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"S" is for Spartan Mills

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for Spartan Mills. Organized in 1888 by John H. Montgomery and other upcountry business leaders, Spartan Mills was the first textile mill built within the Spartanburg city limits. In 1889 Spartan Mills merged with Whitfield of Newburyport, Massachusetts, in an agreement whereby all machinery from Whitfield was shipped to Spartanburg. The first mill began operations in 1890 with thirty thousand spindles and eleven hundred looms—making it the largest mill in the state at the time. In addition to the factory, 150 mill homes were built in a surrounding village. Spartanburg residents began to keep track of the time by the sound of the Spartan Mills whistle, In the 1970s. Spartan Mills grew to include thirteen plants and five thousand employees Spartan Mills was renamed Spartan International in 200 and ceased operations in 2001.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.