City Directories and History: The Aragon Mill was organized in 1906 by Alexander Long, who had moved to Rock Hill from Darlington, S.C., where he had managed a textile mill. Long served as President, and the directors were Ira B. Dunlap, J. M. Cherry, W. B. Wilson, Jr., and John Gary Anderson. Long had financial support from J. P. Stevens in financing the mill. Upon completion in 1907, the Aragon Mill was able to take advantage of the electric power available from the new dam on the Catawba River, now known as the Lake Wylie Dam. The mill initially had 281 looms and 10,000 spindles. It was located to the west of the Manchester Mill. A mill village was constructed. During World War I, the mill had work supplying the war effort, and expanded its operations. In 1924, the Aragon merged with Baldwin Mills to become known as Aragon Baldwin Mill.
By 1907, the Aragon Mill had 275 operatives and 325 residents in its village. Streets in the mill village included: Edgemont, Community, Curtis, Frayser, Kuykendall, Laurens, Long, Lucas, Piedmont, Poplar, and Tower. The Northside School was built in 1924 to serve the children of the Blue Buckle and Aragon Mill villages.
The Herald reported on June 16, 1906 that the Aragon Mill had been organized.
The Herald reported on Oct. 20, 1906 – “That work on the new Aragon Cotton Mill is moving forward. The foundation will soon be completed. President Long says the contractor Thompson should have the roof on by Jan., and the building should be completed by March. Grandy and Jordan of Greenville have been awarded the contract to erect dwelling houses for the mill operatives.“
The Rock Hill Record reported on April 18, 1907 – “That we visited the Aragon Mill lately and the building is almost completed. The machinery will soon be installed. The mill is located on a high hill with a splendid view of the city.”
The RH Record reported on May 27, 1907 – “The Aragon Mill is now completed. Machinery is being installed. The Company was started June 1st, 1906 and work on the mill commenced in Oct. 1906.”
The Herald reported on Jan. 23, 1915 – “That the store at the Aragon Mill owned by J.L. Dozier was entered and robbed.” (He lived at 230 Ebenezer Ave.)
The McElwee Store ledger of 1915-16 states that William T. Funderburk and wife Agyness, working at the mill, had an account at the store. Also at the store were Kate Segall and husband Reiff Segall living at #50 Aragon Mills.
The Lewis Hines Photo Collection tells an important history of the textile industry in Rock Hill, S.C., and elsewhere in the South. Click on the site to be linked with the Hines photo collection of mill workers throughout the region.
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Sources: The Herald, various issues, Lynn Willoughby, The Good Town Does Well, Rock Hill, S. C., 1852-2002, published 2002 by the Rock Hill Sesquicentennial Committee. Douglas Summers Brown, The City Without Cobwebs, A History of Rock Hill, South Carolina, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1953.
The Rev. Donald Scoggins, related to R&R in May of 2014, that his grandfather, Mr. Levy Deas was the yard foreman for the mill and was also responsible for planting most of the historic Willow Oaks in the mill community.
The Herald reported on June 18, 1925 – “Within recent weeks, practically all the cotton mills in Rock Hill has suspended or reduced work, but the mill workers are optimistic on the outlook. Aragon and Arcade are both shirting manufacturers and are on full schedules. Wymojo Mill is on a three day a week schedule. Industrial Mill is on a four day week schedule, Carhartt on a three day schedule after suspending operations. The gingham manufacturing is running full-time this week but the schedule is indefinite. Harris Mill (Victoria #2) runs with Victoria’s schedule and Helen Mill runs with Wymojo.”
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