This week’s column leads me to more questions, rather than finding answers. I have been unable to find much information about the Stuart Cotton Mill and was wondering if any readers had heard stories from families that worked there in the early 20th century? The cotton mill was located below Stuart Elementary School on what is now Oakhurst Drive.
The Danville Register & Bee, November 19, 1921, edition stated, “It is currently reported here that the Stuart Cotton Mill has been sold to the Patrick Land and Development Company and that it will be leased to a concern in High Point, North Carolina which plans its’ operation as a knitting mill. The deed of sale is expected to be executed this week. The mill has never been operated, although at one time, machinery was placed in it for the manufacture of cotton goods.”
Cindy Griffith wrote that the Stuart mill was part of the Schoolfield division of Dan River Mills but closed when the Great Depression hit the community. Lawrence Burton stated that county fairs were held across from the cotton mill in the 1940s.
An article in the 12th of September 1931 edition of the Roanoke Times stated, “Meetings are being held here this week by business and professional men of Stuart in an attempt to raise $12,000.00 to purchase and repair the old cotton mill building. The Jobbers Pants Company, a firm that has been operating in Martinsville for several years, desires to open a unit in Stuart and the new plant will require a building, for the use of which, the pants company will pay 7% interest for rent. The only building available in Stuart is the cotton mill, which can be bought and repaired for $12,000.00.”
Did this deal ever pan out? I can’t find where Jobbers ever operated in Stuart.
Sandy Rodgers recalls going to the mill with his mother and grandmother while they were shopping for piece goods; this would have been around 1950.
If anyone has more information about the Stuart Cotton Mill, I would love to hear about it. Woody may be reached at email@example.com or (276) 692-9626.