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

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

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

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

  11. My family worked in Avondale

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

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

  15. 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. My family worked at Tallassee.

    1. who was your parents?

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

  18. Worked 18 year at Adelaide mill in Anniston alabama

  19. 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. 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. Check this out Joe Little.

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

  23. 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. My grandmother talked about working as a child and picking cotton

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

  26. 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. 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. 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. 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.


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

  34. 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. Marshmallow mills 🙂

  37. 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. 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. […] List of Cotton Mills in Alabama with [1910 photographs and film] – […]

  43. 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

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

  45. 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/

  46. 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.

    1. Huntsville did have a Lincoln Mill. Because these mills did everything that a cotton gin and more it sounds like what you have was referring to the cotton gin phase of the mill. Long after Lincoln Mill had ceased operation the Lincoln Mill school was in use as a public school and is now owned and used by a private school. Although Lincoln mill provided a good school facility, the housing for the workers there did not seem equal to other mills such as the Merrimack Mill housing.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

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

  50. 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

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

  52. 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.

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

  54. 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.

  55. 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?

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

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

  59. 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?????

  60. 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?
    [email protected]

  61. […] List of Cotton Mills in Alabama with [1910 photographs and film] – […]

  62. Does anyone know anything about a cottonseed oil factory in Cullman, AL?

  63. My Grandfather Aunts and Uncles worked for years for Dan River in Greenville, Butler County.

    1. Lisa Crawford they had one in dadeville al too..tallapoosa county. We also had Russell Mills

    2. Lisa Crawford My Grandfather, Grandmother, and Mother worked at Dan River in Greenville too.

    3. Sonya, My Grandfather was Oral Sorrells. My Aunt/uncle were AG & Orell Grant.

  64. Lynn Gathings Klinner show to dad.

    1. Alan Klinner done!!! Dad was in Butler County today looking at a building.

  65. My grandparents met at the cotton mill they worked at. I don’t know which one.

    1. Kristin Susanne Kruse I know maw Tucker use to talk a about that place and how little they made working there.

    2. I’m sure it was slave wages.

  66. I wonder why the one in Wetumpka is not listed.

  67. My grandfather Mask worked 38 years for Russell. My grandfather Butler 38 years for Avondale.

  68. 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.

  69. Where does all the cotton go now that is grown in Alabama?

    1. Carol Sullivan sold to various buyers like any commodity however certain Jean manufacturers have contracts with growers in Alabama and Georgia. Wrangler actually brands a Jean exclusively made of “ Alabama Cotton “. Sold at Belks I think.

  70. Sweet home.Alabama
    Where I.was born.
    And raised.
    My Dad.and mom.
    It was.rough.
    But we.hadlove

    1. Signed up…..thanks!

  71. My Daddy was a sweep we at age 12 in Lanett

  72. There is gun in Tallassee.

  73. And now kids wont do chores and aren’t allowed to play outside alone .. boys did they get them to work?

  74. This is great. Thanks so much for the post

  75. I’ll guarantee you that none of those kids ever got a participation trophy, got any counseling or had a safe space, but strangely enough grew up to be the greatest generation.

  76. Jan Herndon Jill Murphy