Monday, May 12, 2008

never lose sight of Charlottesville

C.B. Holloway with his nephews, Charles and Jimmie, 1943

Uniform fabrics monopolized the company's output until about 1948. Military schools took up much of the output. As early as 1892 every important military institution in the South and, with few exceptions, all major ones in states south and west of New York used Charlottesville cloth. The same was true of many municipal police and fire departments, several railroads and the Pullman Company. "In fact," the mill boasted in 1933, "one could travel by train from one end of the Nation to the other and never lose sight of Charlottesville."--Harry Poindexter

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Friday, November 16, 2007

agricultural penury

1601 Woolen Mills Road, Holloway House

Randolph patiently explained the situation to the stockholders in March, 1874. He insisted that the company was fundamentally sound in spite of the depressed condition of financial resources. Orders exceeded capacity. Improvements and additions in buildings and machinery, financed from undivided profits, had added $11,500 to assets. If an extra $30,000 in capital had been available earlier, he felt that the mill could have paid dividends of about eleven percent during those critical years. It was imperative, therefore, to raise this sum, but Randolph foresaw little hope of doing it because of the "almost general bankruptcy of the agriculture of a State which is mainly agricultural and [the] high rates of interest oppressing every branch of industry." Perhaps, he suggested, a "forebearance [sic] of dividend for three years" was the answer.
--Harry Poindexter

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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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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Charlottesville Factory

right, Louise Hollaway (Baltimore), center W.F. Pritchett, background, the Woolen Mill and Monticello mountain
During the period from 1846 to 1850 when the Parishes, Jones, and Randolph owned the business operating at "Pireus," the company became known locally as the Charlottesville Factory. Apparently there was no important reason for the change; local customers probably resisted the more cumbersome title using the proprietors' names. Yet it is certain that during those few years, the factory, especially that portion devoted to the making of cotton and woolen cloth, reach a level of maturity for its day and section. By 1850, when Henry Jones bought out the other interests, the company was making a large variety of goods. Coarse or medium quality jeans and linseys for servants and slaves were made from wool. Cotton yarns, baggings, and pantaloon drillings added to the offerings of the mill, and both raw cotton and wool were carded for those who desired to spin and weave their own material. The buyer was required to pay a part of his bill in the form of raw wool and he could get cloth made to his own order from cotton or wool he brought to the plant. The mill thus extended a type of custom service wedded to a barter system which guaranteed to the customer the quality of raw materials used in making whatever he desired. However, this was not unique but rather conformity to the pattern of growth of early mills.--Harry Poindexter

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Moses Knight

Approximately fifty years after the photo above was taken, Moses asked Lola to marry. Lola said yes. Moses moved to the Woolen Mills. Moses left the Woolen Mills yesterday, age 103. A friendly man, a fine man, an excellent neighbor in every way.
click here for obituary

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