Theo Buerbaum's Salisbury

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Cotton Mills - Salisbury Cotton Mill

Salisbury Cotton Mill was built in 1888 and operated continuously for 111 years at the same location, 705 South Railroad Avenue.  The mill was founded as the result of a revival meeting that took place in Salisbury at the Farmer’s Warehouse in November of 1887.  Evangelist R. G. Pearson reminded those gathered that “the great many poor and indigent people we have here ought to and must be helped not by gifts and alms but by a chance to make an honest living.” The solution was to build a cotton mill to employ the people.  A number of influential people in Salisbury heeded this plea and shortly after that a committee headed by Rev. Francis Murdoch and including Theo Buerbaum was organized.  Money was raised and officers and directors of the corporation were elected. By December 15, 1887, it was announced in the Mayor’s office that it had been incorporated as the Salisbury Cotton Mill. 

The mill became a successful operation and by 1896 was one of the largest in the state.  Its board of directors included J. M. Odell, S. H. Wiley, Theo Kluttz, William Smithdeal, J. M. Knox, and Rev. Murdoch.  In 1896, it had 15,250 spindles and 503 looms. In 1920 Cone Mills bought Salisbury Cotton Mills, which then produced chamois and flannel shirting fabrics.  Later the mill produced denim and chambray. The mill closed in 1999. 

No series – the Albertype Co. Brooklyn N.Y.


Brawley, James Shober  Salisbury Renaissance: Historical Photographs of Salisbury North Carolina 1880-1960 Salisbury: Historic Salisbury Foundation and Rowan Art Guild, 1981

Brawley, James Shober The Rowan Story 1753-1953: A Narrative History of Rowan County North Carolina Salisbury: Rowan Printing Company, 1953

Sides, Susan Goodman Salisbury and Rowan County Charleston, SC: Arcadia, c1999

U.S. Plant Closings Since Textile Crisis Began (1997 - 2005)

Salisbury/Spencer City Directories.

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