Willcoxon Manufacturing Co. photographs
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Willcoxon Manufacturing Co. photographs

Descriptive Summary

Repository: University of West Georgia
Creator: Willcoxon Manufacturing Company.
Title: Willcoxon Manufacturing Co. photographs
Dates: 1955
Quantity: 0.21 Linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:This collection consists of images from circa 1960 of the cotton manufacturing mill in Sargent, Georgia, originally named Willcoxon Manufacturing Co. The Coweta County plant was founded in 1866 and changed hands several times over the next century. The complex of mill buildings and the town that grew up around have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Sargent Historic District.
Identification: LH-0030

Biographical/Historical Note

The Willcoxon family owned 1000s of acres in Newnan County and operated a gristmill in Lodi, along Wahoo Creek. In 1866, Captain J.H. Sargent and George Sargent joined the Willcoxon family and built the first cotton mill in Newnan County. The community where the mill was built was subsequently named Sargent.The town grew up around the mill activity. In 1888, the company changed hands and was named Wahoo Manufacturing Co. The plant was destroyed by fire in 1906, but was rebuilt in 1907. In 1919, the mill was sold and named Arnall Mills. The Bibb Manufacturing Co., known for numerous mill operations in Georgia, bought the plant in 1963, but the Bibb companies started divesting themselves of their mill operations in the 1960s, and the company declared bankruptcy in the 1970s. In 2005, the mill town and plant in Sargent were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The period of significance was 1850-1974.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of 54 Kodachrome color transparencies date-stamped 1982 and a set of black and white prints made from the slides, as well as black and white 35mm negatives for the pictures; however, the photos appear to have been taken much earlier--around 1960, based on clothing and cars in the photos. Perhaps the Kodachrome film was only processed in 1982 after the film rolls had been stored for years. The occasion of the photographs might have been the centennial anniversary of the mill or perhaps marking the new ownership of Bibb Manufacturing in 1963. The images in this collection are of interior plant operations such as thread spindles, raw cotton, and power apparatus. There are some images of exteriors, and most images feature a person or people, white and African American (all unidentified).


Arranged by record type.

Index Terms

Cotton textile industry--Georgia--Sargent.
Coweta County (Ga.)
Sargent (Ga.)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation note

Willcoxon Manufacturing Co. photographs. Annie Belle Weaver Special Collections, Irvine Sullivan Ingram Library, University of West Georgia.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Collection donated by Frank Westbrook, Newnan, GA, 1982?; Westbrook's name is listed on one folder with a telephone number. When contacted in 2008, Westlake confirmed he had been employed at the mill, but had no knowledge of these slides and photographs.

Processing Information note

Processed by Suzanne Durham in 2008. Volunteer Patricia Gerard went through this collection in February 2016 in order to provide detailed descriptions of each photograph.



Restrictions on Access

Open to all users; no restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use note

Rights have been transferred to the University of West Georgia.

Related Material

Related collections in this repository: Banning Mills, Center for Public History, University of West Georgia; Mandeville Mills (LH-0033), Ingram Library.

Container List




There are 50 total photographs in this collection. Forty-five of those photos have matches in the slide folder.

Item 1 - White church with bell tower and add-on in rear
This photograph does not have a matching slide in the slide file.

Item 2 - Aerial photograph of Willcoxon Manufacturing Company
This photograph does not have a matching slide in the slide file.

Item 3 - Willcoxon Manufacturing large building with small white (office?) building to the lower right side; houses in background
This photograph does not have a matching slide in the slide file.

Item 4 - Two buildings with loading docks alongside double rails, automobile running between them at railroad crossing, three railcars next to second (vertical white and clapboard sided) building
This photograph does not have a matching slide in the slide file.

Item 5 - Building (brick?) with front door and two pairs of tilt windows on either side, aluminum canopies above all, along a road with trees and landscaping

Item 6 - Rears of several buildings along a back paved drive with small electrical station and power lines showing, two vehicles and dumster shown behind building in the center

Item 7 - Rear of large manufacturing building (brick?) with double door and canopy; large upper 6 X 7 pane windows

Item 8 - Louisville & Nashville (L&N) coal car 1542S1 emptying its load

Item 9 - Two white women in dress attire standing next to a screendoor; the woman on the left is wearing a corsage

Item 10 - Two white men and a white woman dressed in semi-formal attire in celebration (gentleman in the center is drinking from a party cup)

Item 11 - Two white women and two white men at a Christmas party setting; the woman in the center is serving cupcakes/cookies to a seated gentleman on her left. There are wrapped presents in the background and the tablecloth is decorated with poinsettias. The gentleman on the left is holding a party cup with a candle pictured on it. There are three dark figures in the background, one near a radiator and windows appear to be ajar or open

Item 12 - Two white women wearing glasses in work dress displaying some sort of paperwork folders. They are apparently in a work area; there is a wood cabinet in the background, a machine crank on the left, and folded cloth items in the background

Item 13 - Three white women and a white man standing at a refreshment table with punch and sandwiches, and decorated with “snowballs” and “snowmen.” All are attired in semi-formal dress and the woman in the center is dipping punch for the gentleman behind her

Item 14 - Warehoused bundles of unprocessed cotton. A black man is partially obscured in the center of the photograph with his face hidden. He appears to be stuffing loose cotton into bags

Item 15 - White man with hat, jacket and tie (inspector) examining cotton on a table. He is standing in front of a Cotton Map of the World

Item 16 - Black man wearing a cap inserting cotton into a (carding?) machine

Item 17 - Carding machines next to a larger (carding?) machine from Lowell, Massachusetts dated (numbered) 1914; It may be a carder

Item 18 - Black man wearing a hat feeding cotton into a mixing and blowing(?) machine

Item 19 - Black man wearing a hat and bib overalls feeding carded cotton into a combing (?) machine

Item 20 - Large tube (blower?) with a wall of cotton in the background

Item 21 - Black man wearing a cap standing at a machine (drawing?) with a roll of cotton to his left

Item 22 - Standing rolls of cotton, unwrapped

Item 23 - White man in work garb standing between racks of rolled cotton

Item 24 - Black man wearing bib overalls, white shirt and cap standing near a tank (dye? water?)

Item 25 - Row of equipment processing cotton (combing machines?)

Item 26 - Combing machine (?)

Item 27 - White man standing to the left of a spinning (?) machine

Item 28 - White woman wearing apron standing next to a spinning (?) machine

Item 29 - White woman with plaid shirt and bobby socks standing next to a roving machine

Item 30 - White woman wearing glasses, white top, patterned skirt, and dark apron standing next to a roving machine

Item 31 - Spinning (?) machinery

Item 32 - Elderly woman in patterned dress and dark apron standing next to a (spinning?) machine

Item 33 - Machine drawing in thread as part of weaving process (2 copies)

Item 34 - White man in dark shirt during the process of making cloth (warping or sizing?)

Item 35 - Weaving loom (?)

Item 36 - White woman seated and spooling thread

Item 37 - Machinery producing (what appears to be) large rolls of rope

Item 38 - White man in work clothes at a machine that (appears to be) stringing a thread around rolls of cotton

Item 39 - White male in bib overalls adjusting/repairing textile machinery with a wrench

Item 40 - Two white females cutting a piece of textile with large shears

Item 41 - Two white males with hands on a roll of fabric; folded material in the foreground; a third white male with apron standing in the right background

Item 42 - White male wearing glasses standing next to a machine with horizontally striped textile fabric

Item 43 - Three white male workers with hats standing at a table with folded (finished?) textile products bearing labels

Item 44 - Smiling white female seated at a sewing machine hemming tablecloths (?)

Item 45 - Fabric being pulled through sizing (?) machine

Item 46 - Two white females cutting lengths of fabric with large shears

Item 47 - Two smiling white females cutting lengths of fabric with large shears meeting in the center of the fabric

Item 48 - White male looking at camera with hands on strands of rope (?) being wound on spools (?)

Item 49 - White male in bib overalls and cap standing at a machine with racks of thread spools in the background

Item 50 - Photograph of approximately 150 white children and teachers in front of a white clapboard-sided school building, circa early 1960s (It may be a school located near Willcoxon Manufacturing as it was a part of the photographs donated with the Willcoxon collection)
One of the slides does not have a photo match in the photograph folder. That image is of the inside of the textile plant, windows in the background, product in the foreground.