarns, warps & skeins for market.

Hicks Hosiery Mills, Talladega, successor to Talladega Hosiery Mills; 80 knitting, 50 ribbing, 20 looping, 1 sewing machines; 1 boiler; dye; finish; electric power; 136 needle cotton seamless half-hose.

Highland City Mills, Talladega; inc. 1898; cap. $50,000; 5,376 ring sp.; hosiery yarns, 10 to 16.

Huntsville Cotton Mills, Huntsville; inc. 1881; cap. $106,000; 7,568 ring sp.; 23 cards; 2 boilers; skein & chain warps.

Huntsville Knitting Co., Huntsville; inc. 1901; cap. $150,000; 6,200 sp.; 38 knitting, 75 sewing machines; 3 boilers; dye; men’s cotton fleece lined underwear.

Indian Head Mills of Ala., Cordova; inc. 1897; cap. $600,000; 27,472 ring sp.; 112 cards; 942 narrow looms; 6 boilers; sheetings, drills, cotton flannels.

Lanett Mill, Lanett, Ala. – 90,000 spindles, 2500 looms

Lanett mill
Lanett Mill, Lanett, Ala. – 90,000 spindles, 2500 looms

Lanett Cotton Mills, Lanett; inc. in Ga. 1893; cap. $1,000,000; 61,000 ring sp.; 220 cards; 500 broad, 1,000 narrow looms; 8 boilers; sheetings, drills, duck, & sateens.

Lang Cotton Mills, Lanett; est. 1898; in,c. in Ga. 1913; cap. $60,000; 5,000 ring, 1,000 twister sp.; 20 cards; 40 broad, 20 narrow looms; dye; finish; electric power; lap dusters, netting, Jacquard specialties, & 3 to 14 single & ply yarns for market.

Lowe Manufacturing Co., Huntsville; inc. 1900; cap. $350,000; 26,624 ring sp.; 54 cards; 566 narrow looms; 7 . boilers; dye, bleach, finish; electric power; ginghams, madras shirtings, & 30 to 40 yarns for market.

Marble City Mills, Sylacauga; cap. $50,000; 4,120 ring sp.; 20 cards; 1 boiler; 8 to 12 hosiery yarns.

Merrimack Mfg. Co., a model cotton mill and village, Huntsville, Ala

Merrimack Mfg. Co., a model cotton mill and village, Huntsville, Ala
Merrimack Mfg. Co., a model cotton mill and village, Huntsville, Ala

Merrimack Manufacturing Co., Huntsville; est. in Mass. 1822; cap. $4,400,000; 92,480 ring sp.; 210 cards; 602 broad, 2,079 narrow looms; 10 boilers; lawns & print cloths; branch of Lowell, Mass.

Workers at Merrimac Mills, Huntsville, Alabama – coming out at noon

Workers at Merrimac Mills, Huntsville, Alabama - coming out at noon
Workers at Merrimac Mills, Huntsville, Alabama – coming out at noon

Mobile Cotton Mills, Mobile: inc. 1898; cap. $200,000; 10,000 ring sp.; 40 cards; 3 boilers; 8 to 22 white knitting yarns.

Mobile Cotton Mill

Mobile Cotton Mill
Mobile Cotton Mill

Montala Manufacturing Co., Montgomery; inc. 1909; cap. $240,000; 10,000 ring sp.; 30 cards; 160 broad, 160 narrow looms; 4 boilers; sheetings & drills.

Montgomery Cordage Co., Montgomery; inc. 1907; $25,000; 1,040 ring, 432 twister sp.; 9 cards; 1 boiler; 1 water wheel; wrapping twines & No. 5 yarns, 2 to 8 ply.

Montgomery Cotton Mills, Montgomery; cap. $50,000; 6,864 ring sp.; 36 cards; 162 broad looms; 3 boilers; duck & osnaburgs.

Munford Cotton Mills, Munford; inc. 1907; cap. $33,500; 2,688 ring sp.; 13 cards; 12-24 single cone yarns.

Opelika Cotton Mills, Opelika; inc. 1900; cap. $150,000; 15,336 ring, 4,000 twister sp.; 32 cards; 3 boilers; 30 to 40 single & 2 ply weaving & knitting yarns on tubes & cones & in skeins and warps.

Ozark Cotton Mill Co., Ozark; inc. 1913; cap. $60,000; 5,000 sp.; 15 cards; 2 boilers; 16 to 30 knitting yarn.

Pell City Manufacturing Co., Pell City; inc.1902; can. $750,000; 22,600 ring sp.; 118 cards; 720 narrow looms; 4 boilers; dye; finish; denims.

Some of the spinners at Pell City Cotton Mill, grouped by the Overseer, Mr. E. A. Thompson, Supt. of the MIll is also the Mayor of Pell City Photo by Lewis Hines

Some of the spinners at Pell City Cotton Mill, grouped by the Overseer, Mr. E. A. Thompson, Supt. of the MIll is also the Mayor of Pell City Photo by Lewis Hines
Some of the spinners at Pell City Cotton Mill, grouped by the Overseer, Mr. E. A. Thompson, Supt. of the MIll is also the Mayor of Pell City Photo by Lewis Hines

Profile Cotton Mills, Jacksonville; inc. 1900; cap. $300,000; 40,000 sp.; 79 cards; 7 boilers; electric power; 20 to 40-2 & 3 ply carded yarns.

Rabell Manufacturing Co., Selma, successor to Valley Creek Cotton Mills; 10,816 ring sp.; 26 cards; 144 broad, 176 narrow looms; 3 boilers; bag cloth & sheeting.

Riverdale Cotton Mills, Riverview; inc. in Ga. Nov. 18, 1898; cap. $350,000; 13,000 sp.; 60 cards; 350 looms; 4 pickers; 4 openers; 3 slashers; 2 boilers; water power; cotton goods.

Rosenau Hosiery Mills, Tuscaloosa; inc. 1901; cap. $50,000; 152 knitting, 30 ribbing, 30 looping machines; 1 boiler; dye; finish; ladies’, men’s & children’s seamless hosiery.

Russell Manufacturing Co., Alexander City; inc. 1902; cap. $250,000; 11,000 sp.; 40 knitting, 50 sewing machines; 2 boilers; electric power; bleach; finish; ladies’ cotton ribbed vests & 24 cotton undyed yarns.

Selma Manufacturing Co., Selma (J. F. Ames, Prop.); 13,500 ring, 142 twister sp.; 50 cards; 328 broad looms; 5 boilers; osnaburgs & drills.

Shawmut Mill, Shawmut (owned by West Point Mfg. Co., West Point, Ga.); 30,000 ring sp.; 300 looms; duck.

Southern Mills Corporation, Oxford; inc. 1911; cap. $200,000; 5,000 ring, 300 twister sp.; 25 cotton, 2 sets wool cards; 175 braiders; 1 garnet; 2 boilers; mops, mop yarn, sash cord, cotton cordage; cable cords, wicking, clothes line, weaving & knitting yarn.

Stevenson Cotton Mills, Stevenson; inc. 1901; cap. $50,000; 3,120 ring, 960 twister sp.; 13 cards; 1 boiler; 8 to 12 single weaving, 8-4 ply carpet yarns.

Sycamore Mills, Sycamore; cap. $300,000; 15,000 ring sp.; 44 cards; 3 boilers; 16 to 24 hosiery & undyed yarns.

Talladega Cordage Co., Talladega (Planters Chemical & Oil Co., Props.); 2,020 sp.; 4 cards; 3 boilers; cotton & jute cordage.

Group of Doffers working at Talladega Cotton factory posed by Supt. Smallest boy had worked there 3 years Nov. 1910 – Photo by Lewis Hines

Group of doffers working cotton factory posed by the suprt. talladega, nov. 1910
Group of Doffers working at Talladega Cotton factory posed by Supt. Smallest boy had worked there 3 years Nov. 1910 – Photo by Lewis Hines

Talladega Cotton Factory, Talladega; inc. 1893; cap. $40,800; 5,000 ring sp.; 24 cards; 3 boilers; 10 to 18 hosiery yarns on cones.

Tallassee Falls Manufacturing Co., Tallassee; inc. as Tallassee Mfg. Co. No. 1, Jan. 29, 1852; cap. $500,000; 69,612 ring, 5,000 twister sp.; 235 cards; 1,332 looms; 4 boilers; 3 water wheels, electric power; osnaburgs, sheeting, shirting, duck, press cloth, cordage, twine.

Tuscaloosa Mills, Cottondale; inc. 1898; cap. $150,000; 16,000 ring sp.; 40 cards; 7 boilers; dye & finish; 8 to 16 hosiery yarns.

Union Springs Cotton Mills Co., Union Springs; inc. 1890; cap. $45,800; 3,300 ring, 3,000 mule sp.; 2 boilers; weaving yarns in cops & skeins.

Wehadkee Yarn Mill, Rock Mills; inc. 1906; 3,680 ring, 1,200 twister sp.; 14 cards; 2 boilers; 2 water wheels; coarse yarns, tubes, & skeins, rope & twine.

West Huntsville Cotton Mills Co., Huntsville; inc. 1893; cap. $50,000; 6,200 sp.; 26 cards; 2 boilers; weaving, knitting, & carpet yarns.

West Point Manufacturing Co., Langdaleinc. 1887; cap. $1,500,000; 60,000 ring, 12000 twister sp.; 257 cards; 500 broad, 250 narrow looms: 5 boilers; 10 water wheels; electric power; duck.

Woodstock Cotton Mills, Anniston- inc 1900; cap. $190,000; 10,000 ring, 2,520 • twister sp.; 40 cards; 193 broad, 64 narrow looms; 3 sewing machines; 3 boilers; 10 to 20 single & ply weaving & knitting yarns, Turkish towels & table damask.

SOURCE

  1. History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography by Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen, S. J. Clarke publishing Company, 1921

 

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75 comments

  1. […] Can you believe children this young worked in the mills. Many look under the age of ten. Many more pictures in Alabama Cotton Mills can be found on Alabama Pioneers. […]

  2. my mother lillie chadwick fuller worked in one of these mills when she was 8 years old. she didnt ever talk about it though. the conditions must have been bad though.

  3. I enjoyed reading about the mill workers. My father, Aurban David Moore was born in December 1912 and he worked in the mills along with his father. He first started working to help his father. Dockey Leroy Moore who was working there and needed help to reach his quota. In a few years time Aurban learned to operate most of the machines by working on them while his father was “caught up.” My father told me he only went to school to about the third grade. He did know how to read and write but his father only learned to read after becoming an adult. Aurban learned to work on cars by trial and error and became a mechanic, working at Maring Crawford in Birmingham and retiring about 1977 when reached 65. He lived to be 98.

  4. My great great grandfather Ile Bearden was killed working in a Cotton Gin in Marshall County Alabama around 1903. My great aunt gave me a copy of the newspaper clipping from the Guntersville Democrat dated October 29, 1903, that lists the name of the mill as Capehart Gin in Columbus City. I haven’t been able to find a record of that mill in any of my research. Do you know of any historical resources that might have a record of the Capehart Gin? I am curious about the conditions he worked under… “Mashed to a pulp” were the words the newspaper article used to describe the accident… so sad.

    1. Becky, gins and mills are not the same things. That may be why you are having trouble finding a gin in a list of mills. A gin is, technically, a machine for the separation of the cotton fiber from the seeds, but often refers to a large building housing multiple machines like that. After the fiber is separated from the seeds at the gin, the fiber is taken and spun into yarn or cloth at a mill.

  5. My cousin,Walter Thames owned a Cotton Gin in Jasper,Al

  6. Evelyn Ford

    My cousin,Walter Thames, owned a cotton Mill in Jasper,Al

  7. Sabrina Aldridge Smith

    If not in the mills, they were in the cotton fields.

  8. Judy Buchanan

    Very interesting article, my parents and se of my relatives were cotton mill workers.

  9. B Monique Jeter

    Looks like a lot of money was made from child labor and the workers who picked the cotton from the fields for the mills.

  10. Donna Smalley

    My grandmother- Toni Blackmon Wesson Malcolm worked at the one in Gadsden as did her older sister Annie Buckalew.

  11. Lucy Jackson

    My family worked in Avondale

  12. Chris Cook

    Not on the list, but Micholas Mill in Opp, AL was the major manufacturer in town starting in the early 20th century.

    1. The Opp Mill & the Micolas Mill was both built in 1022 & 1923 this is why they are not listed with the early mills

      1. My daddy worked much of his life in the Opp mill. He died at age . I went to work there at age 16 and worked in every department before I left Alabama for California.

  13. Charles Moore

    Very much a part of my family’s life, mostly aunts and uncles at the mill in Guntersville.

  14. Diane Whitehead

    Geneva Alabama had 2 cotton mills, but not mentioned here.

  15. Barbara Morgan

    There was a cotton mill in Albertville. Does anyone know if it’s still there? I lived behind it growing up and worked there for a while after graduation.

    1. No it’s gone I had been working there 10 years the doors closed in 1996. Kendall Mills was the name of it.

  16. Gina Boulware Willis

    My family worked at Tallassee.

  17. Cheryl Spaulding McLelland

    I couldn’t help but notice not a plump boy In the bunch. No ” fast food ” back in those days.

  18. Shirley Kelley

    Worked 18 year at Adelaide mill in Anniston alabama

  19. Margaret Fretwell Renfroe

    Did not know that there was a mill in Uniontown.

    1. Mrs. Renfro;
      Uniontown’s cotton mill was established by Mr. John Henry White. The community adjacent to the mill, and was inhabited by the workers at the mill and their families. The village was named for Mr. White’s wife Ella, and became known as Ellawhite. It maintained a school, company store, electric power generator plant, swimming pool, baseball team and at least one female basketball or softball team known as the Calmaids after California Cotton Mill bought out the mill. Uniontown and the surrounding area was a large producer of cotton for the first half of the twentieth century, and had three cotton gins that all ran twenty-four-seven during harvest time supplying a great deal of cotton and cotten seed to be made into cottenseed meal. When California Cotton Mills decided to close the mill in the early fifties, it was initially a terrible blow to Uniontown as many found themselves out of work, and the two banks and many of the retail bussinesses foresaw a bleek future for the town. Luckily, industries were developed to fill the void, and for the remainder of the fifties and sixties, Uniontown was a major employer for its inhabitants and the surrounding area. Those who had chosen to remain in Uniontown after the mill closed, were able to find work at a newly created steel fabricating mill, a vegetable canning plant, a cheese plant, a shoe factory, the prevailing agricultural base or the various retail stores and businesses that had survived the civil war, reconstruction, two national economic depressions, and the closing of the cotton mill. So, yes we(also) had a cotton mill.

  20. Tr Henderson

    Was a happy way of life for many who came from a sharecropper’s life, where the children also worked hard. The mill village provided good housing, medical care, school, entertainment opportunities, running water. Working in the underground mines, or the sawmills were other employment opportunities.

  21. Wayne Morrison

    Check this out Joe Little.

  22. Myla Winham Thomas

    I wonder how old that little boy was; sure looked younger than 12.

  23. Joy Horne

    There was one in clanton

    1. I remember the one in Clanton, but do not remember the name. Do you?

      1. No, but perhaps another reader remembers it and will share the info.

    2. I remember my grandmother wearing a starched bib apron
      Ea day to work. I believe the mill was Dan River Mills
      If anyone has any pics of the former employes I wish they would post

  24. Deidre Lynn

    My grandmother talked about working as a child and picking cotton

  25. David Lamb

    My grandmother had het index finger cut off in s cotton mill when she worked in one as a child.

  26. Rene Gilliland

    If you haven’t read “The Best They Ever Had” by Rick Bragg already, you should! It will bring you a new gratitude about all the blessings we have had. My daddy worked so hard at West Point Pepperell so that I could have a better life.

  27. Chris Norton

    I currently work at the mill in Talladega. There is a lot of old pictures posted around the office area now. It is a very interesting place to work due to the history.

  28. Debra Hackleman

    My dad worked at Dan River mills in Greenville for 40 yrs I worked about 1. When I was born we lived in the mill village.

  29. Slayton Rice

    My ancestors had one of the first cotton gin in Alabama in Northport Alabama it was call the rices cotton GIn

  30. My dad’s dad , and my dad’s Aunt, worked at the Mill in Sylacauga. they lived in the Mill Village too ! we have a picture of my great-grandfather holding the twins ( my father and uncle ) in the Mill Village .

    1. My grandparents, Crocket Hand and Irene Hand also worked at the mill in Sycamore and lived in the mill village. My mother, Jean Hornsby,also worked there as a teenager.

      1. HEY PATRICIA;;READING YOUR COMMENTS ON AVONDALE MILLS;;I REMEMBER CROCKET HAND AND HIS WIFE;; I LIVED ON HANDLEY HILL,NOT FOR FROM A LITTLE STORE THAT THEY ALSO HAD IN SYCAMORE;;HE ALWAYS GAVE US KIDS A LITTLE CANDY WHEN WE DIDNOT HAVE A PENNY LOL

  31. Carolyn Armstrong

    Little bit of History. Anyone recall we were taught in school that Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Gin? Major question on many tests…during late 1940’s and 1950’s.

  32. Carolyn Armstrong

    There was a Cotton Gin in Montgomery AL out on Bell Street. Sad to say it is gone now! Not a sigh I have seen or a trace. How sad! There was so little industry in the South at that time, people were so glad to have a job during the depression. The work there paid the rent, lights, few groceries & bus fare of 5 cents. People walked to church & other places in their communities. Few people owned automobiles. They considered themselves blessed; & neighbors helped one another. HOW FAR WE HAVE COME from sitting on our porches in the afternoons after Supper to allow the house to cool off before time for bed. Those of us who recall those days should take time to discuss with our youth. Families stayed together, prayed together, & helped one another during sickness. The churches were gathering places were held & community news was shared. Life was not nearly as confusing & hectic; & there were no anxiety medications. Looking back is good & helps us appreciate our conveniences we have today. Most people appreciate & are thankful. Others need to learn more about the past hardships of all people in our past; regardless of their creed,color,or personal preferences . After all we are all AMERICANS who need to join together to save our Country from those who were sent to destroy.

  33. Jimmy Powell

    my grandmother and her brothers worked at the Crichton mill in mobile.

  34. Jimmy Powell

    my grandmother and her brothers worked at the Crichton mill in mobile.

    1. I grew up in the cotton mill village in Crichton.I have so many good memories..so many friends. We didn’t have a school but the Crichton School teachers were wonderful and I will never forget their principal. They were so kind to the Village Children.

  35. I lived in Cordova, Alabama. There was a cotton gin within throwing distance of our house. There was also a Cotton mill, that employed about half the town, the mines employed the other half. My mother was a spinner, my mother in law was a weaver, my father in law worked there, not sure what he did. I worked there for a few months as a bobbin loader. The mill closed down and the town really never recovered financially. The tornadoes of April, 2011, destroyed the own. Just a little bit of added history that I can remember.

  36. Holly Rotroff

    Marshmallow mills 🙂

  37. Steve Mobley

    My whole family worked in the mills. Both sides of the family. Buck Creek Mills in Siluria, Al. Later, my Grandfather at Avondale Mills in Birmingham. They were all lint heads. Doffers, weavers, spinners, winders, loomers, weavers, etc. Fortunately, my father and his uncle were great baseball players on the Buck Creek Millers baseball team. We had a great mill house when I was young because of that in what is now Alabaster, Al. I will always be a lint head.

  38. If I’d known comments were subject to moderation, I would have just said Well, we did.

  39. Lonnie Molt

    I worked at Crown Textile in Talladega for over 20 years

  40. The cotton mill in Piedmont, AL ran for a long time. A lot of my family either worked in the mill or picked cotton in the fields.

  41. My mother Ruth Porter worked at The Concord Cotton Mill in Russellville, Al.

  42. I may have missed The Winfield cotton mill and they still have the houses that were owned by the mill called ” The Village”
    My great granddad and my granddad owned 1 of the 2 gins in Hamilton

  43. I worked for fruit of the loom in Winfield al. for over 30 yrs.

  44. My dad, Banks weeks worked in Winfield Cotton Mill for forty years. He was born in 1913 and the cotton began operation in Winfield in 1929 Under Alabama Mills. Later Alabama Mills sold out to Dan River and later Dan River sold out to Union Underwear(Fruit of the Loom). My retired at age 63 and lived to be 98 yrs, old, I also worked for Fruit until they begin closing plants in Alabama in 2000. I worked at Winfield and Fayette mills until both closed in 2002. Cotton Milling was a way of life for me when growing up..it got into your blood/

  45. I collect old spools from the mills. I found 2 in an antique store in Huntsville and the tag said “From Lincoln Cotton Gin”. I can’t find any information listed on Lincoln. Anybody heard of it? I am thinking maybe they are from one of the mills in Huntsville and not a cotton gin. I really liked this article and the pictures.

  46. My great grandfather, Lon Brasher and my grandmother Leona Bailey Brasher, and her brother Robert Bailey all worked at the Buck Creek Mill in Siluria, Al. My grandmother did various things, she was a weaver, a loomer and a spinner. She also talked about running a battery machine not sure what that was, My mother worked there when I was young her name then was Floyce Vick, and also had a cousin Bonnie Grimes Brasher that worked at Buck Creek.

  47. My grandmother worked at the mill in Eufaula Al, in the 50s, Ruby peel Shivers. I think it was a sock mill or that was the part she worked in, not sure.

  48. I didn’t see the Opp and Micolas mills from Opp, Alabama. I worked there during high school and a few years after.

  49. Here’s a picture of a cotton mill in Guntersville that is not listed here: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/53/76/f1/5376f1b69e6aca53eee8af2130b97255.jpg

  50. I wonder why they didn’t mention the one in Geneva or Opp, due to the workforce they had.

  51. There was a Cotton Mill in Russellville Al , my aunt work there in 1948 it closed around 1950 do not know what year it was open.

    1. The Russellville mill was Alabama Mills Inc. and closed in 1945 during world war 2.

      My father Jesse Minor was overseer of carding and spinning. When mill closed we moved to

      Dadeville, Alabama and my Dad worked
      for the same company at the same job.

    2. Do you have any pictures? I lived there in 1958 and 1960.

  52. There was a cotton mill in Dadeville, Alabama back in the 50’s – 80’s and it isn’t list here ???

  53. I worked at Kendall Mills in Albertville Al.and at Avondale Mills in Pell City.
    The work was hard and it was always hot in the plants but I miss it, the employs were a big family, I started workin in the mill when I was 18 I grew up there got married had my first child it was the best years of my life.

  54. My great-great grandfather and two of his daughters worked in a cotton mill in Columbia, AL in 1900. Does anyone have any information on that mill?

  55. A lot of my family worked at Union Yarn Mill in Jacksonville. We all lived in the mill village. I remember when I was little helping my grandparents in the cotton fields. The smaller kids would drag the cotton bags until they got to heavy, then the bigger kids would take over until they were full. The grownups would then place them in the truck.

  56. I worked at The Winfield Cotton Mill for five years, until closing in Oct 2000. Here, I lost 4 fingers on my left hand in a carding machine accident. It was in the process of being torn down, and caught afire during the evening of March 4, 2017.

  57. I believe that the name of the photographer is Lewis Hine, not HineS.

  58. My mother works at the Enterprise cotton mill,Enterprise Alabama,,also,her sisters worked there also.
    She worked in the loom room,,,,,her name was Annie Bell Holmes. I think some of that mill still stands????Not sure of the years,,1919-1940’s?????

  59. Was the Mobile Mill also known as the Cotton Oil Mill of Mobile? If so does anybody know the approximatel street location of that mill?
    Dan
    [email protected]

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