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Rock Hill in York County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Rock Hill Cotton Factory
 
Rock Hill Cotton Factory Marker </b>(front) Photo, Click for full size
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, October 12, 2008
1. Rock Hill Cotton Factory Marker (front)
 
Inscription.
[Front]:
This textile mill, built in 1881, was the first in Rock Hill and the first in S.C. to use steam power. A.E. Hutchison, J.M. Ivy, W.L. Roddey, and A.H. White founded the Rock Hill Cotton Factory to boost the city's status as a cotton market and to spur further industrial and economic growth. This two-story mill was designed and built by A.D. Holler and modeled after the Camperdown Mill in Greenville.

[Reverse]:
This was the first of seven textile mills built here from 1881 to 1907. Rock Hill soon became the model of a "New South" city, its population grew from 800 to more than 6,000, and White Street became its "Textile Corridor" and industrial center. This mill, sold and renamed several times before it closed in 1967, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1992 and renovated into offices in 2007.
 
Erected 2007 by The Culture and Heritage Museums of York County and the City of Rock Hill. (Marker Number 46-38.)
 
Location. 34° 55.681′ N, 81° 1.628′ W. Marker is in Rock Hill, South Carolina, in York County. Marker is at the intersection of W. White Street and Chatham Avenue, on the right when traveling north on W. White Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 300 Chatham Ave, Rock Hill SC 29730, United States of America.
 
Rock Hill Cotton Factory Marker </b>(reverse) Photo, Click for full size
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, October 12, 2008
2. Rock Hill Cotton Factory Marker (reverse)
 

 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rock Hill Depots / Rock Hill Street Railway (within shouting distance of this marker); Rock Hill (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rock Hill Buggy Company / Anderson Motor Company (about 800 feet away); McCrory's Civil Rights Sit-ins / "Friendship Nine" (approx. 0.2 miles away); Village of Rock Hill / City of Rock Hill (approx. 0.2 miles away); Andrew Jackson Hotel / Vernon Grant (approx. 0.2 miles away); Episcopal Church of Our Saviour (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church / Dr. Arthur Small Rogers (approx. 0.2 miles away); U.S. Post Office and Courthouse / Citizen's Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Black Plantation / Hampton Campaign (approx. mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Rock Hill.
 
Also see . . .
1. History of The Cotton Factory. The beautiful building that houses New South Interiors had its beginnings in 1881 as the first steam-powered textile mill in South Carolina. (Submitted on March 10, 2009.) 

2. Rock Hill Cotton Factory. The Rock Hill Cotton Factory, built in 1881, is significant for its leading role in the development of the textile industry in Rock Hill and for the major economic impact which this industry had on the town. (Submitted on January 26, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Rock Hill Cotton Factory Entrance Photo, Click for full size
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, October 12, 2008
3. Rock Hill Cotton Factory Entrance
 

3. Camperdown Mill. Marker located in Greenville, SC, dedicated to the former Camperdown Mill, mentioned on this marker, located near Reedy River Falls. (Submitted on January 29, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Rock Hill Cotton Factory
The Rock Hill Cotton Factory was built in 1881 and was the first textile mill in the community. It was also the first steam-driven textile mill in South Carolina. The building was modeled after the Camperdown Mill in Greenville, and was built by Captain A.D. Holler of Rock Hill. A number of additions have been made to the original building.

The original section of the mill faces northeast. The facade is dominated by a three-story tower with a first level entrance and rectangular windows. The second level of the tower has windows with segmental arches, including a single window on the front with flanking recessed vertical panels. The third level has three long vertical windows on each side with rounded arches and corbelling above. These windows have been infilled with brick. The tower has a corbelled brick cornice. The main block of the building extends for twelve bays to the left of the tower and sixteen bays to the right. It has segmental-arched windows which
 
Rock Hill Cotton Factory Photo, Click for full size
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, November 28, 2008
4. Rock Hill Cotton Factory
 
have been infilled with brick and a corbelled brick cornice and flat roof. There is a projecting two-story wing at the northwest corner which matches the construction and detailing of the original building. In addition, a three-story wing to the rear (southwest) retains many of the details of the original building. A detached brick smokestack to the southwest of the original block is square with a tapered shape and corbelling at the top. The east end of the original building, facing Chatham Street, has eight bays with the same window treatment and corbelling. There is a modern door installed at the first level. Other alterations include small modern additions at the southeast and northwest corners of the facade and a one-story addition to the rear (south and southwest). The tower also has a metal awning over the entrance and a small one-story addition.

The Rock Hill Cotton Factory falls within the Textile Mill Buildings and Related Buildings property type of the multiple property submission Historic Properties of Rock Hill.

Significance
The Rock Hill Cotton Factory is significant for its leading role in the development of the textile industry in Rock Hill and for the major economic impact which this industry had on the town. It is also significant as an excellent example of an early textile building, and of the architectural form which was to be repeated
 
Rock Hill Cotton Factory Photo, Click for full size
Courtesy National Historic Register, circa 1990
5. Rock Hill Cotton Factory
 
many times by later mills.

By the late 1870s, Rock Hill had developed as an important cotton market for farmers over a broad area of York, Chester and Lancaster Counties. The willingness of several local cotton brokers to pay slightly more for cotton than brokers in other towns attracted farmers, and during the 1870s, the annual cotton market for Rock Hill increased from about 2,000 bales to around 17,000 bales. The business leaders of Rock Hill saw the availability of cotton as an asset to be exploited, and a movement began to develop the potential of cotton manufacturing. This idea was spreading throughout the Piedmont region, but where most communities relied on financial investments and technology from New England, the aggressive leaders of Rock Hill's business community set out to supply the necessary capital and labor locally. The initial investors in this first venture were James M. Ivey, probably the largest dealer in cotton in upper South Carolina; Captain A.E. Hutchison, who was the largest stockholder and became President; William Lyle Roddey, a leading local merchant and entrepreneur; John R. London; and Hiran Hutchison, a banker of Cheraw and Hamburg, S.C. and the largest stockholder of Graniteville Mills. With a capital stock of $100,000, the investors set about the construction of the mill. They recruited Captain A.D. Holler to build the mill. Holler, like
 
Rock Hill Cotton Factory Photo, Click for full size
Rock Hill, South Carolina: Gateway to the New South by J. Edward Lee, Anne E. Beard
6. Rock Hill Cotton Factory
 
many Civil War veterans who came to Rock Hill following the war, flourished in the period's climate of growth. He and Captain Hutchison traveled to Greenville and took detailed measurements of the Camperdown Mill, which became the model for the new Rock Hill mill. Because the mill was not to be located on a river with available water power like most such facilities, the Rock Hill Cotton Factory was designed to use steam power. It became the first steam driven textile mill in South Carolina. Later, as electricity became available from the pioneering hydroelectric development of the Catawba River, the mill was converted.

The mill opened in 1881with a work force of 100 men, women, and children, producing cotton yarns. By 1895, the looms had been installed, and products included sheeting, shirting, drills, and cotton rope. The enterprise was successful, paying an annual dividend of seven percent. The mill went through its first reorganization in 1898, becoming known as the Belvedere Mills, with W.C. Hutchison as President. Later it became the Crescent Cotton Mill, and in 1905 was bought by Hamilton Carhartt of Detroit, who added dyeing and denim manufacturing for overalls about 1909 with a major three-story addition. The depression of 1921 closed the mill, but it was reopened in 1925 as Cutter Manufacturing Company. During the 1930s, it became part of the Goldtex Co. operation,
 
Camperdown Mill Photo, Click for full size
William B. Coxe Collection, Greenville County Historical Society
7. Camperdown Mill
 
and is now used as a textile outlet store and warehouse by Plej's Inc.

The Rock Hill Cotton Factory is significant for its architectural qualities as a prototype textile mill building in the Rock Hill area. It remains intact as an excellent example of late nineteenth-century industrial design. It also has significance because the mill was the first in Rock Hill, and began a major period of expansion for the City. By 1907, six additional mills had been built, employing several hundred operatives each. The successful completion and operation of the first mill opened the eyes of the other investors in Rock Hill to the fact that money was to be made in the textile industry. The influx of workers to the initial factory and the additional mills led to a boom in merchandising and the provision of services. The population of Rock Hill increased from 809 in 1880 to an estimated 5,500 in 1895. This explosive growth can largely be attributed to the development of the textile industry. The growth in population led to a great demand for housing, resulting in the development of the textile mill villages, rapid growth in the existing neighborhoods around the downtown, and the creation of entirely new neighborhoods, such as Oakland and Woodland Park. As the initial element of the textile industry in Rock Hill, the Rock Hill Cotton Factory had a revolutionary impact on the industrial, economic, and cultural life of the city. (Source: National Register nomination form.)
    — Submitted January 29, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. About Captain A.D. Holler
A.D. Holler was a veteran of the Civil War. Like many veterans who settled in Rock Hill in the past war years, Holler found success. In addition to his involvement with the Rock Hill Cotton Factory, he was also the co-founder of Holler and Anderson Buggy Company. The "Anderson" was his son-in-law, John Gary Anderson.

Holler's son, John David Holler, became a noted minister in the Methodist-Episcopal Church.
    — Submitted January 29, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Credits. This page originally submitted on March 4, 2009, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 2,723 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 4, 2009, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina.   5. submitted on March 5, 2009, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina.   6. submitted on January 28, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   7. submitted on March 28, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
 
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