The Textile Industry in Spartanburg County


For close to a century, the textile industry was the dominant economic engine driving Spartanburg County’s growth. It built up fortunes, established new communities, changed the agricultural landscape, and brought thousands of new residents into the county. Even more significantly, the textile industry was interwoven with its employees’ lives to a degree not known before or since. In addition to providing regular work hours, mills supplied their employees with company housing, access to a company store, a company school for children, and company-sponsored churches, all located in a compact company-owned village. Such villages made up a significant portion of Spartanburg County’s population during the early and middle 20th century and made an enormous impact on the social, political, and cultural life of the region. The selected documents and photographs here illustrate the many aspects of company and village life