Janesville Cotton Manufacturing Co.

1874 - February 1886

Janesville Cotton Mills Co.


March 1886 - 1889 - ?

The Janesville Cotton Mills Company was incorporated in March, 1886, and is an
outgrowth of the Janesville Cotton Manufacturing Company. The first Board of Directors of the new company consisted of W. A. LAWRENCE, F. S. ELDRED, E. C. SMITH, George SUTHERLAND, E. W. FISHER, A. J. RAY, H. PARKER, William MACLOON, A. P. LOVEJOY, James SHEARER and H. REICHWALD. The first officers of the company were Henry PALMER, President; George SUTHERLAND, Vice-president; F. S. ELDRED, Treasurer; A. J. RAY, Secretary; John H. MYERS, Manager. These gentlemen have since filled the respective offices to which they were then elected. The present Board of Directors is comprised of H. PALMER, G. G. SUTHERLAND, F. S. ELDRED, E. C. SMITH, A. J. RAY, James SHEARER, H. REICHWALD, William MACLOON, John H. MYERS, E. W. FISHER and John J. R. PEASE. The new building of the company at Monterey, near the city, was erected in 1884 and opened for business in January, 1885. It is a 300 loom-mill, with a capacity of 16,000 yard of sheeting per day and employs 175 hands. The city, or upper, mill has 400 looms, employs 225 hands and turns out 35,000 yards per day. The capital stock of the new company is $150,000, including both mills, and the employes [employees] are paid each month the sum of $10,000.
[Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Rock County, Wisconsin. (c)1889 Acme, Chicago, Illinois; p. 1026]

The Janesville Cotton Manufacturing Co. was established [in 1874] on the upper
raceway, north of Milwaukee Street on River Street. "At that time it was the only factory of that kind in the West. It was a bold business venture, which required courage and ability of high order."
The three original buildings still stand, and two of them will be renovated into
apartments as part of Janesville's current downtown redevelopment.
The factory was enlarged in 1877, and the work force grew to 250 people, with a
payroll of $70,000. The factory had 400 looms and in 1878 manufactured 5,350,900 yards of sheeting, which was valued at $310,000.
The business expanded in 1883 with the construction of a large factory and power
plant at Monterey at a cost of a quarter million dollars. Four hundred people worked for the company then.
But excessive freight rates for cotton because of the great distance it had to be
brought and the high prices paid to the company's operatives forced the ambitious enterprise into a financial corner. In 1886, a new corporation, the Janesville Cotton Mills, formed to take over the business. It ran it for a while longer but eventually the plant was sold to the Janesville Electric Co.
[Source: "Water power turned wheels of first industry," The Janesville Gazette, August 14, 1985, p. 2G, 6G]

Employees (incomplete list)
Employee Position Year(s) Source
BAILEY, Chester superintendent < 1880 newspaper
MYERS, John H. manager 1886 - 1889 - ? Port. & Bio. (above)

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