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Graniteville Mill

  • 1850 Jefferson Davis Hwy Graniteville, SC 29829

GRANITEVILLE, where William Gregg, called the father of southern cotton manufacturing, established the Graniteville mill in 1848. From the first this factory made money, and it was operated successfully throughout the Civil War. Gregg came to South Carolina from what is now West Virginia in 1824. Within ten years he amassed a substan- tial fortune as a watchmaker and silversmith in Columbia. He then moved to Edgefield, where he became interested in a small, struggling cotton factory, Vaucluse, which, with his brother-in-law, he bought and put on a paying basis. He moved his residence to Charleston in 1843, becoming a partner in a jewelry business there but continuing his interest in cotton manufacture. He interested Charleston capitalists in the idea of southern cotton manufacturing and was able in 1845 to secure the charter for his Graniteville mill, capitalized at $300,000. Gregg had definite economic theories which he both published and practiced. He believed that plants should begin with adequate capital, be self-sustaining, and have a surplus over local needs, which would make for a sounder system. He traveled extensively in New England and European textile centers and wrote ar- ticles for the Charleston Courier which were collected and published in pamphlet form.