Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Woolen Mills directory

Edna and Arthur Holloway house, 1601 Woolen Mills Road. Edna lived to 109, Arthur was a "loom-fixer" at the mill

Until 1882 the board, although changing its membership frequently, was composed almost exclusively of local men. A casual glance at the officers of Charlottesville banks, insurance companies, and major manufacturing and merchandizing establishments shows that the Woolen Mills early became tied to an intimate financial system. A few examples will demonstrate this situation. Marchant, C. H. Harmon, Louis T. Hanckel and A. R. Blakey were directors of the Peoples National Bank of Charlottesville founded in 1875. At that time Marchant was president of the Woolen Mills and Blakey held a similar post in the bank. Subsequently, Judge John M. White, a director of the mill served as president of the bank from 1895 to 1913, and other personal connections could be listed. It is not surprising that this bank acted as the fiscal agent of the mill. Yet at the same time four other mill directors, William Hotopp, the two Flannagans, and N. H. Massie were on the board of the Charlottesville National Bank. In the seventies, the directors of a local fertilizer factory included as officers or directors both Flannagans, Massie, and two other directors of the mill. During the remainder of the century the men behind nearly every important Charlottesville industry included three or four members of the Woolen Mills directory. Subsequently added were representatives of a wine company, a street railway concern, and a garment factory. It is clear that the Charlottesville Woolen Mills was operated by sound business men with wide experience, men who represented the commercial class which initiated and directed the business revival in the community after the War of Secession. However, these men plotted no unholy alliance for financial power. In many cases they were active competitors in other business fields. Their close commercial ties were but natural developments in a small town. --Harry Poindexter

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