Whitmire Cotton Mill 1902-2001

Water, Sewer, Electricity

Here is a start--not all of what I am working on, so will not promise that I will not change it somewhat. Grady Lee Overstreet, October 16, 2002

NOTE: Grady Lee Overstreet is the son of the late Clyde and Maude Sinclair Overstreet.  Maude was the eldest child of my Grandparents, William Frank and Gertrude Roddy Sinclair.  Grady is retired (California) and has written several books.


Whitmire Cotton Mill 1902-2001

Water, Sewer, Electricity

As mentioned, the Whitmire Cotton Mill constructions were completed in 1902 and known as the Glenn-Lowry Manufacturing Company, then owned and operated by Mr. William Coleman.  The Whitmire Mill owned and operated its own Power Plant, on site, which generated the electricity that ran the Mill’s machinery. The Mill had a small dam and pond located on the Branch near the Mill for its steam needs.

A small brick Pump house was built on Duncan Creek to pump water to the Mill Pond located on the lower portion of Grant Street, to be used in the event of fire in the Mill. The workers houses in the area known as Old Mill Hill were built in the early years of the Mill--1902-1903. 

During the second phase of the Mill construction 1911, addition houses were built and this addition became known as The New Hill.  For Sewer uses, there were Outhouses for both the Mill workers and for the Workers homes. For Potable Water, the Mill had numerous Water Wells dug. These Wells served several homes each and were spread throughout the village and Town. The Villagers had to go to the Wells and fetch their Water in buckets.   

In 1907, Mr. Frank Sinclair came to work at the Whitmire Mill. It was he that wired most all of the older houses on the Mill Village, as well as the older houses in town that first had electric lights. He helped to string up the power lines and in later years helped with the plumbing of the village. The Mill also retailed power to the dozen or so houses and stores in town, which were wired for electric lights. There were no electric appliances in those early days. In 1913 or 1914, the Whitmire Mill changed over to Duke Power Company for its electricity use.  The Mill’s practice of retailing power to Town People, “those not employed by the by the Mill” continued till 1931 when Jim Gregory who was Mayor of Whitmire, secured a 99 year lease and franchise from Duke Power to sell power to Whitmire residents as well as to the Mill Company.

In 1919 the Mill began planning & construction of the Dam on Duncan Creek. Mr. Thomas M. (Mac) Andrews with his wife Nellie Stone Andrews, came to Whitmire with their two young children, Mabel and Thomas Jr. (Buddy) at the request of the Glenn-Lowry Cotton Mill to assist in planning and building the town’s first Water Filtering Plant to served the Mill, The Village and the Business District. Construction was completed in 1920.  It was near this time the Mill completed much of the Sewer facilities still in use for the City today.

The Water Wells that had served the Mill, the Homes and the Business District from 1902-1920 were soon filled in and the Outhouses dismantled. On occasion, remnants of the Wells can be found, even today.  Around 1950 a New Filtration Plant that draws its water from the Enoree River was completed for use and the Dam and Filter Plant on Duncan Creek abandoned to the elements. It is ironic that today this same Dam is used in drought or pollution emergencies to furnish the Area with Potable water.


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