Date: August 2009
Creator: Kilgore, Deborah Katheryn
Description: Texas textile mills comprise an untold part of the modern South. The bulk of Texas mills were built between 1890 and 1925, a compressed period of expansion in contrast to the longer developmental pattern of mills in the rest of the United States. This compression meant that Texas mill owners benefited from knowledge gained from mill expansion elsewhere, and owners ran their mills along the same lines as the dominant southeastern model. Owners veered from the established pattern when conditions warranted. This case study focuses on three mills in Texas that operated both independently and as a corporation for a total of sixty years. One mill in McKinney dominated the economy of a small town and serves as the primary focus of this paper. A second mill in Waco served a diversified economy in the center of the state; and the third mill, built in Dallas was concentrated in a major city in a highly competitive job market. All three of these mills will illuminate the single greatest difference between Texas mills and mills elsewhere, the composition of the labor force. Women did not dominate the mill labor force in Texas nor did children, except in limited cases, make-up a ...
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